McMinnville officials should be looking for a leader in their next search for a city administrator, says Don Collette, who manages a company that deals with executive recruiting.
“You are looking for a leader,” he said. “You want someone who can really lead the city of McMinnville, take care of the day-to-day activities, and you guys set the policies and procedures.”
Collette met with officials Monday night to offer suggestions on how that person can be found. He said officials must agree on a job description, minimal educational requirements, salary range, personality traits, etc., before the position is advertised.
Officials may not currently be in agreement as to what they are looking for in a city administrator.
When Mayor Jimmy Haley read the city’s current minimum educational requirements for a city administrator to Collette, Alderman Ken Smith says the city should consider changing those to broaden the search.
“That, Jimmy, says you have to have been a city manager,” Smith said. “Whereas, we might actually want to look for an assistant city manager who has had five years experience, rather than a person who has been a manager.”
Haley says some on the board want to remove all educational requirements but Municipal Technical Advisory Service has discouraged that.
“There have been some on the board who have voiced that we need to re-write the job description so we take out the college qualifications and those sort of things in order to get more people to apply,” said Haley. “In talking to MTAS, they didn’t suggest that we reduce those qualifications.”
Smith asked about tourism and retail development being in the job responsibilities.
“I’m not sure we need someone who just oversees the day-to-day activities,” he said. “We have department heads for that.”
Collette added, “But, they have to report to someone.”
Municipal Technical Advisory Service has warned the city against that, as well, says Haley.
“MTAS said if you put too many job descriptions that are outside the general scope of what a city manager or a city administrator does either you will get a bunch of people who are not qualified for the job or you will get such a wide range of applicants it will be hard to find who you are actually looking for.”
Alderman Jimmy Bonner asked about hiring a city manager rather than a city administrator, however, the city’s charter does not allow a manager. Coming to a consensus might be easier said than done, says Vice Mayor Ben Newman.
“I just don’t know how we are going to come to a consensus on what we want,” Newman said. “I might want one thing. Ken might want something else. Someone else might think something else is important.”
Collette says generate a list and allow each board member to mark their No. 1 priority, No. 2 priority, No. 3 priority, etc., and use that information to come to a consensus.
The meeting was for discussion only. No decisions were made.