Worst-practices HR strategy

What’s in our city’s immediate and longterm worst interest?  A permanent city manager hiring process that is so exceedingly abridged that it can only be expected to correlate to worst outcomes.  It’s not like HR is rocket science; there are well-known best practices that correlate to best outcomes!

January 3, 2011: In the City Council meeting, very little meaningful direction is provided to the city to guide her in launching the search of a new city manager (the meeting video here, at 02:10:18)

January 12, 2011: City Manager Recruitment Brochure and other online job postings begin

February 1, 2011 TODAY: Screening of received applications begins

February 19, 2011: Applicant interviews

What about that timeline makes sense?  Nothing! A best-practices best-outcome human resources (HR) strategy for a CEO-level position includes a minimum of an open three-month application time period….not two weeks.

Everything about this—from the marginal discussion in the 1/4 meeting to this patently absurd timeline–suggests that Mayor Gilmore and Vice-Mayor Bonta (who are the city council job-search subcommittee) have a pre-picked candidate that they are going to usher through this process.  … Come to think of it, I recall the announcement at the 1/4/11 city council meeting that the hiring subcommittee had been formed, voted upon, in the 12/28/2010 meeting but yet again: there’s no agenda item or meeting report for the 12/28/2010 meeting that even mentions this.

Talk about a negative inequity!  There’s absolutely no match here between our input—our preferences for a city that adheres to best practices to ensure best outcomes—, what the mayor has planned, and the outcome we can expect from yet another significantly abridged and substandard process.

For your reading pleasure:

Alameda City Charter Sec. 7-1. The City Manager shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the City and shall be chosen by the Council on the basis of his or her executive and administrative qualifications, with special reference to his or her actual experience in or his or her knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of his or her office as hereinafter outlined.

One of those duties is:

Sec. 7-1. (M) To investigate the conduct and proceedings of any officer or board of the City when he shall deem the same necessary, or when so directed by the Council.

Furthermore, the city attorney is charges with prosecuting ALL violation of our municipal ordinances, including violations by the mayor and city council:

Alameda City Charter Sec. 8-2. The City Attorney shall prosecute all violations of the ordinances of the City.


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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