Fort Smith Administrator Ray Gosack discovered on Tuesday (July 10) that his job performance will once again be under review by the Fort Smith Board of Directors.
The request was made and seconded by City Directors Steve Tyler and Pam Weber, respectively, and follows a May review in which the board publicly acknowledged Gosack’s performance in the position was satisfactory.
What has changed that would require a second executive session just two months later, now scheduled for the July 17 regular board meeting?
Tyler isn’t saying.
“I just think it’s time that we reviewed personnel matters. I can’t really say any more than that,” the Ward 1 Director, who is not running for re-election in November, told The City Wire after Tuesday’s (July 10) study session.
When asked if Tyler’s motion was a surprise, Gosack said, “Yes, it is,” and said he has “no clue” why the item was added to the agenda.
Ward 3 Director Don Hutchings, who is also not seeking re-election, said he was puzzled by the request, and voiced those feelings to Tyler during the Tuesday study session.
“We just did this two months ago. Why now?”
Tyler did not answer.
“What, am I out of order for asking that this be open for discussion? It’s a study session. We can talk about things,” Hutchings continued.
But since the motion was made for executive session at the next meeting, Hutchings’ request was denied.
The City Wire submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Tyler for any records of contact shared between him and Gosack as well as any records of contact between Tyler and citizens or other City Directors concerning Gosack for the period of time beginning May 1, and was told by Tyler that there is “no documentation of anything” requested.
ANIMAL ADVISORY ‘GRILLING’
Also on Tuesday, the Animal Services Advisory Board (ASAB) received criticism from City Director Kevin Settle for veering off from the objectives it was tasked with in March.
Settle told ASAB chairperson Cheryl Gilmore that “the grilling of the (Sebastian County) Humane Society Director in a public forum,” which according to Settle occurred at a June meeting, was “not what the Board of Directors requested” from ASAB members.
Gilmore said she had “apologized repeatedly to (SCHS Executive Director) JoAnn (Barton)” for her “tone” at the meeting in question.
“I’m on their side and the animals’ side,” Gilmore added.
Regardless, Settle believes the group should “get back to the advisory part of this instead of trying to rewrite decisions we’ve already made.”
The “rewrite” reference to which Settle referred was a criticism of the ASAB for going back to the issue of mandatory spay-and-neuter, which the board had previously rejected. Settle, responding to the group’s Tuesday report, told members to focus solely on the Animal Service Task Force recommendations that received board approval in March.
The ASAB has yet to confirm a date for its final report.
2012 BUDGET PROJECTIONS
Finally on Tuesday, Fort Smith Finance Director Kara Bushkuhl reviewed the unaudited budget report through the end of 2012 and projected the following results.
Sanitation operating fund: estimated revenues of $12.345 million, estimated expenses and encumbrances of $12.271 million
Water and sewer operating fund: estimated revenues of $39.021 million, estimated expenses and encumbrances of $39.384 million
Street fund: estimated revenues of $6.241 million, estimated expenses and encumbrances of $6.757 million
General fund: estimated revenues of $39.825 million, estimated expenses and encumbrances of $42.261 million
Bushkuhl said “possible 2013 goals,” as advised by City Directors, will include “supporting construction and operation of a homeless campus” and “providing recreation opportunities through two softball fields and an aquatics center at Ben Geren Park; a softball tournament complex at Chaffee Crossing; and a riverfront soccer complex.”