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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The City Manager and Hiring

First off I would like to note that Blogger Gerry Nutter has either upped his game a step or is getting some outside help.  Either way, his most recent post, on Residency Requirements for City Hires, was very good.  And, it leads to the idea that at least one City Councilor, Rodney Elliot, is grandstanding.

Taking the idea of residency, which I hear once in a while, to its logical conclusion, we would become a sealed city.  You work here, you live here.

Thus, Gary Francis would not be allowed to sell ice cream to Lowellians.  We would have to buy our ice cream at Heritage or go without.  Along the same line, Gary would not be allowed to nip down to Good Times for lunch or dinner, since he is outside our economic area.  For me this does not make sense.  Didn't some dead economist, long ago, argue for the value of economic advantage, bolstering the idea of trade?  David Ricardo perhaps?

But, back to our hiring practices in the city, I was encouraged by the idea that Mr Tom Moses picked someone and it went to the manager for a stamp of approval and that was it.  It made it look like managers were given the freedom to pick the person they see as most fit, without political input from our City Manager.  That Mr Moses knew the person he picked is neither here nor there.  That he would not know him would be a shock to me.  I would hope that there are professional relationships amongst town and city financial personnel.  If they all existed in isolation it would mean that good ideas were not being exchanged.  If there are no professional associations, with periodic meetings, it would be, to me, a bad sign.

There is one place where I would nick the City Manager.  The last time I talked to him he said that the city did not have a written procedure for hiring.  With hiring being such an important part of the City's Human Resources activities I would think there should be, for the benefit of citizens and applicants alike, a broadly worded regulation on the hiring process, posted on line.  There is an idea that Mr Elliot should get behind.

Regards  —  Cliff

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