Hogansville city manager gets mixed results on review

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hogansville City Manager David Milliron received drastically different scores from city council members during his annual review in June. 

Milliron, who accepted the job in September 2017, received an overall score of 3.58 from the council and mayor, which does little to speak to the overall picture of the review. Each council member, Mayor Bill Stankiewicz and Hogansville city staff graded Milliron in a 48-question survey on a scale from 1 to 5, with “1” being weakest and “5” being strongest. 

Councilman Fred Higgins gave Milliron a grade of “5” on all 48 questions and wrote in the comments section that Milliron “is the best thing that has happened to Hogansville in all my years!” Mayor Pro Tempore Theresa Strickland gave Milliron a score of “1” on 43 of the 48 questions, averaging out to a 1.31. Strickland did not write any comments on her review, and she declined an interview with The LaGrange Daily News related to her scores. 

“The purpose of an evaluation is to get honest and constructive feedback so that you can do a better job serving the community,” said Milliron, who added he was not surprised by the results. “Anyone who sees the questions and sees the responses knows that not all responses were reflective of what I have done here or what we have accomplished as a team in Hogansville. You have to toss out the outliers and go with the majority as to where you focus your efforts in trying to move the city forward, but we will never be able to move the city forward until there is trust among the council and their administrator.”

Milliron said he feels like he has a good working relationship with the council overall, but noted exceptions to this.

“Are there personality conflicts with at least one of the members? Absolutely. We have tried to work through those issues and unfortunately, we have made no real progress,” Milliron said. “And that’s not just from me. I believe others on the council share some of the frustration.”

Milliron received two separate scores from each council member as a result of the review. One score came from the average of the 48-question survey, while the other was an overall score.

The questions on the review ranged from “are you comfortable with the city manager’s approach to budget preparation and review?” to “is the city manager honest and ethical?”

The scores given by Stankiewicz (4.85, 5) and councilmen George Bailey (4.42, 4) and Reginald Jackson (3.26, 3.5) all returned an above average assessment. 

“He has brought his expertise and experience to the city of Hogansville and is shining a new light on different things, such as social media,” Jackson said. 

“We haven’t ever seen that done, as far as handling city business and putting it out there.”

Jackson said Milliron has gotten better about getting information to the council, but that is an area where he could continue to improve. 

“Overall, I think he’s done a good job,” Jackson said. “He’s an asset, but we can all improve. I can manage better myself, and we as a council can do that, and he can improve as well.”

Like Strickland, councilman Marichal Price graded Milliron below average, with an average score of 2.51 and an overall score of 2. Price wrote that Milliron, “needs to inform the council before Facebook” on his assessment. 

Milliron gave himself an overall score of “4” in his review and city staff gave him a 4.4 score. In his personal assessment, Milliron noted achievements such as the adoption of the downtown masterplan and acquisition of the PNC building, which may one day house Hogansville City Hall. 

Stankiewicz, in a memo to the council on June 28, noted the points discussed with Milliron during his review. 

In that memo, achievements included Milliron’s good connections within the municipal community and his knowledge of the information required to do the job. 

Among the areas for future development listed was the need to be “less of a journalist,” which is Milliron’s former occupation. Milliron was also asked to be more concise, use less acronyms, check on mandated police training that may not have been completed and to “not bash the past so much.”