A detailed letter from Ada City Council to City Manager David Hathcoat calls for progress and change.
The letter outlines multiple items for correctiona nd advises that councilors will meet quarterly to discuss the city manager’s performance and progress. Ada Mayor Dick Scalf said the measurement of success would be defined by city council. Vice Mayor Matt Layton said the letter is to provide direction to the council as well as the city manager.
“This is just as much a to-do list for the city council as it is to the city manager,” Layton said. “I didn’t think we could sit down and write the city manager a to-do list unless we also held ourselves responsible for that same to do list.”
He said the letter’s outline was initially written by Councilman Greg McCortney and included input from all council members.
Among the items in the letter is an item stating correction of the city’s employment policies is needed.
“Legally, the way that the city is set up, city council has no authority to go to a department head and tell the department head to do anything,” McCortney said. “The only thing we can do is manage the city manager. That was merely our statement to say we’re going to manage you and we want you to be active in managing the rest of the city staff.”
Layton said councilors can review and update the employee handbook and regulations.
“I think it’s a review of what’s going on and making sure there are mechanisms in place to implement the required disciplinary actions,” he said.
Another item calls for openness to new ideas from city staff.
“We have many long-term employees in leadership positions whose history and experience are invaluable to the daily operations of the city,” the letter said. “But, many times some of those same individuals are the ones most opposed to change.”
Layton said the language is intended for all city employees and not anyone specifically.
“We’ve got a lot of long-term employees and I think a lot of times the idea is, ‘Well, we’ve tried that in the past and it didn’t work,’” he said. “I think that’s the mentality and the mindset that, especially with this document, we’re trying to break through.”
Hathcoat could not be reached for comment by press time.