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Media Coverage
Richmond Seeks Input On Hire
January 9, 1998


Friday, January 9, 1998
Section: news
Page: A08
Scott Andrews

Still scarred by criticism that closed-door lobbying unduly influenced the selection of its last city manager, the City Council voted Tuesday to survey the public informally as it seeks a new top administrator.

The city government also has plans for a public forum Tuesday to hear comments on what type of person the city should hire.

The City Council ousted City Manager Floyd Johnson last month and pledged to replace him by March 1. Before the City Council hired Johnson in 1993, controversial lobbyist Darrell Reese arranged for Johnson to visit Richmond privately. Local businesses paid for part of the trip.

City Director of Human Resources Marva Wallace said Wednesday that nine people have applied for the city manager's job. Deputy City Manager Isiah Turner, who many city leaders say could be a top contender, has not submitted an application.

On Tuesday, the council decided that the public will be able to check boxes on a survey form to describe how desirable various characteristics should be in the new city manager.

The survey is, however, rudimentary. Most of the attributes listed in the survey are ones commonly expected of government leaders, such as "possession of an undergraduate degree," "demonstrated executive management skills" and being "flexible yet firm in making tough decisions."

Councilman Tom Butt, a city manager search committee leader, said the form is recycled from Oakland's recent hunt for a city manager. The same firm conducting Richmond's search, The Hawkins Co., worked for Oakland. People have until Jan. 20 to pick up and turn in the forms to the city's Office of Personnel Administration.

They are also available on the computer Web site http:/ /www.ci.richmond .ca.us/~hrweb/. The forum will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 in the City Council chamber, City Hall, 2600 Barrett Ave.