City Manager Tony Graff has been on the job for a couple of years now and the Menominee City Council is just getting around to figuring out what his goals and objectives should be. One would think that his goals and objectives should have been thrashed out at the time of his hiring.

The council recently huddled as a committee of the whole to exchange ideas about the manager’s to-do list. The city manager is supposed to be running the day-to-day operations of the city, but the city council is still the boss and ultimately responsible for a game plan. This is where the items of priority are laid out.

Alderman William “Bill” Plemel, who has been around city hall longer than any other member of the council, told his colleagues he sought input from each member of the council on what they thought should be the goals of the city manager. Plemel is chairman of the council’s Judicial and Legislative/Personnel and Labor Committee. The alderman said this is one way of getting the manager and the council on the same page.

According to Plemel, the city hasn’t had a goals/objective sheet for the city manager since 2008 “or something like that.” He said the city needs to develop such a plan.

One alderman suggested coming up with a 10-goal plan, but Plemel wasn’t receptive to the idea. He pointed out that when setting a 10-goal plan usually means three or four get done at a time. In Plemel’s mind, balancing the budget should be the top priority on the list.

Mayor Jean Stegeman said one of the top goals should be for the city manager to be more active in reviewing the status of department heads. She preferred department heads be reviewed at least once a year, but if there is a new hire, it should be done semi-annually. She claimed the review process is not getting done.

Alderman Frank Pohlmann, another veteran of the council, said the city manager needs one single document and not nine separate lists to proceed.

We think Alderman Doug Robinson made a valid point when he stressed that balancing the budget should be the top goal of the council, but balancing the budget is not growth. He said the city council should be looking at ways to provide growth for the city.

Some good ideas were tossed around at the committee of the whole session. Mayor Stegeman said the task of preparing a more unified list of goals and objectives will be in the hands of the mayor and Plemel’s Judicial and Legislative/Personnel Committee.

While we applaud the recent action of the council to set up a priority list, we can’t help but wonder why it took so long. We join Menominee citizens in hoping the list is completed as soon as possible and that it results in some growth and development in the city.