The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
I see that the City Council has decided to manage the City (as a “supervisory team”) while the search for a new city manager is conducted. It appears that they have concluded that nobody locally is qualified to serve as interim or acting manager, and it would be too expensive to go outside the city. In view of the city’s precarious financial situation, this may or may not be wise. While it will save the equivalent of a city manager’s salary for a couple of months, it leaves a day-to-day management vacuum.
The system will probably work for a while. Technically, I believe, all city employees (except the City Clerk and City Manager) work for the City Manager. The council will be placing themselves in that supervisory status, so they must hope that nothing serious happens from the personnel side. At least the city won’t be doing any hiring to speak of.
One of the advantages cited in the council resolution is that “each Council Member will participate in the various operations and in turn receive a broad view of the workings if their community.” I’m sure they didn’t mean to imply that the members, 4 of whom have been on the council for at least 3 years, don’t have that broad view now. I’d sure like to hear what the candidates for the position have to say.
Back when the previous city manager announced his resignation, a rumor started flying around that certain council member(s) wanted to take over management of the city. I discounted the rumor at the time because state law requires the city manager not be a member of the body that hires him. Furthermore, our form of city government was established by a popular vote, and the only way to change the form of government is another vote – based on a petition signed by 25% of the city’s voters from the last gubernatorial election. We’ll have to watch how long the council, comprised of 3 schoolteachers, a developer and a chiropractor, takes to find a new city manager as well as what they do in the interim.
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