Watchdog – Council should seek more input on City Manager finalist before hiring

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

The Antioch City Council is holding closed sessions on November 15th and November 19th in regard to “Public Employee Appointment: City Manager”.

Selection of a city manager (and city attorney) are personnel issues and thus permitted by closed session. (It only takes the votes of three council members to make a selection). Unfortunately, there is no requirement for council to announce names of finalists or their qualifications. (Selection of City Manager Jim Jakel was made in closed session and announcement made in open session.)

The job description of a City Manager is: An executive level administrator in municipal affairs, generally filled by appointment as opposed to election. Most municipalities require managers to have a college degree or a certain number of years of experience in council-manager form of government.

City Managers pay a major role in formulating the city budget, forming and implementing city policy and generating ideas for increased efficiency of city services. Hiring and firing of city department heads also falls under the direction of city managers.

NOTE: When City Manager Dave Rowlands left, the council had the Economic Development Steering Committee interview the final three candidates and provide input to the council. That’s how Mike Ramsey was selected. Regrettably, that is not the process the current council is following.

2 Comments to “Watchdog – Council should seek more input on City Manager finalist before hiring”

  1. Publisher says:

    I would add one more thing, Barbara. The hiring vote needs to be done at the City Council meeting, Tuesday night, in public, as well, like we did with Mike Ramsey’s hiring, so the public can learn who the person is and make public comments about the council’s choice, before they vote. Hopefully, they will.
    Allen Payton, Publisher

  2. Publisher says:

    One correction. Mike Ramsey was interviewed by the Economic Development Steering Committee, which I was part of as a Council member, along with two others, for the position of Assistant City Manager/Economic Development Director in 1996. Mike was promoted by the City Council which I was also part of, from that position to City Manager, about two years later, in 1998.
    Allen Payton, Publisher

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