Left side: Kay Stroman of Stroman Group, the consultant conducting the city manager search for San Marcos. Right side: San Marcos Interim City Manager Laurie Moyer, left, and Mayor Susan Narvaiz. File photos.
By ANDY SEVILLA
As the sands quickly run down on the San Marcos’ 60-day search for a new city manager, the search also appears to have been narrowed by a lack of exposure to government professionals. Several governmental job posting websites where the city had said it would advertise the position have yet to post the city vacancy.
The Texas Municipal League (TML) website shows the posting since Aug. 13, effectively affording aspirants to the city’s top administrative job a 21-day window to apply for the position before the Sept. 2 deadline. No other such website that had been specified by the city’s search firm last week has posted the opening for the lead administrative position in San Marcos.
Kay Stroman of the Stroman Group, which was selected to conduct the city’s executive search, said during an Aug. 10 special city council meeting that the city manager position would be advertised online in several websites by Aug. 11. Among those websites were those of the Texas City Management Association, American Public Works Association, Government Jobs, and the International City/County Management Association. As of Monday, the posting had not appeared on any of those sites.
The first sighting of the open city manager position was on the city’s own website on Aug. 12, one day late, according to Stroman’s deadline.
Several San Marcos residents, including some councilmembers, have voiced dismay with a 60-day timeline geared toward naming the next city manager by Oct. 1, one month before a city election that could potentially sit four new councilmembers.
Contacted Monday, Stroman would not say why the posting had not appeared at the previously mentioned venues for advertising to government professionals. Stroman did say the ad would appear on other sites that she hadn’t previously specified, but added that she did not have those names in front of her.
Later, Stroman said she is prohibited in her contract with the city from talking to the press. Her contract says she is to refer all media requests to the city.
The city manager profile now requires at least seven years of municipal government experience after Stroman said several residents urged that the candidates have city government backgrounds. The Request For Proposal (RFP) sent out by the city did not limit candidates to city government backgrounds and encouraged private sector administrators to apply.
Though the posting requires government experience, it says the city prefers (though it does not require) previous service as a city manager or assistant city manager. It also requires a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, political science, or a related field, and it states a preference of a master’s of business administration, public administration or a related field.
“The ideal candidate will possess a record of accomplishment and success in economic and community development projects, including a demonstrated understanding of growth management in support of environmental, social and economic sustainability,” states the city manager profile. “The candidate’s background and experience will include exposure to all aspects of a full-service city, the capacity to understand municipal issues on a technical level and the ability to convey them to city council, staff and citizens in a concise, articulate manner. The City Manager will have demonstrated experience in strategic planning, budget management and ED (economic development) financing strategies, including directing and coordinating activities consistent with goals, objectives and policies established to achieve the City’s strategic plans.”
The profile also indicates the need for positive town and gown relations, as well as a candidate with demonstrated leadership qualities, communication and team-building skills.
“(The city manager) will set a positive example of competence, professionalism, compassion, transparency, ethics, and integrity to the organization and the community,” states the profile.
The candidate’s salary is set at a starting range commensurate with experience, which is to include a comprehensive package of senior level benefits.
Former City Manager Rick Menchaca was fired by a 4-3 vote in June. His salary was at $170,000, plus benefits. The city council named Laurie Moyer as the interim city manager.
City council is scheduled to name a city manager and city clerk during the week of Sept. 20.
The city clerk position became available after Sherry Mashburn took a position with the city of College Station and began her duties there on Monday.
(Editor’s Note: The above has been revised to say that the city manager profile requires municipal government experience, but prefers, rather than requires, experience as a city manager or assistant city manager.)Email | Print