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Plans in the Works for Rockville City Manager Search

Mayor to present a search process proposal to the City Council on Monday.

Two days after Rockville City Manager Scott Ullery’s , the wheels of city government are already turning on the task of hiring Ullery’s successor.

Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio said that she spent Tuesday afternoon with the city’s human resources office reviewing a calendar and a process for selecting a new city manager. Marcuccio will present the plan to , she said. 

“We started working on it immediately with the thought that we should have some candidates in the pipeline in November, probably interviewing in January, with the hope that we can hire in March,” she said.

Marcuccio said that city staff would call for the city to issue a request for proposals for “headhunter” groups. Once hired, the group would solicit candidates, which would be narrowed down and interviewed by the mayor and council.

The process would have to be approved by the council, Marcuccio said, adding that “When the council gets a hold of it they might change it totally.”

Marcuccio said that she also would like to see “a local team for community input” involved in the search.

Asked if she’d be interested in Ullery, who plans to continue to live in Rockville after his retirement, participating in the search process, Marcuccio said: “I’d be perfectly happy to have any of his comments or expertise. I can’t tell whether the rest of the council feels the same way or not.”

Ullery has not volunteered his input in the search. He said Tuesday that he would leave it to the council to “work out what they’re most comfortable with.”

Ullery said that the Rockville city manager position is well known among municipal government mangers nationally and is regarded in professional literature “as one of the great jobs in our profession.”

“It’s going to be one that I think is going to attract some really top-notch candidates,” he said. “We’ll be able to fill it with somebody that’s going to be able to take Rockville and the organization to the next level.”

Just who that somebody will be could become a campaign issue.

Tom Moore, who ran unsuccessfully for the City Council in 2009 and said Thursday that he is running for the council again this year, posted a comment on Rockville Patch urging against a “rush job.” The search for a new city manager should fall to the mayor and council elected Nov. 8, he wrote.

“Selecting a city manager is one of the most important jobs of the Mayor and Council,” Moore wrote. “Rockville's city-manager requirements should be debated fully and vigorously by candidates and voters this fall. It would be inappropriate for a council in its waning months to set the terms of the search or narrow the candidates, much less make a final decision."

Jim Coyle July 11, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Although I agree with Tom in principle, the current M & C should get the recruitment procees underway since the entire process can take a minimum of 6 months to complete. Then you could have another time period before the new CM arrives for duty. The next Council can conduct the interviews and select the next manager. Having been involved in hiring 2 City Managers, a lot of delay and surprises can occur. For instance, a final choice may decide for a variety of reasons to decline an offer which requires the process to back-up a bit.

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