EAST PALESTINE Council to name interim manager
Two council members said the next city manager should be from the area.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
EAST PALESTINE -- With the resignation Thursday of City Manager Patricia Quigley, city council's next order of business is to name an interim manager.
A special meeting of council will be 6 p.m. Monday in city hall to not only name an interim manager, but for council to discuss possible candidates and the salary for the position.
Quigley's resignation is effective Sept. 13. She has accepted a position as city manager of Woodstock, Ga., a community of about 13,000 residents.
Qualifications: Councilwoman Becky Burns said Monday's meeting will be closed to the public. Both she and Councilman Jeff Rowland said they strongly believe the next city manager should be a qualified local candidate.
Quigley came from Oregon, Kim Haws from Arizona, and Ken Francis from central Ohio.
"We need someone who is willing to be out in the streets and get to know the people," Rowland said. Rowland was not on council when Quigley was hired in 1999. He said the process of hiring a city manager will be a learning experience for him.
"We're small town America, and all we need is someone with a good head on their shoulders," Burns said. "We're working for the people, spending their money. We need someone who knows us and understands the mindset of our town."
Charter: Quigley said Friday that council may need to examine its use of the charter form of government.
She said there is a large discrepancy between what the city charter defines as the role and responsibility of the manager, and what council views as administrative responsibility. She said some council members want a hands-on role in managing city affairs, rather than allowing the manager to make decisions.
"In a charter form of government, the manager works for council," Burns said. "We have every right to question them.
"I hope we don't ever see a day when the manager, council and mayor all always agree," she said. "Communication is important and government works best when there is diversity of ideas, and then the best idea wins."
Rowland said he never personally had any problem with Quigley, and doesn't want a hands-on role.
"All we're asking for [from a city manager] is good communication," he said. "There were some times things went on we didn't know about. A lack of communication leads to animosity.
"My job is to pass along what the town wants," Rowland said. "The manager's job is to make decisions and pass those decisions on to the department heads. I don't want to be in the way of that."
Burns said people see that managers don't stay long and interpret that as a lack of progress. She disagrees.
"I think we give ourselves a bad rap," she said. "We have made great strides, and I think if we were getting a report card, it would look pretty good.