Longboat commissioners pleased with Harmer's performance
Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer, finishing up his first year as its top administrator, received perfect scores from four commissioners in his first job evaluation from the town's elected officials
Using a scale of 3 (exceeds expectations) to 0 (unacceptable performance), the commissioners rated Harmer on administration, managing information, community relations, commission relations, professionalism, personality traits and interpersonal skills and special projects. Each category had specific questions relating to the topic.
Harmer, who recently closed on a home in town, took over the job in December 2017, replacing Dave Bullock, who retired.
Among the job accomplishments cited by Harmer in his first year on the job include getting a new charter approved, the fire station referendum passed, implementing a code enforcement citation process and starting “Town Manager Briefs,” a monthly update on the town’s web site, as well as getting an emergency demolition order for the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort buildings.
"We have a number of projects that allowed me to jump right in and also meet many of our residents early into my first year," he said. "That has helped me understand what makes Longboat Key special and also to get personally involved in helping learn more about the town and have a hands-on opportunity with some of our key initiatives."
Mayor George Spoll, Vice Mayor Ed Zunz along with commissioners Irwin Pastor and Ken Schneier gave Harmer straight 3s in their evaluations.
“Seamless turnover in this important position,” wrote Zunz in his evaluation.
Harmer’s contract with the town pays him $187,000 annually and runs from Dec. 11, 2017 to 2022 with an automatic three-year extension. After 2025, the contract renewals are yearly. The town is not obligated to give him a raise.
Commissioner Jim Brown gave Harmer straight scores of 2. But, Brown was in no way critical of Harmer, writing “Tom is doing a
good job considering the time he has been on the job.”
Pastor wrote that Harmer is always accessible and has made a concerted effort to participate in community activities.
Harmer, Schneier wrote, is a quick learner.
“Tom quickly learned the tone and background of Longboat Key, making him an effective leader for projects that began before he arrived. We are fortunate to have a manager of his experience and talents.”
Both Randy Clair and Jack Daly scored Harmer with mix of 3s and 2s.
Clair gave Harmer a 2 – meets expectations - on reliable decisions when it comes to the town’s plans to put its utility lines in the ground. Overall, Clair gave Harmer 44 3s and three 2s, for an average of 2.93.
“Not sure if reliable decisions have been made with respect to the underground projects which involve complex interplay and timing,” Clair wrote. “Only time will tell when the project is completed. The completion of the ongoing underground projects will have a bearing on future ratings."
Daly, meanwhile, gave Harmer 41 3s and eight 2s, for an average of 2.83 He too cited his concerns about the undergrounding project.
“Overseeing the budgeting and construction of the two undergrounding projects will be a strong indication of the management skills of the new town manager,” Daly wrote.