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Performance anxiety abounds

From the moment we are born until the day we die, someone somewhere is evaluating our performance.

So why, in this era of governmental transparency and against state law, is City Manager David Fraser upset with Tuesday’s open review of his performance?

Before the job-performance evaluations began, he complained, stating he thinks “open evaluations are inappropriate.”

However, City Attorney Dave Olsen, who received far more criticism during his last performance review, welcomed the opportunity, knowing he had listened to what council members had said and made changes.

Good for him.

Fraser, who said council members would not like it if their job performances were evaluated in public, was clearly not thinking about how their actions and work are actually judged every time one of their constituents heads to the ballot box or sits in the gallery during their bimonthly meetings.

Politicians and city leaders are constantly under scrutiny, especially as elections approach. Daily, thousands of calls are made to registered voters asking them who they plan to vote for or to give an approval rating of a politician’s performance. Isn’t that a type of evaluation?

The results of these surveys and polls are almost always made public.

So are many other types of performance reviews, if you stop to think about it.

As babies learn new skills, even something as simple as sitting up, their parents celebrate these accomplishments through calls to relatives and posts on social media.

When babies become children and head to school, star students are singled out to share their “A grade” work with fellow students. In performing arts classes, those who excel are given starring roles and solos. These, too, are public evaluations.

And once those children grow up to become adults and continue to perform in concerts, movies and plays, their performances are regularly reviewed by critics. In fact, critical reviews are often crucial to them advancing their art or getting accolades in the form of Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Academy awards.

Putting star performers aside, on an everyday level people constantly review performances, just maybe not in the same way you would think about what a review is.

For example, whenever a person chooses to buy something, he or she is making a choice to praise the performance of the manufacturer or retailer or service provider. When you get a new Ford or a Honda, you are essentially giving a positive review or vote of approval to Ford or Honda.

Granted, those purchases are not always the best choices and sometimes we have to make repairs or returns. Yet, if you stop to think about it, isn’t that kinda the same as getting a job-performance evaluation and being told there are areas where you need to make improvements?

No one likes being told they are not doing a good job, especially in front of others. Would the complaints still exist if they were expecting glowing reviews? Perhaps. But that should have been a consideration when making a career choice. If you enter the public sector, expect the public to watch and comment on what you do.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.