The new city manager?

Ran into Mayor McLin today at the 2nd Street Public Market.

She was buying flowers- that she was planning on taking out and giving away to people in N.W. Dayton- an “act of kindness.” That’s the kind of Mayor we have- one who believes that picking up trash as she walks the ‘hoods- will have an impact. Some people think she’s a bit nuts- I think she’s got part of the right idea- but hasn’t found a “Brand voice” that can carry her message.

We had a brief talk about the next city manager- well, mostly me offering my opinions (she’s pretty tight lipped when it comes to personnel issues- as she should be). I offered up some rumor mill names- like Joe Tuss, Maureen Pero and as of yesterday, former MVRPC director Mike Robinette- and her answer on all of them was “doesn’t live in the city”- as if the residency rule is the biggest impediment to bringing in a local hitter.

I also suggested that we don’t seem to take kindly to outsiders- witness the short Bill Estabrook tenure. And along the same vein- we’re often nothing but a stepping stone position for other outsiders – i.e. Valerie Lemmie.

The Mayor then asked if Jim Dinneen had been a good choice- to which I answered- in light of the way things work in this town- yes. However, if we want to move forward, we’re going to have to either be willing to take an outsider’s objective suggestions, or start believing in our current staff.

I’ve often said the mark of the best leader is that his 2nd and 3rd in command are absolutely prepared to step up onto center stage- so if the Mayor believed in Jim Dinneen, then maybe the search has been a waste- and it’s time to hand the reigns over to Stan Earley and let him run with the job he’s effectively doing now.

What do you think?

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