City manager gets high marks on annual evaluation

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Denison City Council recently gave City Manager Jud Rex high ratings on his annual performance evaluation.

In early October, the City Council submitted its evaluation of City Manager Jud Rex and approved a salary increase and other bonuses for his performance on the job. The Denison City Council recently gave the city manager a stellar grade on its annual evaluation.

"Fantastic job and a true pleasure to work with someone who is invested and cares deeply for our community," City Council Member Brian Hander wrote in his review of the city manager.

The evaluation covers 42 items and asked the council to rate Rex's performance on a scale of one through five, which is described as "measurable and lasting improvements in organizational performance."

The evaluations were acquired by the Herald Democrat through a Freedom of Information Request. In responses to the request, the city released the three evaluations that were submitted by only members of the council.

In his evaluation, Hander gave Rex a perfect score with fives in every category. 

"(Rex) has been very supportive of thinking outside the box to, 'get to yes'," Hander wrote in his comments. "This is key to helping advance Denison in new ways."

While not criticizing Rex's performance, Hander listed several items he would like to see as focuses of the city manager in the upcoming year. Among these goals are increased pedestrian accessibility options, improvements to the planning department, and work on training a new assistant city manager.

Like Hander, Council Member J.C. Doty  gave  Rex a perfect score. However, Doty did not concerns about the condition of the Katy Practice Fields on Crawford Street and a lack of improvement over the past year.

"This issue was a priority last year and it appears little to nothing has been done," Doty wrote. "It looks bad and is on one of our main corridors to downtown."

Doty also noted that he would like to see customer-friendly improvements to the city's website.

Council Member Kris Spiegel was the one member of the board to not give Rex a perfect score. Spiegel gave Rex a four in three categories, which indicates that Rex "contributes more than effective performance of the essential functions and enhances the performances of self and others."

The three categories where Rex did not score top points were related to development of job skills of employees, delegation of tasks and effective evaluation of the performance of subordinates.

However, Spiegel gave no other comments on the evaluation.

Along with filing the evaluation, the council voted to increase Rex's salary by $5,000, or 2.9 percent, annually. In addition to this, the council approved a $100 increase in the city manager's vehicle allowance, bringing it to $600 a month, and a one-time bonus of $12,000.