A performance review is scheduled for Winona County’s top administrator next week. This year, however, the process differs from past practice, and the evaluation is expected to be completed with the aid of an outside consulting firm.
In the past, Winona County Administrator Duane Hebert was subject to an annual review conducted internally. The process used in previous evaluations, called a “360 review,” was conducted by county commissioners, plus several select members of the administration and staff who worked closely with Hebert. The completed forms were then given to commissioners, who met with Hebert in a closed meeting to discuss the results. The law requires the board chair to present a summary of the evaluation at the next public regular county board meeting.
Assistant County Administrator/Personnel Director Maureen Holte said the new process was chosen for several reasons. “We want to make sure that we are having a valuable process and a fair process, to ensure everyone is heard throughout,” she said. Although the move was apparently due to a desire for a process in which “all voices are heard,” Holte said that didn’t mean there had been problems in the past with the internal performance review. She said Hebert and the commissioners had discussed using a different process following a past evaluation of his job.
The consultant is expected to interview commissioners and a small group of county staff members, then compile the results into a report that will be presented to the county board during a closed meeting on November 27. Holte did not provide a cost estimate for the consulting service by press time.