Surveys on Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger’s job performance were reviewed Tuesday as Reno City Council members held a meeting to conduct his annual evaluation and discuss his goals for the next year.
Clinger was assessed on his communication skills, relationship skills, leadership ability, innovation capability and management style. Confidential feedback, which was facilitated by the human resources department, came from 14 city department leaders who report to Clinger. All seven City Council members provided feedback that was not confidential. A self-evaluation was also done by Clinger.
Welcoming new and innovative ideas was among areas Clinger was strongest, according to his subordinates.
“Mr. Clinger has been very receptive to at least listen to new ideas,” one reviewer wrote. “He has allowed staff to try new approaches without high risks. I feel comfortable sharing new ideas with him.”
The survey also indicated Clinger needs to work on being “forthright and honest in all relationships.”
“Not always forthright,” one reviewer wrote. “Makes announcements to staff in group settings before impacted individuals are notified. Seems indecisive.”
Several city leaders said Clinger could be more effective if the Council didn’t micromanage him. For example:
* It appears that some of the City Council members take too much of the manager’s time and do not allow him the time needed to meet with employees in the field or at their work settings.”
* In all things politics, it is important to realize that relationships are two way streets; and although Andrew may foster a positive relationship with council, l’d like to see a reciprocal relationship of council to Andrew. I believe that building relationships is the key to growth and forward momentum, but it has to be both ways.”
* The city manager has a very difficult job with overall responsibility of the organization and answering to seven bosses. I believe that he is doing a remarkable job within these confines.”
Councilman Paul McKenzie said he thinks micromanagement is related to things falling through the cracks. For instance, as the city updates its Master Plan, building codes need to be updated. Such things are often discussed at meetings and then forgotten about, he said.
“There are priorities the council puts forward that I don’t see action on,” McKenzie said. “This (micromanagement) is based upon frustration.”
Mayor Hillary Schieve thanked Clinger for putting up with the Council and said having seven bosses must be difficult. She said she walked the streets with candidates campaigning in the recent primary election and received positive feedback about what’s going on in the city.
“It’s easy to sit up here and be very critical,” Schieve told council members. “People are very pleased with work we’re getting done.”
Councilwoman Neoma Jardon said Clinger has done well keeping the city “in the black” financially and has done a good job being a conduit to labor unions and repairing relationships with some unions. However, sometimes departmental overlap occurs and communication can become a problem, she said.
“Try and find the hiccups and close the gaps,” Jardon said.
During his self evaluation, Clinger highlighted the addition of 30 firefighters, 10 sworn police officers, a pedestrian safety program, improvements to parks and streamlining the business license process, among other items.
Goals for Clinger during the next fiscal year include developing initiatives with regional partners to reduce homelessness and mitigate its impacts on downtown, developing initiatives that foster a culture of innovation and problem solving by employees, determine the best use of downtown assets and improve its image, and to further connect downtown to the University of Nevada, Reno. Attacking homelessness is an ongoing effort, Clinger said.
“I don’t know if you ever get to the point you’re done with this,” Clinger said.
The Council unanimously agreed to raise Clinger’s pay 3 percent to $201,642 next fiscal year, along with a $500 per month automobile allowance.