Marko’s (Uncompleted) Goals and Expectations

Posted on November 27, 2010. Filed under: School Board |

Marko’s March 2008 contract, under which he is currently operating, states that contains various “goals and expectations” that he was supposed to have attained. These were the results of extensive review and discussion with our consultant, Bill Mathis. (Mathis memo)

16.1 SHORT AND LONG TERM EXPECTATIONS

MARKO acknowledges that the following short and long-term expectations will be developed into identifiable performance objectives and measurable goals. Until those performance objectives and measurable goals are established, MARKO will strive to fulfill these short and long-term expectations:

Compliance with Contract?

The short and long term expectations contained in Marko’s 2008 contract were never developed into identifiable performance objectives or measurable goals. I also don’t believe that Marko managed to fulfill most of these expectations:

Short term expectations:

(a)   Annually report progress on the School Board’s expectations at a Board Workshop with identifiable action steps (This has not been done);

(b)  Continually review best practices comparisons with other quality districts. Present ideas to the School Board with recommendations for legal services (This has not been done);

(c)   Hire and train new attorney(s) and support staff including experienced paralegal, as necessary and directed by the School Board and the Legal Services Committee and reduce the amount of outside attorneys as much as possible by hiring more attorneys in-house. (While Marko hired a few new attorneys; don’t believe he hired any paralegals; job description for Counsel Emeritus suggests that Marko will work on risk management issues-why not hire a risk management attorney instead?);

(d)  Improve response time to requests from the School Board, Superintendent and staff (board members and staff still complain that his responses are not timely, but, then, again, he hasn’t had an evaluation since 2006);

(e)   Provide input and expedites services to the School Board’s Agenda items where appropriate on content and not merely form. (Board members have complained that Marko’s input is on form, not content; Marko repeatedly states that it is not his job to flyspeck contracts or items from other departments);

(f)   Continue to be active with current Executive Leadership Team in retreats, meetings and training workshops. (If Marko is active here, why does he always appear unprepared at board meetings where these items are being discussed?);

(g)  Provide quarterly reports to the School Board on pending litigation, legislation, budget and activities of the Attorney’s Office (I don’t believe this is provided quarterly);

(h)  Provide a needed link to risk prevention planing with Third Party Administrator and a combined risk reduction effort/plan. (This is one item that Marko put in the job description for the Emeritus position–has he been doing this now?);

(i)    Provide an annual written report to the School Board (January) on budget and activities of the Attorney’s Office (I dont believe this was done, either);

(j)    Prepare an annual training plan for the School Board, Department Directors and Schools as necessary (Marko provides some training for staff in August, very rarely does any training for the Board and when it was done this year, Marko did not provide it, he brought in the Ethics person from Tallahassee only after Gallagher was arrested in September of 2009) (Other than that training, I recall no ethics, public records or Sunshine Law training done by Marko);

(k)  Implement latest technology for attorneys and the legal office (I don’t know if this was done. The attorney that the Board was going to hire, during his interview, mentioned how he had a computerized case management program in his office and Marko seemed to not know that these things existed); and

(l)    Initiate bi-annual legislative updates on laws and procedures affecting the School Board (this has not occurred; also he does not provide updates to Board members on school law issues that could have effect on policies).

Long term expectations:

(a)   Prepare the Legal Department for transition and change in the next two years. Continue to create a positive atmosphere that enhances delivery of services, promotes collegiality and service to the School Board and ELT; (Marko’s preparation for change was to repeatedly ask for contract extensions and delay the hiring of the new counsel)

(b)  Recruitment of quality, experienced attorneys in necessary areas and hiring of new staff to decrease the use of outside attorneys and shift to the use of more in-house attorneys; (still could hire more in-house attorneys and eliminate need for Emeritus)

(c)   Transition to managing and supervision rather than carrying heavy caseload; (I don’t know if he has done this)

(d)  Restructure the office by developing annual goals and clear division of expertise and workload within the office structure; (I don’t believe he has developed annual goals yet);

(e)   Be supportive of the School Board’s request for General Counsel transition to a new Counsel in September of 2009. Develop emeritus role; (again, his support for the Board’s request for new General Counsel consisted of repeatedly asking to have his contract extended, delaying the search process, and sabotaging the negotiations with the new counsel)

and

(f)   Work with Superintendent’s staff to expand office space and facilities to appropriately support the expanded legal responsibilities. (I don’t think this has occurred, either.)

If the Board is inclined to extend his contract, I hope they hold his feet to the fire and require completion of those items that were contained in his 2008 contract!
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