Saturday, May 18, 2024

Dear Mayor Davis and councillors,

I am deeply disappointed and irate at the news that the council plans to vote tonight to make Mr. Rossi the permanent city manager. I am writing to urge you not to install Mr. Rossi as the permanent city manager. Mr. Rossi may be highly qualified for the position, but that is no reason not to hold an open and competitive hiring process.

In my workplace experience, I have often witnessed a very competent person already in a workplace who people are ready to hire, but when an open hiring process is held, an even more competent person is found and hired. Often that new person has skills that the hiring committee did not initially search for, but became convinced were essential to moving the position forward. Councillor Cheung’s view that “it could take a lengthy and costly process to define the scope of an extensive search for the next city manager” may be correct – but that would be a good thing, as I wrote above. I see no reason for the hiring process to take three years, however.

Having an open hiring process is widely accepted as normal and beneficial. Deviating from that norm makes me wonder why councillors would do so. I can’t come up with any good answers.

I encourage you to name Mr. Rossi as the interim manager for one year if you think he is the best person for the job. The position could be extended if the search lasts longer than that.

I also do not want Mr. Rossi to name a permanent assistant city manager while he is in the interim position.


Lee Farris, Norfolk Street