The city council and the mayor want to increase the candidate pool for city manager.
That’s a good thing.
In order to do that, they came up with a city charter revision proposal that would change the current charter requirements. It will take voter approval in the Aug. 7 Primary Election to make a change in the charter.
Currently the charter has stringent requirements: A candidate must have at least three years experience either as city manager or assistant city manager in a city with a population of at least 10,000 or more.
That requirement has prevented dozens of candidates who are otherwise experienced in similar government roles but lack the exact title, or those who have worked in communities with smaller populations.
The proposed changes would allow candidates with similar experience, but possess different titles. The proposed change also does not have a community population requirement, and goes one more step more: it allows the council and mayor to waive the requirements with a 3/5ths vote of the mayor and council.
Here is the proposed charter change:
“In addition to the required qualifications of the city manager provided elsewhere in this charter, any city manager hired shall have the following qualifications: a minimum of three years experience as a chief municipal administrator, assistant chief municipal administrator, or equivalent governmental experience, and be the holder of a degree from an accredited college or university.
“These qualifications may be waived by a three-fifths vote of the council and mayor upon considering other qualifications of any candidate for such position.”
That opens things up.
Our concern is waiving the requirements in a 3/5ths vote. That allows a majority – albeit it a super majority – to hire someone not truly qualified.
That person may be friend, perhaps, or in other words a crony. Who knows what can happen down the road?
We will reserve judgment on this proposal in the hopes that there will be public debate on the matter. One thing is for sure: the charter requirement to hire a city manager needs to be changed.
Is this the change we need?
Tell us what you think.
April 27, 2018