Town of Palm Beach News

Town Manager Tom Bradford Gets His Goals From Town Council

Having received positive reviews for his performance thus far, Town Manager Tom Bradford has officially been given his priorities for the upcoming year by elected officials.

The staff is responsible for suggesting the goals for the year, while Mayor Gail Coniglio and Town Council members can contribute individually. The goals are compiled and scored by Council members, selected into a list of top five, then adopted by a majority vote.

Town Manager since January 2015, Bradford received strong marks from the Town of Palm Beach Town Council and Mayor for his performance last year, which was his first year as the town’s top administrator. He repeated his high performance ratings again in 2016 and was awarded a 2% raise in December, bringing his salary to $202,878 a year.

On April 13, 2017 the Council approved this year’s list of top five goals:

* Establish a 2017-18 general funding budget, without reducing service levels, that will project less than the long-term financial plan forecasts for the year.

* Create a method for financing plans and initial assessments for the town-wide underground utilities conversion, and hire an Underground Utilities Coordinator after the Council finalizes authorization for construction.

* Improve enforcement of rules pertaining to construction-related parking and job-site traffic. 

* Draw up a master plan for the town docks which due for replacement in the next few years.

* Draw up a master plan for a new recreation center.

Bradford believes that the goals are indeed priorities but stated, “just because we have this top five doesn’t mean that’s the only thing we do through the year.”

Job Performance Ratings

In December 2016, Coniglio and the Council members conducted Bradford’s annual job performance evaluation. At that time, Michael Pucillo held the seat now occupied by Julie Araskog, who was elected in the February town election after Pucillo decided against seeking another term.

Elected officials ranked Bradford across ten categories, on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), in areas such as professional skills, relations with elected officials, fiscal management and supervision. Each category contained a minimum of five subcategories.

Bradford was also ranked on his implementation of last year’s top-five goals which included: initiating the utility under-grounding program, developing and retaining future leaders in the public safety departments, maintaining coastal protection, completing the comprehensive plan update; with an eye toward how West Palm Beach’s growth impacts the town, and facilitating community engagement in a new recreation center.

The majority of the elected officials consistently rated Bradford “above average” or “excellent” in multiple categories across the board. Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay was his toughest critic, rating him a 3 (average) in the fiscal management category, and on his performance on the under-grounding and comprehensive plan goals.

Lindsay gave Bradford a 2 (below average) rating on facilitating community engagement with the recreation center; the only low mark he received, noting “There should have been more transparency and openness in the process,” in her comments.

Town Manager Tom Bradford Gets His Goals From Town Council

Other Council members also contributed written comments, however Coniglio’s comments were given verbally so there is no written record.

Lindsay also called for more transparency on the budget and finances, as well as the under-grounding initiative. However, she praised Bradford for his thorough knowledge of the details of the town, calling him “approachable, empathetic, a good listener.”

Council President Richard Kleid credited Bradford for his work ethic, who wrote, “You’re a hard worker, judging from your after-hours telephone calls and late nights, and weekend replies to emails.”

Councilwoman Danielle Moore praised Bradford for his professional approach, but called for “continued improvement in public education.”

Pucillo wrote that Bradford “deals with citizens well,” but believes he could improve at reporting important or developing issues to the Council.

Councilwoman Margaret Zeidman also called for improvement in Bradford’s communications to the Council about the budget and finances when she wrote, “I would like to be informed of areas of financial weakness early on.”

Ziedman cited Bradford’s strengths, complimenting “his facility with vast amounts of information and his calm and steady manner…” While expressing concern with the overall scope of his position when she wrote,“I am concerned the town manager’s responsibilities are so exhaustive that adding responsibilities might prove to be unmanageable.”

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Jess specializes in local news coverage. She is a hands on reporter attending every event and meeting she can in the community.


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