Update: City Clerk Defends Her Job Performance
Evans, who resigned Saturday, said her personality—not her job performance—were the subject of a recent evaluation.
Update, noon, Sept. 20:
Glenda Evans said Monday that a recent evaluation of the job she was doing as Rockville City Clerk left her feeling unappreciated and ultimately led to her falling out of love with the job that she resigned from on Saturday.
“I was not asked to resign. It was purely my choice,” Evans said by telephone Monday afternoon. “I think it’s best for me on an emotional level and it’s the best for the city.”
With the Nov. 8 city election approaching “I didn’t want to be a distraction,” she said.
The City Council met in closed session on Sept. 12 to discuss Evans’s annual performance evaluation.
The discussion focused more on Evans’s management style than how she did her job, she said.
“I was disappointed that the review was not about my work performance and accomplishments,” said Evans, who was present for the discussion.
Afterwards, Evans said she was not worried about being fired, but “was concerned about any adverse action from the mayor and council.”
Council members on Monday said they were surprised by the resignation, but declined to say much else, citing the wish to keep discussions of the personnel matter behind closed doors, where they discussed it Monday in closed session.
The council accepted Evans’s resignation, which takes effect Oct. 19. She has been placed on administrative leave and was not on the job on Monday.
The council is expected to talk Monday about the search for a new clerk and about how to proceed with the city election. In the meantime, Deputy City Clerk Brenda Bean will assume Evans’s duties.
As part of her evaluation, Evans said she presented the council with a six-page memorandum of her accomplishments since she was hired in July 2010. They included putting city contracts and future agendas online, updating the appearance of council meeting minutes and establishing a next-day synopsis of council actions at Monday meetings, she said.
At Monday’s council meeting, Councilwoman Bridget Donnell Newton offered “kudos to the city clerk’s staff” for posting meeting minutes adjacent links to video of City Council meetings, “so you can read what the minutes say at the same time you’re watching what people are speaking to.”
The city clerk is charged with administering city elections. Overseeing her first city election, Evans said that she had focused on organization. Things were “ahead of schedule,” she said.
Evans, who said her goal was “bringing Rockville into the 21st century” with its record-keeping, created absentee ballot applications and certificates for election challengers and watchers that could be filled out online and printed.
In a city where council meetings occasionally last until after midnight, Evans said that she was in the office at 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday after a meeting to make sure that future agendas and tentative agendas—something she said she instituted—were updated in time for senior staff to have them for their 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting.
Evans came to City Hall after working as an assistant to the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Her resume also includes 25 years as a legal secretary with a Detroit law firm and 18 years—10 of them concurrent with her work with the law firm—as a secretary for the Detroit City Council.
As Rockville City Clerk, Evans said she never felt that she was appreciated for who she was or what she did.
“I don’t feel that I’ve had the same kind of support that the city manager had,” she said.
In January, city manager Scott Ullery came under fire from Newton, who said Ullery had “maligned” a citizen during an email exchange.
When the issue came before the council at a later meeting, Councilman Piotr Gajewski made a motion that said that the council found the allegation “not supported by facts.”
Gajewski and councilmen John Britton and Mark Pierzchala supported the motion, which passed 3-2. Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio and Newton voted against it.
Evans said that she felt that she was never able to emerge from the shadow of former city clerk Claire Funkhouser, who spent 12 years on the job before retiring last year.
“We were two starkly different individuals and I don’t think Rockville could ever accept me for me,” Evans said, adding that she did not intend to criticize Funkhouser, but only to offer a means for comparison.
Funkhouser was known as a calming and even maternal influence at City Hall.
“I just don’t think Rockville appreciates all kinds of diversity in personality, in demeanor,” Evans said. “I don’t think they ever got past Claire.”
Original post, 1:15 p.m., Sept. 19:
Glenda Evans has resigned as Rockville City Clerk after 13 months on the job.
City Councilman Piotr Gajewski said that Evans submitted her resignation to the council by email on Saturday morning. The city clerk's office confirmed the resignation.
"The timing is obviously unfortunate as there is an election coming up on Nov. 8 and one of the major tasks of our city clerk is administering elections," Gajewski said.
The City Council is scheduled to meet in closed session on Monday evening "to obtain legal advice about a personnel matter," according to a notice posted on the city's website. The council would be discussing the resignation and how to move forward, including who would oversee the upcoming election, Gajewski said.
Marylou Berg, a city spokeswoman, said Monday morning that there was no official statement from City Hall.
Evans was named clerk in July 2010 as the successor to Claire Funkhouser, who retired after 12 years in the office.
Evans was not in the office on Monday and did not immediately respond to an email for comment.