Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1640, June 15th, 2011




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.


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the just the kind of guy we need!

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well qualified but because he has no worries about his name being known, he dismisses the legitimate professional concerns of others. The fact that he so off handedly dismisses candidates with personal concerns, I have to wonder if he is more concerned for his own candidacy than he is of other qualified candidates who are currently gainfully employed.

If he is as sharp as his credentials indicate, I have to wonder why he didn't suggest the candidate's resumes be made public but the names didacted? Truth be known, the absolute best method of reviewing resumes is for the committee to not know who the candidates are with each resume bearing an ID number known only to the person assigning the number. That would truly keep the process above board. We can discuss this further at lunch. I have a feeling this is a process we will not agree on.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, As a candidate for County Council and a former municipal manager I had given much thought to how I would approach the interviewing and hiring of the county manager.

The Charter sets out minimum qualifications so there is no leeway with regard to education or experience. My approach was going to be based on my own hands on experience of municipal management and the qualities I feel are of the utmost importance.

Their are nine (9) points I believe are necessary to prove a candidate's working ability to do the job.

1. The candidate should have a proven government management record.

2. Should have a varied work record in private and public sectors.

3. Should have union labor and business contract experience.

4. Must have the ability to multi task and delegate responsibility.

5. Must have a proven creative problem solving ability and be open to suggestions.

6. Should be able to present some familiarity of Luzerne County's current problems and discuss briefly possible remedies.

7. It would be interesting to know if the candidate took the time to read the county charter which is found on line and to demonstrate a working knowledge of it.

8. The candidates would be asked to talk about their greatest achievement in government management.

9. Candidates would be asked to speak as to why they should receive consideration for the county manager's position.

I place more value on the candidates ability to respond to the above interview outline than I do to the candidate's education or job titles. We are at a no nonsense point in time where we must demand the ability to take action and to have a plan to attain results. Nothing less can be considered.

Wil Toole


Post a Comment

<< Home