In a recent development on the John Skeel case, the El Dorado Hills Community Services District Board of Directors released its general manager’s disputed 90-day written performance evaluation from his personnel file last week.
During the Aug. 23 meeting Skeel claimed that the evaluation in his file contained far more negative feedback than the one used during a closed session performance review on April 14, 2011.
It identifies seven areas where Skeel was meeting board expectations and 14 areas where he was not.
The released review praises Skeel’s leadership, his willingness to engage with the staff and the community and his efforts to understand situations prior to initiating decisions. It states that he has “formulated plans for future and starting to provide some direction,” and has met with stakeholders in the community and the board to better understand the “organization, issues and opportunities.”
But the evaluation also contains pronounced criticisms of Skeel: vague communications (especially with the board), a promised operations report never delivered, lack of suggestions to increase revenue, increased staffing costs without ROI analysis, failure to schedule committee meetings, over concern with “review and performance,” under concern with direction, too many time-consuming one-on-one meeting requests, failure to participate in a chamber of commerce event, poor listening and e-mail skills, accepting one person’s opinion rather than seeking other advice, a tendency to blame others and failure to define priorities and goals.
Skeel’s attorney Ellen Arabian Lee reiterated last week that the evaluation the board is now pointing to was not the document used during Skeel’s April evaluation.
In April, “Mr. Gertsch handed out and read a document which was nothing more than a bulleted list of items,” she wrote via e-mail.
“The bullets consisted of items such as e-mails that board members (primarily Ms. Mattock) had sent to Mr. Skeel, and issues which they had discussed previously and resolved.”
She said the list, unlike the board’s evaluation document, contained no examples, was not presented as an evaluation “and certainly not a formal ‘90-day evaluation,’ but simply as board feedback for Mr. Skeel.”
She confirmed that Gertsch collected the copies and said, “He would get rid of them or something to that effect.”
The document in question is neither dated nor signed, a fact not lost on Arabian-Lee. “We have not heard any statements from the other board members corroborating Mr. Gertsch’s recollection that this was indeed the document presented to Mr. Skeel on April 14,” she said.
Arabian-Lee also commented on the accusation that Skeel cancelled Human Resources Manager Tracy Lynn Lowry’s previously scheduled vacation.
“Skeel doesn’t recall deleting a vacation request pertaining to anyone,” she said, adding the caveat, “If there is something in the computer showing that Tracey Lynn’s vacation was deleted from the calendar on June 10 by Mr. Skeel, then all he can say is that he … was not aware that he had deleted or cancelled anything.”
Skeel was unaware of any concern that he allegedly deleted her vacation on the calendar, she said. “It is our understanding that the vacation was shortly thereafter put back onto Tracey Lynn’s calendar and there was no harm to Tracey Lynn or her vacation to Mr. Skeel’s knowledge.”