Norwich - The City Council started its evaluation of City Manager Alan Bergren Thursday, with a brief review of the process followed by a closed-door session to rank Bergren on issues ranging from leadership and communication to work skills.
Consultant Randi Frank is guiding the evaluation process, a service that was included in her 2007 contract with the city when the council was conducting the search for a new city manager. Bergren was hired in December 2007.
Bergren earns $125,000 per year and has not received a raise since the 2009-10 fiscal year.
Frank had distributed evaluation forms to the six aldermen and Mayor Peter Nystrom ahead of Thursday's meeting to rank Bergren from 1 to 4 in 10 categories such as leadership, communication skills, initiative and work characteristics.
He received ratings of B or better in many categories in April 2011, the council's last evaluation of him.
Frank said aldermen filled out the forms without their names and would discuss the new rankings in executive session Thursday. She will compile a report based on the discussion and the numerical rankings and submit it to the council for review and approval at a future council meeting. The evaluation will become public once it is completed.
Aldermen also were prepared Thursday to discuss a list of nine goals the council had set for Bergren during the 2011 evaluation.
Those included consolidating city departments and reviewing the pension plan as the top two goals. Others were bringing more police downtown, cleaning up blight, working with Norwich Public Utilities on economic development and promoting clean energy technologies.
Aldermen said they wanted more communication from Bergren on city issues, including recent financial difficulties faced by the city ice rink.
City officials addressed some of those goals with major new initiatives this year.
The city finance department raised concern this spring over growing deficits at the city ice rink, and the council exerted more control over the Ice Rink Authority, appointing Council President Pro Tempore Francois "Pete" Desaulniers to the authority. He has since been named chairman.
The city budget also beefed up community policing in downtown, Greeneville and Taftville and added security cameras to Greeneville and downtown.