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Public Comment re Item CL1. "City Attorney" Menlo Park City Council Meeting Feb. 11, 2020

From: domainremoved <Soody>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:53:40 -0800

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Dear Council
As outlined in my memo to Council on January 21st 2020, I request consideration of the following and to the extent you have already considered these, I thank you – and to the extent that they are still relevant I request that you consider them, especially if we have not received a competitive number of highly qualified Applicants.
The post for Menlo Park City Attorney has been occupied by the same firm for 60 years, therefor, the recruitment of the best candidates requires at least the following:

1. Provide sufficient time to reach the potential candidates and to receive response.
The timeline allows for only 2 weeks to have questions sent in by potential candidates and with only 2 more weeks afterwards to apply. Depending on number of Applicants, City may wish to extend this period.

2. Use effective distribution channels for the communicating the RFP to potential candidates.
I understand from City HR, that the organizations I had recommended in my December 2nd, 2019, were contacted. However, a key distribution channel, that is prominent and customary publications were not used. For example, San Francisco Daily Journal is the go-to professional marketplace for posting similar positions but was not utilized. To the extent that we need to continue the search, I would recommend using this and/or similar publications.

3. Consider the relevance of certain requirements in the RFP to the relevant field.

  * The job description requires certain number hours for bias training provided by one or more of 3 specific organizations. As important as this training is, those 3 organizations are not relevant to the legal community. Not having ever heard of them in 25 years of practice, I reached out to them and asked whether they cater and serve the legal profession. The answer was no. Would it not be more impactful to tailor the job descriptions to each position?

  * The job description required, appropriately so, the disclosure of services provided by the Applicant (and their firm) to top employers in the City of Menlo Park. A similar disclosure regarding services to developers, whether for profit or not-for-profit, was not required. I recommend that the disclosure requirements be expanded to include developers.

4. Consider including experts in the selection and Interview.
Each profession has its own set of unique technical proficiencies. Would it not be effective if the selection and interview team included experts from relevant fields, such as City Attorneys from trusted Cities?

Kind Regards

Soody Tronson
Menlo Park resident
Received on Tue Feb 11 2020 - 17:56:59 PST

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