City Suffering Without A Manager, Santos Says

Ex-Mayor Tony Santos thinks the current administration is taking too long to fill its top administrative post.

Tony Santos is spending most of his time these days writing his memoirs and volunteering.

But the former mayor and veteran political figure took time out this week to circulate a letter chiding his successors in city government for depriving San Leandro of day-to-day administrative leadership.

"This City Council is taking too much time in hiring a new city manager," Santos wrote. "It is creating a deep vacuum at City Hall, which must be remedied soon."

Former City Manager Stephen Hollister resigned last December while Santos was still mayor.

But Hollister delayed his departure until June 30, by which time new Mayor Stephen Cassidy had been in office six months.

Santos said that head start should have given Cassidy and the new council enough time to choose a successor.

When asked, Cassidy countered the criticisms.

He said city officials initially tried to run the hiring process themselves. They in the spring to ask residents what qualities they wanted in manager.

But when council members reviewed the applicants for the post, they failed to reach agreement, Cassidy said.

Now the city is using an outside recruitment firm to broaden the search. Cassidy estimated that has cost about $25,000.

He said the application period ended Sunday. Now the search firm will help the council narrow down the prospects and decide which ones to interview.

He said the hiring process should be completed in the next two months.

Meanwhile, Cassidy said the city has a balanced budget. It is pushing projects like the that the council approved Monday night.

"I think Interim City Manager Lianne Marshall is doing a fantastic job," Cassidy said.

Robert Leigh October 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM
At least we have a mayor and council who listen to all the city. The previous mayor forgot that Washington Manor was part of the city. We have 5600 residents and 28 percent of the children in the city.
Dan Walters October 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Interim City Manager Lianne Marshall is filling the vacuum with quiet effectiveness! We need a permanant city manager... and she may already be performing the job!
Leah Hall October 19, 2011 at 02:21 PM
In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by our former honorable mayor, Tony Santos, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten. :) Your welcome, Tony!
Gayle October 19, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I like the slow and steady approach to filling such a pivotal position. Interim City Manager Lianne Marshall appears very competent and the administration is asking for citizen input. A careful decision is what we need, not a rush to hire someone because the process is taking a long time.
Marga Lacabe October 19, 2011 at 04:15 PM
The City is finally doing what they should have done from the beginning: hire a search firm that can bring a variety of well-qualified applicants to the attention of the City Council. They didn't do this because Cassidy/Gordon Galvan (for those who don't know, Gordon is a former council man who now works as a business lobbyist) had a candidate they wanted for the job. For whatever reason, that candidate withdrew his application - and while Cassidy backed another of the candidates, the council didn't go along with that choice. So they were left to do what they should have done from the beginning: hire a search firm. I think it's very important that we get a good city manager. I much rather wait and have Lianne Marshall as interim City Manager than make a rush but bad decision - like the Council, under Santos, did a few years ago when they appointed Hollister as City Manager. As for Tony, well, enough said.
Robo Eng October 19, 2011 at 04:57 PM
Do it right...
Larry Smith October 19, 2011 at 08:54 PM
It doesn't matter how we get a city manager...what we have to avoid is giving him/her the world on a string before we fully know their capabilities. In other words: no golden parachute to coerce the CM to leave, and no outlandish benefits just because some hair-brain politicians in nearby cities were duped into giving their managers big, fat, over-the-top pay and benefit packages. Sadly, we voters tend to give our elected leaders far more credit than many of them deserve; and they in turn, give away far too much for candidates garnered from a search firm that is primarily interested in getting a pay-check. Finally, if we fire a city manager or any other person occupying a management position, they should receive the same compensation as other terminated employees....NOTHING!!! The argument that you can't hire and retain good people if you don't have a real sweet exit deal for them is pure hogwash dreamed up by the very candidates that are occupying these positions, and far too many local politicians have bought into that horse crap.
Leah Hall October 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Related problem, and actually much worse and far more maddening... On boosting the pensions of the top 1% Ellen Schultz interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show 10/17 Investigative reporter Ellen Schultz talks about how corporations deliberately deceived their employees and Congress to profit from workers' pensions. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-17-2011/ellen-schultz


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