Patrick Banger’s First 90 Days Exceeds Expectations

How many of us would like to present our own performance evaluation in a Town Council Meeting, which is also televised on Channel 11?

Gilbert’s new Town Manager did just that. When Patrick Banger was hired, the Town Council gave him a list of performance goals. Manager Banger delivered on every one of them, and then some. On 11/17/2011, he presented a “condensed” version of his 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day accomplishments, from a list of 102 pages. Here is a link to his 20-minute Council report. It begins at 01:54:00.

Here is a link to his full report. Go to his November 18, 2011 Update. At the bottom you will find the 102-page report titled “Manager’s 90-day Presentation.”

We have in Gilbert a competent, conservative-leaning Town Council and an equally competent conservative-leaning Town Manager.

Cited within his Council presentation there was also a disturbing report which I will get to later in this article.

The first part of Manager Banger’s report included his meeting with 80 town employees, business owners and regional partners. It included many plans that have never been done before: a zero-based budgeting process, an evaluation and training plan for department heads, a plan for long term goals involving organizational changes and new technology. It included a Communications plan.

One of the items on the list was the Town Manager Update which will be presented every two weeks on the Town’s website, and invites resident feedback.

He will work on improving the Town’s safety policies and procedures, because Gilbert’s accident rate and workers compensation claims are higher than its neighbors. He plans to work closely with the Water Resources Department to ensure a 100-year water supply, which we have not secured.

His report stressed transparency in government, working smarter, and improving accountability.

So what was disturbing about Manager Banger’s report? It came toward the end of his presentation. Go to the Town Manager Update. Just below “Town Manager’s 90-day presentation,” you will find a document titled “An Operations Efficiency Benchmarking Study of 100 American Cities,” which was done by IBM. Gilbert was one of the cities studied.

Here’s the bottom line from the report: “According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), local governments in the United States are collectively facing a $225 billion structural budget deficit, which constitutes about 12% of their total spending. Since these are structural deficits, they will not diminish even when the economy starts expanding again. These shortfalls represent a fundamental disconnect between the spending commitments city governments have made and the level of revenue growth they can reasonably expect to achieve.”

The findings? “Cities spend what they spend because they choose to spend it." These choices come in two forms:

Cities Make Strategic Choices: What specific services will we provide? To whom? At what level?

Cities make Operational Choices: How will those services be provided? Using what business processes? Using what mix of capital and labor? Deploying which technologies? Using what organizational structure? Sourced from where?

Town Manager Patrick Banger is working now to ensure that Gilbert emerges fiscally strong, as well as clean and safe, in the long term.

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