City Manager Qualifiocations and Search

What qualifications do you consider are the most important when hiring a City Manager? What should his duties be, job description? Will you require an onsite interview, meet and greet with citizens, background check?  probation period? Should the hiring committee be made up of council members and citizens to help select the best candidates?  What would be your goal for a timeline to get this person hired and in place?

My Answer

Qualifications:

  1. Experience as a city manager with a verifiable track record.

  2. Spotless background check.

What should his duties be, job description?

My Answer

  1. Florence is a Statutory city with a strong city manager form of government. Colorado Revised Statutes 31-4-211 define the powers and responsibility of the city manager

Will you require an onsite interview, meet and greet with citizens, background check?

My Answer

  1. City manager is a unique occupation, and the likelihood of finding a qualified individual locally is quite slim. I would be in favor of a community zoom meet and greet with the final candidate prior to hiring. Interviews with council could also be done via Zoom.

  2. Background check must be spotless.

Probation period?

My Answer

  1. The only reason for a probation period is the council not doing a thorough search and vetting process.

  2. C.R.S. 31-4-210 states that a city manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term, but he may be removed at the pleasure of the city council for cause.

Should the hiring committee be made up of council members and citizens to help select the best candidates?

My Answer 

  1. City council consists of seven members. Adding a committee would not only be a violation of C.R.S. 31-4-210 “The city council shall appoint a city manager who shall be the chief administrative officer of the city. “, it would delay and complicate the process.

What would be your goal for a timeline to get this person hired and in place?

My Answer

  1. Because of our form of city government hiring a qualified city manager is one of the most critical steps taken by council. The city council is bound by these provisions of C.R.S. 31-4-102: Except as otherwise provided in this part 2, neither the city council nor any of its committees or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to or his removal from office by the city manager or in any other manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the city.  The city council and its members shall deal with that portion of the administrative service for which the city manager is responsible solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city, either publicly or privately.  Any violation of the provisions of this section by a member of the city council constitutes misconduct and is punishable in such manner as may be determined by the other members of the city council.

  2. The previous city council reviewed fourteen applications for the city manager position, narrowing the list to four finalists, and selecting Kim Zimmerman, the manager of a city the size of Florence in Pennsylvania to make an offer to. Unfortunately, the resignations happened before his selection could be completed. Before entering another lengthy search process, if Mr. Zimmerman is still available, I believe the new council should go through Mr. Zimmerman’s qualifications and if satisfied invite him to a meet and greet via Zoom where they and citizens can meet and question him.

  3. Hiring a city manager is a top priority but such a serious step, I can see the process taking up to six months or more.