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Brooksville city manager earns first A rating

BROOKSVILLE — After nearly five years on the payroll, Brooksville City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha achieved her highest rating ever — a cumulative 4.1 points out of a possible five — in her latest job evaluation.

The A rating, up from the 3.47 C+ rating she earned last year, paves the way for the council to grant Norman-Vacha a one-year extension on her contract.

Norman-Vacha, who was hired in 2007 and makes $89,336 annually, hasn't always had a smooth ride when it comes to dealing with some of her elected bosses.

In 2009, then-City Council member Richard Lewis called for her resignation after alleging numerous instances of what he termed unprofessional behavior in front of city employees and for giving too-generous contract perks to police Chief George Turner.

Others, including council member Joe Bernardini and Mayor Joe Johnston, have also been critical of her job performance.

In her latest evaluation, Norman-Vacha earned "exceeds expectations" or "outstanding" marks in all eight categories from Vice Mayor Lara Bradburn and council members Frankie Burnett and Kevin Hohn, all of whom praised her for trimming waste from the city budget without sacrificing city services.

"Once again, your leadership has been key to the process," Bradburn wrote in her summary.

However, Bernardini, who has often criticized Norman-Vacha for her management style and lack of desire to keep council members informed about city business, gave her only a cumulative 2.5 rating.

In his written review, Bernardini praised Norman-Vacha for her efforts in facilitating several city projects but bluntly criticized the way she treats city employees.

"Termination, rather than remediation, seems to be your choice of discipline," he wrote. "Berating and intimidating employees both privately and, in some cases, publicly is unacceptable to me. You should improve on this."

Last year, Norman-Vacha was questioned about her dealings with a subordinate who accused her of verbal abuse and creating a hostile work environment. She was later exonerated.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Brooksville city manager earns first A rating 03/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 8:24pm]
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