New leaders earns praise

FAIRMONT – One year into the job and Fairmont’s new city administrator received a positive performance evaluation this month.

At its June 10 meeting, the council went into a closed session to discuss Mike Humpal’s progress in leadership, management, communication, problem-solving, innovation skills and personal effectiveness.

The overall consensus presented Monday is that Humpal is “doing a good job.”

Prior to the closed session, each council member had individually evaluated Humpal’s performance. Some of the positive observations about his work included:

o a noticeable difference in city employees since he took leadership;

o a smooth transition into the city administrator role;

o improvements in communication in the past six months;

o his open-minded attitude to change;

o his reaction to the concerns of the council and accessibility;

o his success in negotiating the city’s farm leases.

The council asked that Humpal continue to immediately communicate city issues to the council, and also continue to have a strong community presence and profile to communicate city issues to the public.

One concern voiced was to make sure City Codes and enforcement do not create a competitive disadvantage for Fairmont with other surrounding communities.

“Perception continues to be a deterrent to growth in Fairmont,” read Councilman Wes Clerc, who presented the findings from the performance evaluation.

Council members also asked Humpal to involve them more in the budget process as they move closer to planning for 2014. Similarly, the council wants to hold a minimum of two work sessions per year for a deeper discussion of city issues, direction and needs.

“Thank you, Mike, for your leadership and the job you have done during the past year in keeping our city moving forward,” Clerc said. “As a council, we look forward to working with you to grow our community and make Fairmont a great place to live.”

Running the city of Fairmont is a huge undertaking, Humpal said, noting he would not be as effective without his management team and quality staff in every department.

No pay increase was recommended with the evaluation, since Humpal is on a salary plan, similar to other city employees. His annual salary is $128,000.