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City Manager Selection Proces -- HR I4

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 12:43:44 -0500

Hello Council,

The staff report omits staff, small business owners, and the public in the
process. The process steps need to include at least one community meeting
where staff, small business owners, and the public can give input into what
they consider important in a new city manager. I would hold the meeting
together, after hours. I would devise the meeting to include small group
format and to ensure confidentiality -- without violating the Brown Act. To
break down the silos in Menlo Park, please have a common meeting where
different types of people can mix and meet.

I read a recent newspaper article that said Half Moon Bay was hiring a new
City Manager. The article asserted that they had 50 qualified applicants.
The article also noted that HMB held a public forum designed to collect
staff and public input regarding what qualities and skills they believed
the new HMB City Manager should posses. Menlo Park can learn from Half Moon
Bay's approach. We might also ask suitable people why they believed that so
many applied for the HMB City Manager position.

I would also include at least some City Managers from Santa Clara County
(and a few in San Mateo County) in an advisory committee or extended
advisory committee. As most of our problems are regional ones (housing,
traffic, etc.) this approach would pave the way for later synergistic
cooperation and effort in tackling our shared problems.

We also need public/staff representation on City Manager search committee.
Our City has grown too large and complicated to just leave the hiring of
Menlo Park's chief executive to two council members on a subcommittee.
While Council retains the final "hiring authority" -- we need to better
include staff and the public in this process.

I also think we would attract more applicants if we broadened the City
Manager's reporting and firing structure. Right now, the City Manager is
too dependent on Council to retain his/her position. This could (and some
say already has) led to the City Manager becoming more focused on pleasing
3 Council members (the majority needed) than on serving the overall public
good. The City Manager should be serving the public and Council should
serve the public. However, reasonable questions have been raised regarding
just whose interests are primarily being served in Menlo Park. We need more
protection for qualified City Managers from the potential whims of Council
members and to ensure that this person focuses on public's interests.
Holding public performance evaluation sessions, as other towns do, would
help to ensure transparency regarding the city manager's job performance
and more protections. An able City Manager should not worry about the
public weighing in on his/her job performance.

Having a community-based strategic planning process would also be helpful.
A plan such as the Tacoma 2025
<http://cms.cityoftacoma.org/tacoma-2025/tacoma-2025.pdf> plan would
provide a decision-making framework that would cut down on the "political"
aspect of making decisions.

Lynne Bramlett

P.S. I am out of town, so will need to miss the October 9th meeting.
Received on Tue Oct 09 2018 - 10:42:23 PDT

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