City Councillor Brian Hatleberg said he has taken the baton from Council President Leo Robinson and is ready to run with it in terms of choosing the all-important Screening Committee for the City Manager selection process.
Robinson designated Hatleberg the chair of the Committee last week, and he joins three other councillors, including Joe Perlatonda, Calvin Brown and Dan Cortell. This week, Hatleberg said a schedule has been outlined and he and his colleagues are ready to choose the best and brightest in the City to serve on the panel. The panel, known as the Screening Committee, will be charged to work with the Collins Center to weed out resumes in intensive executive (private) sessions. They will likely take 30 or 40 resumes and whittle them down to four or five finalists.
Hatleberg said getting just the right people will be paramount.
“I can tell you already we have probably had about 10 resumes submitted and 50 people express interest in some way, shape or form for this Screening Committee,” he said. “The goal is to put in place a Screening Committee that broadly represents the community from many perspectives. It is something like a ‘Blue Chip Panel’ that everyone in the community can look at, recognize and say, ‘I trust those guys.’…It will be people with some pretty deep experience.”
Hatleberg said his Committee will choose four people.
A fifth member of the Committee will be former Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch, who will serve voluntarily to provide perspective from a former city manager. Lynch participated in a public forum in January put on by several non-profits to discuss the duties and properties of a good city manager.
“We brought him in on this because we want someone who has been a city manager and has perspective as to what it takes to execute the details of the job,” he said.
The process will happen fast, Hatleberg said.
“We will present a slate of four people to the City Council for a vote on March 23 for the Screening Committee,” he said. “The deadline for city manager applications to be in is March 31 so our Committee will need to be ready to go by then.”
That means time is of the essence for anyone interested in serving on the Committee.
Hatleberg said he has scheduled a meeting for March 9, after the regular City Council meeting, to begin public discussion of the Screening Committee. Another meeting will happen the next day on March 10 for any carryover issues.
“The goal right now is to get the message out to the public that if anyone has interest in being on the Screening Committee, we are asking them to send us a letter of interest, a resume or something like that before that March 9 meeting,” he said.
Before putting one’s name in the hat for consideration, the time commitment must be considered.
Hatleberg said it would be about a 20-hour commitment in a very compressed time period.
Once all of the applications are in, he said the Collins Center would probably conduct an entire weekend, Saturday and Sunday, of off-site interviews with candidates.
The would also be two weekly meetings to commit to.
Anyone who is interested in being considered for the Screening Committee should e-mail a letter of interest and resume to [email protected].
“We are rolling,” Hatleberg said. “The Collins Center has pamphlet out there and the ads are out there. The position of city manager is being advertised now.”