City Councilman Mike Hall says it's time people agree on what "micromanaging" means.
"It's a word that's been used several times in the last few (council) meetings," Hall said. "I'd like to make sure we're all talking about the same thing when we use it."
Hall has asked City Manager Michael Kovacs to make "a brief but complete" presentation when the council meets tonight, Thursday, Aug. 21, of what he thinks the word means. Then, he wants the council to reach an agreement on what it means when the word is used during council meetings.
"This has nothing to do with anything else on the agenda," Hall said. "I asked for this to be put on the agenda a long time ago."
Most recently, Councilwoman Glenda Balentine referred to micromanagement during a June 19 discussion of police department performance.
"I'd like not to micromanage the city manager, who's obviously had enough education (in law enforcement), certainly more than any citizen," Balentine said during that meeting.
In June of last year, during a workshop to discuss the reorganization of what was then the city's operations department, Mayor Claude Brown asked why keys were left in some pieces of equipment and Councilman Charles Bujan - saying he didn't want to get into micromanagement of the department - asked for a detailed list of daily job priorities.
"If we're going to use the word, we ought to all be talking about the same thing," Hall said.
In case you don't want to have to go to the council meeting to learn the meaning of the word, dictionary.com on line, which is based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, defines micromanage as "to manage or control with excessive attention to minor details."
The city charter, defining the duties of and restrictions on city council members, says, "Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations as provided by this Charter, the city council or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the city manager solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately, except as otherwise provided in this Charter."
However, in a separate section, the charter also says, "The city council shall have the power to inquire into the official conduct of any department, agency, office, officer, or employee of the city."