Over the past two weeks I have been researching the five finalists for San Marcos city manager, in the hopes of giving myself and other citizens more information before the city council fills the position on Dec. 10.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that none of them are as qualified as outgoing City Manager Jim Nuse, and none of them have experience with a university town like San Marcos. Two of the finalists, James Earp of Kyle and Karen Daly of Sugar Land, are not qualified for the position, or would otherwise be a very poor fit for our community. Two of the finalists, Chuck Ewings, formerly of Longview, and Jared Miller of North Richland Hills, would do an acceptable job. But I feel are lacking in one or more key areas and there are unanswered questions that the city council must get answers on before they could hire them.
The fifth finalist, Tansy Hayward of Tacoma, is currently my top choice for the position. She has experience working in larger cities, not just her current employment but previously in Des Moines, Iowa and Olathe, Kan. I hope that this broad range of experience could bring in fresh new ideas to San Marcos. She has seven years of recent experience as assistant city manager in Tacoma, working in Neighborhood and Community services, experience I feel our city needs to alleviate tensions between neighborhoods and new developments.
While none of the finalists have experience with a true “college town” like San Marcos, Des Moines and Tacoma have a few smaller and private universities, and Tacoma has a large transient population due to a major military base located just a few miles outside the city. To top this all off, Hayward’s undergraduate work and masters degree in public administration come from the University of Kansas, which has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the best city management and urban affairs program in the nation.
I encourage the city council to take a close look at Tansy Hayward as a strong candidate for San Marcos city manager.
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