Escambia County

Evaluation forms show Oliver in for a rough Thursday

October 16, 2012

The Escambia County commissioners were asked to complete evaluation forms. They were asked to rate County Administrator Randy Oliver in the areas of supervision, leadership, execution of policy, community relations, administrative duties, economic development, intergovernmental functions, county-council relations, planning and financial management/budget. Rating scale was 1-5, with a boxes for comments:

1: Unacceptable-Unsatisfactory performance
2: Conditional-Requires improvement
3: Satisfactory-Meets Commission expectations
4: Exceptional-Generally exceeds Commission expectations
5: Outstanding-Substantially exceed Commission expectations

Commissioner Marie Young gave Oliver all 5’s. Her final comments were directed to Oliver: “Again, this has been another great year and, of course, my last. I have enjoyed working with you. You’ve shown great leadership and have helped this county in many ways.” See 3372_Comm. Marie K. Young, District 3

Commissioner Grover Robinson’s scores averaged out to a 4.0. He gave Oliver 5’s for Planning and Financial Management. He gave him a 3 in Community Relations. He wrote, “This is a tough job. Randy is not perfect but who can be with five demanding bosses? I think he does a great job for the people of Escambia County. He needs to continue to improve in those areas designated.” See 3372_Comm. Grover C. Robinson, IV, District 4.

Commissioner Kevin White gave Oliver an average score of 2.6. He gave Oliver a 4 in Financial Management/Budget, but only 2’s in Supervision, Leadership, Community Relations, Administrative Duties, Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations. “There are still concerns with personnel issues being handled in a professional, timely and adequate manner,” wrote White. “He does not seem to be open-minded to other ideas.” See3372_Comm. Kevin W. White, District 5

Commissioner Wilson Robertson, the commission chair, didn’t rate Oliver in any of the areas, but gave one- and two-sentence comments–sometimes only one word. Robertson had no knowledge of Oliver’s performance in Supervision or Execution of Policy. He wrote he believes the county administrator has high ethics and he allows staff to handle operations. He believes that Oliver hasn’t done enough in economic development or done well with county-city relations. See 3372_Comm. Wilson B. Robertson, Chairman, District 1.

Commissioner Gene Valentino refused to use the evaluation form and instead sent in a letter. He did rate Oliver–average score 1.6. The only 3s that Valentino gave Oliver were in council-city relations and financial management. “My observation is that an Administrator finds himself in trouble with the County Commissioners when he gets out ahead of them on matters of policy and when the Commissioners’ personal requests are disregarded,” wrote Valentino. “While commissioners have not interfered with operational activities in his direct control, he seems more isolated from commissioners than collaborative.”

He added, “Moreover, at more than one time he has impugned the integrity and character of a commissioner with other governmental officials, with business leaders and with agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce.” See 3372_Comm. Gene M. Valentino, Vice Chair, District 2

So among the four commissioners that actually used the rating system, Oliver’s performance score averages to be 3.3. If Robertson gave him all 2s, Oliver’s average score would be 3.04—which means he is meeting their expectations.

However, the scores aren’t going to decide this final vote on whether Oliver gets to finish the last year of his contract.

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