The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

July 22, 2011
Johnson says Sac deserves better on city manager search

To say that Mayor Kevin Johnson is underwhelmed by the self-declared front-runner for Sacramento's next city manager would be an understatement.

While making clear that he will support the City Council's eventual decision, Johnson is also making it clear that he's disappointed by the crop of applicants. The council could officially pick John Shirey, executive director of the California Redevelopment Association, in the next few weeks, if negotiations pan out.

"It's imperative that our next city manager have the managerial competence to ensure a steady hand at the wheel," the mayor said in a lengthy post on his blog this afternoon. "But we need so much more from our chief executive.

"The right up-and-coming city manager, one with fresh ideas and both public and private sector experience, could build a national reputation by taking Sacramento to the next level," Johnson continued. "From all accounts, that's not going to happen....Multiple candidates lacked even the minimum levels of experience established by the council."

Johnson supported keeping interim City Manager Gus Vina, but a majority of the council voted to do a national search, prompting Vina to leave.

The mayor also noted that the selection process has been conducted entirely behind closed doors.

The Bee editorial board also called on council members to involve the public far more in the process - to no avail.

Shirey may indeed be the best of the 30 applicants. But we'll apparently have to take the council's word for it.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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