The LuLac Edition #1640, June 15th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: "WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" LOGO.
COUNTY MANAGER’S POSITION
This past week the Home Rule Transition team debated on how the County would handle the advertisement, interviewing and ultimate selection of a proposed County Manager. Last night WBRE TV’s Joe Holden aired a report that featured Transition member Rick Morelli saying that all candidates should be known to the public. Ironically, LuLac received this communication from a former resident who has degrees in Masters of Business Administration and Public Policy, from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, from King's College. His name is Jim Gibson and here’s what he has to say about the position.
Without question, the people of Luzerne County face a monumental crossroads. Getting the new county governing structure right from the very beginning could not be more important.
A great start requires maximizing citizen trust in the transition. Public transparency in how the first county manager will be selected will be especially important. Residents, who feel the process has been fair and open, will be much more supportive of the final selection, as well as the entire county government itself.
Those who support keeping the identities of applicants confidential have their hearts in the right place. That point of view worries that many people will not apply due to fears about losing their current jobs.
Nonetheless, this valid concern is decisively trumped by the value of public transparency, much more important at this tender and critical stage of creating a new way to govern. The future of Luzerne County must be a much higher priority than the career interests of a few applicants.
Regardless of the eventual decision, I will openly apply for the position. My late mother and father brought my two sisters and me here because Luzerne County was (and remains) a great place to raise a family. My formative years, from the first grade in the old Church Street School in Kingston through graduation from King’s College, were joyfully spent in Wyoming Valley.
Departing from the area in 1977, caused by the lack of viable employment opportunities, was a very sad time in my life. Hopefully, a new county government will prevent today’s children from having to make that same wrenching decision.
While having a successful career and enjoying life in Denver, Colorado, I strongly feel that it is time to give back to the region which has given me so much. For me, at this stage of my life, nothing could be more important.
Which is why I will apply for county manager - publicly. If the Council should decide to pick me for this position, Luzerne County residents will know why I was selected and what I plan to contribute. That will be the best place to get started on the critical work that must get done.