A good guy in a bad job; that's the consensus on Gary Packan and the assistant city manager's job he's leaving to take a development post in Texas.
Packan accomplished a great deal as head of Huron's Parks and Recreation Department before he was tapped by Sandusky City Manager Mike Will to head 10 miles west and be Will's assistant.
We questioned at the time whether Sandusky needed an assistant city manager; Will and his predecessors had department heads to handle the responsibilities Will needed to delegate. But Packan was a capable guy, we were assured, and you make room in your organization for capable guys.
And Packan had to quickly see the mess he was stepping into: His boss, headstrong in his own way, had to keep seven headstrong bosses -- each with his own idea of "direction" -- happy. Add to that job responsibilities that changed frequently -- how do you decide how well you're doing in a job when you might not know from day to day what your job will be? -- and you have a recipe for confusion, not success.
That's not an indictment of Packan. It's an indictment of the job he was asked to fill. If there was that much confusion about what it was supposed to entail, did we need it at all?