One of the aspects of the public private partnership issue that came before city council the other day concerns city staff not knowing their place.
City employees work for the city manager, not city council. City council should be deciding issues and specifying direction.
The city manager is supposed to implement the policies of city council if they can be implemented.
In this situation at least three city council members felt that the issue was “sprung” on them as a surprise and that they wanted more information before taking action.
A respected member of the development community stood before council and explained that the procurement process that was defined as part of the request for proposals was not followed. He felt that he and other competitors had not been given a fair chance.
We don’t know enough about the various offers that the city received to comment on which one should have been chosen. Evidently at least three members of council felt the same way.
Instead of listening to council’s concerns city staff took an active role in pushing the vote through. Senior staff from several departments took positions as advocates for taking action. It looked like at least one of them chose to tell part of the truth but not the whole story.
If things are being run properly they should not have been able to do this without the city manager’s knowledge, thus leaving us with the belief that their advocacy was allowed by the city manager.
We unfortunately have a city manager form of government. The mayor and city representatives enjoy the luxury of hiding behind that fact.
Has our current city manager decided that it is his job to tell council what to do?
We deserve better