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Tacoma prepares for city manager search

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on July 21, 2011 at 10:52 am with 6 Comments »
July 22, 2011 11:38 am

Tacoma is about to start its search for a new city manager.

Staff in the city personnel office are finishing up a request for bids from search firms that could go out today.

The search is expected to start in August and cost as much as $50,000, Human Resources Director Joy St. Germain told the council, which hopes to wrap it up by the end of the year.

To find managers in the past, Tacoma has turned to such national headhunters as Arcus Public and Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment Group.

The city could have chosen to do the search for Eric Anderson’s replacement in-house, but council members and St. Germain said a national firm would do a better job.

“These firms specialize in hiring people, and they know who’s out there, and they know who will be a good fit for the city,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said, “and so I think it’s important for us to make sure that we  cast a wide net and have an opportunity to get the best person here.”

A committee including Strickland and council members Jake Fey and either Spiro Manthou or Lauren Walker will choose a company, tentatively by mid-August.

Before interviewing candidates, the city plans a community outreach effort similar to 2005 when Anderson was hired. An online survey will ask Tacomans about such topics as:

  • What the city should accomplish over the next five years.
  • What the top three priority items should be for the next city manager in his or her first year.
  • What management style the city manager should have.

Council members showed Anderson the door last week and made Rey Arellano interim city manager. Arellano says he would like to apply for the job.

Arellano said two other employees would move up on an interim basis to fill his old duties. Tansy Hayward will be acting deputy city manager and Michelle Lewis-Hodges will be acting chief information officer.

UPDATE 7/22: You can see the request for bids here.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. pumaintacoma says:

    So who does the Tribune plan to anoint with its articles for city manager. Obviously, this is a orchestrated manuver to seed the plant for its ALF, Black Collective, tap shoe, drum beating puppet.

  2. mojjonation says:

    The reason you don’t hire from within is because there is either no confidence in anyone internally to do the job, or there is too much squabbling among members who think they have a right to the position. If you can’t hire from within, the problem is with the people, not the position. Fire the lot of them and start over anew.

  3. Why doesn’t the council and mayor publish a request for resumes with cut off day? With all the professionals employed by the city are there not a few that could panel a review of received resumes. Select 5-7 qualified applicants and schedule an interview.
    It works for the government–it works for the military–save the taxpayers $50K!!!

  4. dster420 says:

    Anderson wasn’t a local boy, so why not try to find a local person? Not everyone in Tacoma is rotten…

  5. puyallupmutt says:

    I hope Tacoma’s search is defined by grown-ups, unlike Puyallup. We had 2 idiots on the council mandate that at least 2 of the final 5 candidates be women. The Feds in the EEO became very interested in that.
    They got lucky when Puyallup tried to save most of the $30K headhunter fee and hired the temp.
    EEO lawsuit, avoided, more by luck than good sense.

  6. Hiring from within…BAD idea. Why can’t the personnel dept conduct a search through Nationwide search? They ARE the personnel dept. after all. You would think that they are capable of hiring executives.
    And let’s make the severance issue more reasonable. The last 3 guys are still collecting checks long after they’ve flown the coup. Enough of this. Oh, and make them live IN Tacoma. I’m tired of watching executive salaries from Tacoma being spent in Gig Harbor. They should have to live with the regulations and fee hikes on utilities that they expect the rest of us to live with.

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