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Wells fires city administrator

By Staff | Apr 1, 2013

The city administrator of Wells didn’t make it to his six-month job performance evaluation next month.

Instead, the City Council will be looking to hire someone because of action taken at its meeting Monday night.

After being in closed-session for nearly 30 minutes, Councilwoman Ashley Seedorf made a motion to fire Steve Bloom effective immediately.

“It’s for failure to improve in areas of a performance evaluation done Feb. 21,” she says.

Bloom was not at the meeting, which surprised some on the council.

“I’m sorry he wasn’t here to answer some of our questions,” says Councilmember Gary Robbins.

Behind closed doors, the council discussed a complaint Mayor Ron Gaines and Councilwoman Ann Marie Schuster filed against Bloom.

The council was reluctant to provide a copy of the complaint without consulting with City Attorney David Frundt, who was on vacation.

“It’s all about job performance,” Gaines says of the three-page document.

Under state law, a public agency must release on request, “data documenting the basis of the disciplinary action.”

Last February, the council evaluated Bloom’s job performance and made a list of areas they felt improvement was needed. They included:

better time management;

being on time for important meetings;

prioritizing duties within different departments;

weekly communication with staff;

long-term city projects and goals should be part of meeting agenda;

provide weekly updates for new projects;

and, involving the staff more to handle questions and problems to free up his time for other duties.

At that time, Frundt said the council’s concerns would be addressed at a later date.

Schuster suggested that should take place at Bloom’s evaluation scheduled in April.

“Things weren’t getting done. The way things were going, something had to be done,” says Gaines in explaining the council’s decision to fire Bloom.

Council members weren’t sure when the search for a new administrator will begin or what the hiring process will be.

Gaines says they plan to consult with Frundt on what to do next.