STEUBENVILLE - City Council members are set to conduct a job performance evaluation of City Manager Cathy Davison today as they decide if they will offer her a contract extension.
Davison is in the third and final year of her three-year agreement that will expire on March 15.
"The council members will sit down Wednesday afternoon to talk about issues and at some point we will ask Cathy Davison to join us," said 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich following Tuesday night's regular council meeting.
Lalich said the evaluation will be held in executive session.
Council gave Davison a generally favorable job review following an evaluation on March 20 and encouraged Davison to focus on building the city's water customers and attracting business to the downtown.
"We told Cathy she needs to focus on water. We need more water customers and we need to look at lowering water rates. We also need better management of our water system so we are more efficient," Lalich said following the March evaluation session.
"I think Cathy has done a good job during the past two years. There are some things she needs to change and we reviewed those things. We want her to focus on her economic skills and to work on development of our city's South End area. We also want her to work with Progress Alliance to bring more business to the community," stated 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf after the last evaluation meeting.
"She has strong points and weak points, but Cathy listened to us and hopefully she will continue to strengthen her strong points and strengthen her weak points," noted 2nd Ward Councilman Rick Perkins at that time.
"We explained to her we have until Sept. 15 to renew or not renew a new contract with her. That is when we will have to start contract negotiations with her," added Lalich.
Davison was offered the city manager's job in January 2010 following three days of interviews with City Council and a citizens review committee. She started her job on March 15.
City Council also met in a one-hour executive session prior to Tuesday's meeting to discuss offers of free legal help regarding the unofficial city logo that has come under scrutiny by the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, Wis.
Law Director S. Gary Repella said council will make a final decision on the logo issue at Tuesday's council meeting.
During the hour-long meeting, council approved emergency legislation authorizing a contract with FirstEnergy Solutions to purchase electrical energy at a competitive rate.
"This will save the city $216,000 and is a great opportunity for cost savings and a fiscally responsible program for the city," said Davison.
Council also voted to authorize Davison to advertise for proposals and quotes for a total water meter replacement program.
Fifth Ward Councilman Willie Paul voted against the ordinance and said the city has not yet completed the 10-year-old plan to install remote water meters on the exterior of buildings.
"I think we need to take this a little slower. I believe there are other ways to save money and we should look at all options," said Paul.
Council authorized the city manager to advertise for bids for professional engineering construction administration services, including inspection and testing services for the Brady Avenue and University Boulevard resurfacing improvement project and the John Scott Highway and Mall Drive improvements.
Several finance ordinances, including amendments to the current appropriations legislation as well as a revenue tax budget for the remainder of 2012, were heard by council members.
But emergency legislation to transfer $50,000 from the city's safety fund to the general fund was questioned by city resident Lori Mason.
"I don't get this. You have cash now. What are you going to do next year? Why is this an emergency?" questioned Mason.
"The council has made the decision to allow overtime in the police department to provide continued and extra safety services for our residents, our businesses and visitors to our community," responded Davison.
A resolution of support for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce plans to erect a new entrance sign to the city at the Washington Street and state Route 7 intersection was approved unanimously.
Civil Service Commission Chairperson Delores Wiggins asked city department heads to not request advertising for jobs, "if you don't intend to hire someone. It costs us money to advertise for tests and to administer those tests."
A finance committee meeting is set for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday for a discussion on allowing paid advertising on the city's sanitation packer trucks.
And, Metcalf asked for a building and grounds committee meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss vacating a city lot in the South End, accepting a property donation and the possible lease of office space in City Hall.