Residency rule for City Manager job applicants?

There are several letters to the editor about the residency rule today- and one suggests that the city actually try to hire from within our own population instead of a national search.
Why not? I’m always quite amazed at what local companies are willing to pay “consultants” from other markets- while unwilling to pay local firms for the same or better work.
The mark of a real leader- the type of person who should lead our City- should be that the people beneath them- are prepared and ready to step up should they step down. We haven’t had that from our “national search process” in the past. Nor have we had great success at assimilating someone with a strong vision (remember how fast Dayton sent Bill Estabrook out the door?).
There is a lot to be said of “institutional knowledge” in this city- with so many deals being done behind closed doors- anyone walking into the managers position from out of town may as well be walking into a mine field without a map- unless they depend on the people they catapulted over (who may or may not decide to guide them).
No- it’s not about residency in the long run- it’s about how we choose to do our business. In a transparent market- an outsider can compete and win. But in a closed system like we’ve had for years, that outsider must spend so much time working their way into the inner circle that by the time they may be ready to make something happen, it’s too late.
If you wonder why Jim Dineen was so well accepted so quickly- it wasn’t because of his stellar vision or management skills, it was because he knew the game, the players and the “rules.” This is why David Bohardt, David Holmes, or (longshot) me, makes more sense than hiring from outside.
The longer we wait to either change the way we do business, the longer we’ll have to wait for real progress in our city.

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