City Manager Position

I was given a copy of a memorandum from Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment to the City Commission. (Memorandum here.) This is the firm retained by the City of Great Falls to hire a replacement for City Manager John Lawton.

A few observations. First, the Commission is apparently considering paying the new City Manager more than Mr. Lawton makes. How's that going to work?

Second, the first listed priority if for the applicant to "continue to address and promote the construction of the Highwood Generation Plant, a $720 million capital project in conjunction with Southern Montana Electric. Advise and keep the public informed in regards to environmental concerns, rate structures and other issues related to the City's operating interest (15%) of the coal-fired Generation plant." Wow. That's the number one issue in our community? (And has anyone else noticed how our ownership interest slid from 25% to 15% with very little comment? Wouldn't you think at least one of our Commissioners would point out that our ownership interest has decreased but our investment has not?)

And is it just me, or does anyone else think that only one of the "priorities" reflects the traditional role of a local government? Can you say "stick to the knittin'".

And, finally, we have had "relatively slow growth in the economy and need for diversification." Is that candid statement consistent with the City Commission's past treatment of our present City Manager?


Anonymous said...

Isn't that special! Lotten gets to choose his successor...........AS DICKTATER! Makes me puke! I'm sorry, Gee Guy, but now is the time for outrage. This has Lotten's fingerprints ALL over it! Maybe Jonny's got a buddy that needs to advance his career too in the coal industry! I'm beginning to think that the actual corruption of the city runs as deep as some speculate. This is bad. I think that we need to at LEAST hold off on the selection process until Ed McKnight takes over as mayor. The stench hanging over the city is horrible.


Anonymous said...

Apparently the present 'regime' seeks to disenfranchise any new commissioners and/or new mayor from the selection process, especially for this crucial position. How does the public get a say in this process? I submit the City Charter itself needs an thorough assessment and if I were a candidate for this critical position, I'd like to SEE The books, and what has indeed been spent on ECP, the many staff hours and funds spent away from the city staff's primary functions. Who is their right mind would agree to the provision of 'promoting HGS' without going into all of the factors involved? Is that why the salary offer is higher? I say be open and transparent with the public, allow the new commissioners and mayor to participate in the process......

Does the current commission lack the confidence in the deputy city manager so much that they must 'rush to judgement?' That's WHY we have assistant and deputy positions in moments like this, to
take the 'wheel' for a short period and ALLOW - yes allow - the new commission to go forward next January 2008 and be an active participant, not disenfranchised.

The coal plant has 'exposed' other issues in the community that must be resolved and 'set straight' for our own sake and we're in a Crisis, but we can out better for it. It doesn't matter if the commission was voting on the Highwood Ice Cream Factory of HGS, the issue is transparency, accountability and vision.

Anonymous said...

Lets start a funding drive and buy ads to protest the selection of a new city manager before the new commission is seated. I think anyone considering the city manager job would read the Tribune to get a feel of the city. Not that I want to support the Tribune with revenue, it has its place and its time to use it. The public needs to be heard.

The wrecking crew are going to ruin this city if not stopped.


Anonymous said...

Looking at that recruitment timeline it is obvious that

1) A ringer is in waiting
2) Things will stay buried
3) The commission is corrupted
4) We are totally screwed

The truth is out there waiting to be found.

Anonymous said...

Is Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment a-political or does it have a left leaning bent?

Will they present candidates with strong private business experience or more of the same kind of people building careers out of taxpayer pockets?

How will choosing someone steeped in the principles of larger government, promoting government ownership be a change for the City?

Isn't it important that one hires a manager free to expose problems and missteps so taxpayer dollars are not wasted?

Why should taxpayers hire a city manager to enforce the will of the commission?

Why not delete the need for a city manager and simply pay the money (and the raise) directly to Tim Gregori and the coal plant?

Anonymous said...

I just read through the W-O memo.

Thanks for ruining my labor day weekend.

big sky husker said...

Further evidence the city commission is a bunch of jackasses.

Anonymous said...

Who is steering this ship anyway? Clearly not the elected officials.

We need full disclosure.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me for thinking the worst, but the Commissioners have taught me well. They want to get someone new in before they leave. Why? Maybe, just maybe, whatever is going on behind the scenes expects the new city manager to foil any attempts to quash the HGS and stop any investigation into wrong-doing - like looking for mismanagement of funds?

Anonymous said...

Very curious as to the timing.

Is Cheryl Patton not capable to fill the slot for a few months while the new commission selects the next manager?

If not, then why is she in the position as assistant city manager?

What is the big damn hurry here? Where there is smoke there is fire.

Anonymous said...

Isnt Cheryl Patton very close to retiring as well?


Anonymous said...

Department Heads Eligible to Retire

Cheryl Patton-Asst.City Mgr

Ben Rangle-Planning

Mike Rattray-Community Development

Corky Grove-Police

Randy McCamley-Fire

Jim Rearden-Public Works


Anonymous said...

I would expect a new "real" city manager would ask for resumes from all present city management employees.

A house cleaning is coming starting with a new mayor and two new commissioners. If the Stebbins and Lawton selected City Manager wants to make it through probation, they better realize there is a new sheriff in town and get with the program.

The good old boy one is going in the trash where it belongs.

Viva Great Falls!

Anonymous said...

Although not scientific, the Trib's 'buzz' response on the new city manager issues showed that 79 percent of respondents said WAIT
until January, give the new team a chance to select the best candidate for city manager and not 'rush to judgement'....

Anonymous said...

If 79% of the public say 'wait' and they are ignored by the City Commissioners and Mayor, do you think that same 79% will finally stand up and shout 'criminal investigation'?

I hope we shout something as this group, along with their good ol' boy cronies, is engaged in something very unsavory.