Durango City Council looks to give better direction to staff

In my April editorial, I noted that change is in the air.

Durango has a new City Council, with fresh ideas, open minds and a willingness to challenge the status quo. We recently gathered for a day-and-a-half retreat. It was a valuable opportunity to establish council priorities and lay the groundwork for the proactive, collaborative and transparent leadership this council is committed to providing.

We discussed many ideas that will benefit all residents of Durango, but in my opinion, one of the most practical and potentially game-changing discussions at this retreat focused on two agenda items, entitled “Strategic Planning, Council Goals and Employee Goals” and “Establishing a Process for a Future Evaluation System for the City Manager, City Attorney and Municipal Judge.”

To provide a little background, the city of Durango is a $92 million enterprise with over 350 employees on the payroll. Three of those employees work directly with, and for, City Council.

The city manager’s job is to carry out the policies and projects of City council. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the city and appoints department directors and staff. The city attorney provides legal advice and prepares agreements, ordinances and contracts. The municipal judge enforces municipal law.

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