You have embarked on what is likely to be the single most important decision you will make as leaders of this community. The selection of a city manager should be approached with careful thought and deliberation as it will shape the future of our city for years to come. The decision is not an easy one, nor should it be.
The citizens deserve nothing less than a dedicated, educated and experienced professional. An individual who possesses the requisite organization, communication and leadership skills necessary in dealing with the business community, citizens and staff.
First and foremost, the new manager should be the council’s partner, providing guidance and counsel; he or she is not the decision-maker. As you well know, the city is made up of various departments. The manager must be able to work closely with each department, understand what they do and what challenges they face. He or she should be able to create a workable budget, maintain it and operate within it, yet be flexible and nimble enough to adapt and adjust to the city’s ever-changing needs.
A manager must be able to understand and deal with the business community, promote economic development and address the concerns of citizens when they arise. This should be an individual who has a vision for our future and is not just content with the status quo. Continuity is admirable; however, it is not likely to take us to the future we deserve and expect. These are challenging times, and this is not the time or place for on the job training. By all measures, experience is what we need.
I urge you to search your souls, think long and hard and agonize over this decision. Do the right thing. Cortez deserves nothing less.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this decision with you, and look forward to hearing from you.