Letter to the Editor

Passed over

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dear Editor

I have lived in McCook for four years now, and I am completely bewildered by the political on goings of this community. I would assume that any prudent person/persons within any business and/or organization to interview as many applicants as would deem necessary to consider the very best applicant for a position.

It is my understanding that there were approximately 15 applicants whom applied for the position of city manager. Only one of these applicants was interviewed and then accepted for the City Manager position, UMMM, am I missing something here?

I personally know for a fact that one of the applicants who did apply for the position of city manager is currently an officer in the United States Navy. This individual obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration and a masters degree in operations research, has vast knowledge with foreign and non-foreign military public relations, and also assisted with delegating command of over 30,000 military personnel.

He also has a strong interest in the city of McCook due to the fact that he has family currently living in McCook, and other family members moving here in the near future.

If I were a strong factor in hiring the best candidate possible for an organization like the city of McCook, I would desire the person with the strongest credentials possible, and definitely interview all qualified applicants. Didn't we learn from our mistakes by jumping into the first thing that arrives as we did with our air base land purchase for our water?

So my question here is, those individuals who are responsible for the hiring of the City Manager really trying to do what is best for our city, or themselves?

Luke B. Schwartz


Mayor Dennis Berry responds:

"My answer to his question would be, "we always try to do what we feel is best for the city. In no manner was this hire a help to individual council members other than to be the best city manager available. To even suggest that there was any personal motivation is an insult to this council and all the councils before this one. I am sorry your relation or friend did not get selected and would hope you give the new manager your support and best wishes."

The mayor said the city did receive about 15 initial applicants, who were sent a packet of information and questionnaire back.

Some of the initial applicants completed the application process, but some did not, Berry said.

"The council screened all complete applications. Previous experience and formal education in public administration were factors considered," he said. "Background checks, references, and other factors were considered. The council identified a top tier of candidates and contacted them for an interview. Of this group, only one accepted the interview offer. Like nearly all jobs, some applicants had strong resumes but just did not fit for the position that was open."

The mayor said he could not comment on any specific candidate.

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