September 11, 2009 Leave a comment
Sunnyside’s last City Manager was on the job for only 11 months. A divided City Council determined that he should be fired after his first and only performance evaluation. The City Council paid at least $9,870 in consulting fees to Scott Staples, to help recruit the last City Manager.
Scott Staples is the City Administrator of Grandview. He seems to be well liked by the current Sunnyside City Council, as they continue to pay him consulting fees for items other than recruiting City Managers. However, it does not appear that Mr. Staples offers any kind of performance guarantee for his work. With many thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on the line, it would be nice if he did.
Sunnyside’s Council is now considering using the recruiting firm of Prothman to conduct a search for a new City Manager. This professional search firm would charge quite a bit more, but they do have a performance guarantee of sorts to bring to the table.
Prothman would charge what I estimate would be between $20,000 to $30,000 in search fees and expenses for a City Manager search in Sunnyside. If the newly recruited City Manager does not work out, then they would conduct another search for the City, waiving their professional fees (basically their commission), charging only for expenses. These expenses would probably run about $5,000-$10,000.
Having heard Mr. Prothman’s presentation at multiple City Council meetings, I must say that he appears to be very thorough in his methodology. However, as thorough as he may be, we need a Council that will stop scapegoating the City Manager every time they get into trouble.
This requires a City Council that will show leadership, and a willingness to accept responsibility. During the tenure of the last City Manager, the Council approved almost every major recommendation that was made. Many times this was done without asking any questions. Public comments were not allowed until after the Council had taken action in many of these instances.
After changing out multiple City Managers, and never finding one that is good enough for this Council, I suggest we change out every Council Member that is on the ballot this fall. (Yes, I know that is a bit self-serving, as I will be on the ballot in District 1. But, I would likely still say this, even if I was not running.)
If the City decides to proceed with conducting a City Manager search with Mr. Prothman, I like the peace of mind that his “performance guarantee” offers. It sounds like a better bargain than what we got from Scott Staples.
We as citizens do not get a chance to vote on our City Manager. But we do get to vote on our Council Members. If you want to put a stop to the turmoil at City Hall, join me in voting for change this fall.
The following documentation of payments were obtained by a Public Records Request made to the City of Sunnyside.