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Manager discussion back on the table

By Staff | May 1, 2010

The city manager discussion resumes during a special meeting on Monday, as council finally gets around to the administrative item that originally was set for April 26, but ultimately dropped after the swim center vote ran into the wee hours.
Councilmember Pete Brandt wants the board to decide on a permanent city manager by June 14, when council is set to go on its summer hiatus.
Doing so, Brandt said, will allow “the procedure” to take place while council is on break, meaning the new manager will have time to get up to speed.
“We need to have our decision made by the 14th, so the conditional offer can be put out by the 15th and the procedure can happen while we’re gone,” Brandt said. “We’re losing a whole month if we wait.”
Brandt also refutes rumors that local candidates Tom Leipold or Gary King have an advantage over anyone else, calling the idea “foolish.”
Mayor John Sullivan also said that speculation of a pre-ordained city manager is “hogwash”, and that everyone has an equal shot at getting the chair, including Carl Schwing, the current city manager given a one-year contract to fill the position left vacant by the resignation of former manager Terry Stewart after the last council election.
“I don’t think anybody is an odds-on favorite at this point. It’s wide open,” he said. “A lot of people start rumors that turn out to be false.”
Both Brandt and Sullivan said it would be key for Schwing to stay on board as the assistant city manager — his previous position — if he weren’t chosen to retain the seat.
The new city manager could be quickly brought up to speed with Schwing’s help, Brandt said.
“It would be their advantage to have him remain for a time,” Brandt said.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail just wants to make certain the selection process is fair.
He said council should not be in a rush to make a selection, as Carl Schwing has already been given the one-year contract.
“I feel we have a competent city manager with a one-year contract,” McGrail said. “To rush this through is not in the best interest of ourselves and the city.”
City council’s special meeting is Monday, May 3, at 3 p.m. in city council chambers.