By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING – The Middle and High Schools released their third quarter honor rolls last week. Now, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto is too old to go back to high school, but if he did he’d be a cinch to make at least the Honor Roll, based on his job performance by the Board of Selectmen reported last week.
This is Gilleberto’s first annual performance review. He was appointed town administrator one year ago this month and started the job at the beginning of August, so the review covers the first eight months of his tenure.
Gilleberto’s evaluation was 26 pages long, said Selectmen Chairman Robert Mauceri, who together with vice chairman Michael Prisco released the summary. The T.A. was rated by all five Selectmen in five job performance areas and assigned a numerical score by each member. It’s then the job of Mauceri as chairman to average out the scores and assign a rating in each category.
Mauceri said Gilleberto’s overall rating based on his total scores in the five categories was 203.8 and that anything from 186 to 230 is considered “outstanding.”
“I congratulate you on that,” Mauceri said.
The stellar performance review entitles Gilleberto to a 2 percent salary bonus in the next fiscal year in addition to the normal 2 percent cost of living adjustment, Mauceri said. Gilleberto was hired at a salary of $130,000.
Prisco explained that the T.A. is rated by the five board members in five categories: Relations with the Board, Financial Management, Community and Public Relations, Personnel Administration and Professional Skills and Abilities.
- Relations with the Board. In this category, Gilleberto received 45.4 out of a possible 50 rating, in the “commendable, leaning toward outstanding” range.
“All of the comments from the board members were positive,” Prisco said. There was much appreciation about Gilleberto’s efforts to communicate with the board and the good work he’s put in this area, Prisco added.
- Financial management. Prisco noted this is Gilleberto’s first budget year with the board and over the last five months “he’s really stepped up and grasped the whole concept of how we do budgets here in North Reading and put his fingerprints on how to make improvements and motivate your department heads on how to find efficiencies.” In this area, out of a possible 40 points, Gilleberto scored 34.7 – commendable but tracking more toward outstanding.
- Community and public relations. Out of a possible 40 points in this category, Gilleberto scored 37.1.
“Being here in town and living in town, we can all see the pride and responsibility you take in public relations and making sure you’re in touch with the community,” Prisco told Gilleberto. “You’ve done an outstanding job of keeping us and the public informed and you certainly have earned this score. We see it only tracking upward. You have made an outstanding effort in building a relationship with our legislators” and the Selectmen hope this will enable the town to reap the benefits by qualifying for additional grants and other funding.
- Personnel administration. Out of a possible 50 points, Gilleberto garnered 39.4. This is technically in the satisfactory range, but only 0.6 away from commendable. Prisco made it clear he considers it commendable “and tracking upward.”
Prisco commended Gilleberto for working to create high staff productivity, something that’s not all that easy since not all of general government staff is located in one building. “We felt you’ve done a great job improving morale and we fell that’s trending upward also,” Prisco said.
- Professional skills and abilities. Here, Gilleberto earned 42.7 out of 50 points, again, very commendable.
“Your professional skills have really come through and solidified in my mind that we chose the right town administrator. In one year’s time the skills, high standards and ethics you’ve brought to the table are all there and a real home run for the town,” Prisco summarized.
Selectman Jeff Yull, who did not vote for Gilleberto when he had the chance last May, (Yull abstained), commended his fellow board members on their good judgment.
Yull said Gilleberto’s professional and personal qualities inspire trust and confidence. The other members got it right, Yull said.
“You did choose the right T.A., I admit that. I have never experienced such forthrightness in a person who is trying to work with five individuals and bring us together,” Yull said.
Stephen O’Leary congratulated Gilleberto on his outstanding review, saying it is well deserved.
“It’s not easy to make us look good but you’ve done a pretty good job,” he said.
Gilleberto thanked the board. “It’s been a lot of hard work but I’ve enjoyed the professional opportunity to work and live in the town. I appreciate the positive feedback. But it’s really a reflection of the work done by the town’s employees, from the department heads on down. All the work that’s done day in and day out makes the town successful.”
Gilleberto was one of two finalists for the administrator’s job, culled from a field of 21 applicants and six semi-finalists.