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Points for the City Council to ponder

August 17, 2011

To the Glendale City Council, thank you for serving our city. It is up to hard-working, involved people such as yourselves who keep Glendale the Jewel City of California.

In this vein, regarding your selection of a new city manager, please consider the following suggestions:

1) Search beyond current city employees from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Seek the best, not just the handy and known.

2) Do not give any extra credit or consideration for current or past service in any of the above cities. Don't bias the selection to a current manager. Have a level playing field.

3) Have as a criterion for consideration that the candidate be familiar with, and have successfully implemented metrics in, managing a city or operation similar to Glendale. Get examples.

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4) Require transparency as demonstrated in prior positions, with a commitment to the future.

5) Due to current and anticipated budget problems, only offer 100% of the incumbent's fully burdened cost to Glendale after completion of a successful five years. No bonuses. Any cost-of-living clause should be positive and negative. Be fiscally prudent. Hold the line.

6) Provide an early termination clause for cause for both parties without penalty. Make the contract for a specified period of up to five years and at-will (early termination without cause at any time may have a two-month termination clause) during this term. Do not provide for an early buy-out.

7) Have the Civil Service Commission conduct the initial search giving your criteria, along with applicable terms and conditions. Appoint a five-member search board to winnow the applicants and propose further consideration of the top five by the full City Council, who will make the final selection of three with which to negotiate an offer and acceptance.

8) Require and practice openness in each step of the city manager selection process. Inform the public in a timely way.

9) Don't rush or feel pressured to act hastily. If the incumbent city manager has done his work properly, the city should continue to function effectively, as though he were on sick leave or vacation. If this is not the case, then either he and/or you have not served our city properly.

10) Stress ethical and fiscal responsibility for all city officers and staff.

The above suggestions are intended to be of assistance to you in your efforts. Good luck and best wishes on your endeavor on our behalf.

Nick Friesen

Glendale
 
 

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