The Scottsdale City Council said the self-evaluations of City Manager Jan Dolan and three other high-ranking officials should not be released to the public, saying the employees wrote the reviews with the impression they would remain private.
The council vote Tuesday was requested by Councilman Bob Littlefield, who along with Councilmen Jim Lane and Tony Nelssen have been critical of the review process that has produced no written documentation pertaining to the job reviews of Dolan, City Clerk Carolyn Jagger, City Attorney Deborah Robberson and City Auditor Cheryl Dreska, but did result in raises for the four employees.
The vote Tuesday was 3-3 not to release the documents, which council members on both sides of the decision described as “benign.”
“It was clear to them it would be confidential ... and it’s not right to go back and change the rules,” Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross said.
Dolan told the council Tuesday she did not remember if she was told her review would be kept private.
“I’ve put the whole process behind me and have moved on with managing the affairs of the city,” Dolan said.
Robberson said she remembers being told the review would be private and said she marked hers “confidential.” Jagger and Dreska did not comment at the meeting.
Manross, Councilman Wayne Ecton and Councilwoman Betty Drake agreed with city-hired lawyers that the selfevaluations do not need to be released. Littlefield, Lane and Nelssen voted to release the document. Councilman Ron McCullagh was absent from Tuesday’s meeting because of the death of his mother.
“I don’t understand why it’s such a problem,” Lane said.
The city has denied the Tribune’s Dec. 1 request to release the self-evaluations. Dan Barr of Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, an attorney representing the Tribune, has sent two letters to a law firm obtained by Scottsdale demanding the selfevaluations be released.
The latest letter sent Monday reminded Scottsdale of the Tribune’s past successful bid to obtain Officer Kevin Baxter’s performance evaluation. In that case, the city was ordered to pay the Tribune $24,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
In a Jan. 25 letter sent to Barr, Susan Goodwin of the firm Curtis, Goodwin, Sullivan, Udall & Schwab wrote that there was a risk the officials could not be honest and candid if the reviews were open to the public, and could choose not to identify problems that need to be addressed.