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Monday, August 27, 2012

Committee of the Whole Highlights: May 17, 2012

(ed.note: This is a portion of the minutes) a. Ehlers Public Finance Seminar panel on economic development. Brooks and Mayor Decker discussed their February 3 rd participation in a public finance seminar set up by Ehlers. During discussions of economic development projects, some of the participants discussed situations where members of a municipality were required to execute confidentiality agreements with developers prohibiting the officials from speaking to anyone about the project. Such shows the need to trust your front line officials but also caused concerns with the stated policy of transparency. Mayor Decker revealed that she and City Administrator Wietecha were asked to enter into such agreements three (3) years ago but nothing came of it. It was noted that the City needs development but under what circumstances? Confidentiality agreements are more common, so it will be important to determine the new City Administrator’s position on this issue. It was also noted that agreeing to remain confidential might box out competitors and hurt your bargaining advantage. It was also noted that constituents may be angered by this backroom negotiating. The topic of confidentiality agreements was added to the parking lot. b. Procedure for city administrator hiring. Mayor Decker provided a report on prior procedure used to hire City Administrator Wietecha. Braunschweig elaborated. The City used a consulting firm (PAA) in 2006. The cost was $5,000. Their current costs will probably be around $8,000. Other consultants are more expensive. To start the process, the City, with PPA help, created a job description. PAA advertised the position, collected resumes, and analyzed the resumes to make sure that the minimum job requirements were met. PAA then made a list of top candidates and identified others as “wild cards”. The Council watched videos of the candidates and whittled the field to five (5) candidates. On a Friday, the candidates were given tours of the City and met with Department Heads. Department Head input was solicited by the Council. The candidates were interviewed on Saturday and participated in a writing exercise. Discussions were held and decision was made. 11. Break 12. Constructive Conflict. Mayor Decker rephrased this topic as Constructive Debate

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