Inside Opinion

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Tag: city manager


Why the rush to hire Tacoma’s next city manager?

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Slow down, council members. Slow down.

The Tacoma City Council appears poised to hire a city manager Tuesday night – a long-term decision made in a few short weeks. The four finalists might be credible candidates for this immensely challenging job; the council’s apparent hurry to close the deal is not so credible.

This is as important a vote as most members of this council are ever likely to make. The city manager is the CEO of an immense organization with multi-billion-dollar budgets. He – all the finalists are men – could make the difference between a city on the move and a city just hanging on.

Has the council really thought long enough and hard enough about this decision? Would it hurt to do another week or two or three of detective work? Here are some questions that ought to be answered about anyone seeking to run this large and complex city:

• Is he a wide-screen thinker? Does he have a panoramic vision for Tacoma’s future?

• Has he been tested? Has he shown skill and creativity in dealing with a major crisis – like the fiscal crisis the City of Tacoma now faces?

• Has he run open governments? Does he hide the public’s business from the public? Is his first impulse to include or exclude citizens?

• How broad and deep is his executive experience?
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