The city’s hiring process

Apr 15, 2014


The city’s hiring process shouldn’t take so long to accomplish.
The vacancy sign is out for a fire chief, city manager, and an assistant planner. In the past, the city has taken months and sometimes even years to fill a position. When the city procrastinates too long, the candidates get picked over and the city is left with no choice but to choose a less desirable candidate.
It would be to the city’s advantage to hire heads of departments with strong leadership skills so employees can advance into a higher management position making the transition smoother. I realize that it does take some time to obtain the right person with the right qualifications, but it shouldn’t take months to accomplish the task at hand.
It doesn’t seem fair to appoint the city law director to hold down both the city manager and law director’s job and not get properly compensated. I am not sure why extra compensation was not given to the law director considering he was under contract the last time. The city can’t justify combining the two jobs and trying to accomplish goals the commissioners have set forth. 
It will be difficult to get someone to fill the city manager’s position, because the city doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to retaining city managers for more than two years. The future city manager should be someone who has strong business and management skills, excellent communication skills, and an outstanding public relations personality. The person needs to have a known track record of accomplishments coupled with background experience in government. 
I hope the citizens do not have to wait very long to obtain a qualified city manager. The swinging door has to stop once and for all, so the city can move forward and not have to be concerned with replacing a city manager every couple of years.



Sharon, I fully agree with most of your recommendations concerning skills to look for in a new City Manager. The only disagreement is with the need to have background experience in government. I would lobby for a strong leader with excellent management, business, finance and customer-facing skills. I would list background experience in government as a desired. Perhaps never having served in a public sector position my view is naive. :)

T. A. Schwanger


In the early years of the profession, most managers came from the ranks of the engineering professions.[9] Today the typical and preferred background and education for the beginning municipal manager is a master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) and at least several years’ experience as a department head in local government or as an assistant city manager. As of 2005 more than 60% of those in the profession had a MPA, MBA, or other related higher-level degree.[10]

The average tenure of a manager is now 7–8 years and has risen gradually over the years. Tenures tend to be less in smaller communities and higher in larger ones, and they tend to vary as well depending on the region of the country.[10][11]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: This article is about city managers in the United States.


We need a community organizer to be the next city manager!


Yes, because look how well its working out having a "community organizer" as President of the United States [/sarcasm]


The following URL is the Job Posting in Monster:

And here is the body of the text:
"CITY OF SANDUSKY, OHIO WANTED City Manager with a passion for community pride, growth and success PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS The ability to develop and grow professional and collaborative relationships with the City Commissioners, citizens, business community, civic organizations, community leaders and the public in general is critical. Must be accessible and a strong and persuasive leader. Desired strengths include organizational development, personnel management, budgeting, economic development, finance, employee and labor relations, community relations and customer service. Relevant graduate degree strongly preferred. DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE Previous executive experience in government and/or business, excellent communication and writing skills, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with ethnically and economically diverse population. Must be able to prioritize and manage multiple projects and deadlines with grace and produce high-quality results. Must have a positive attitude, be energetic, a self-starter, reliable and have the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER The City of Sandusky is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such, considers all applicants for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, mental or physical disabilities or Veteran/Reserve/ National Guard or any other similarly protected status. We also comply with all applicable laws governing employment practices and do not discriminate on the basis of any unlawful criteria. SALARY RANGE $84,936 - $127,404 "