Scene in Passing: What the Dickens? Greater Expectations?

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Meets or exceeds expectations. That was the pervasive view of those interviewing the candidates for Carson City’s open city manager post.

You might expect that, given that the five men interviewed were among seven passing the headhunter screen from among the 70 people who applied. Two of those dropped out almost immediately after the first screening, which left the quintet the City Manager Advisory Committee interviewed on April Fool’s Day. No kidding.

None among them proved to be a fool, but you might also expect that given the salary range for the executive role. It is from $140,000 to $180,000 annually. The interviewers asked some 20 questions and occasionally marked down a note that a candidate fell below expectations here or far exceeded expectations there, but many marks stayed in the meets-or-exceeds realm. Anyway, expectations can be a dicey thing.

For example, your expectations can get pretty high when we’re talking about a six-figure annual salary, with perks taking the compensation package toward a quarter-mill, all to handle a job overseeing more than 500 employees, a budget greater than $100 million, and general tax revenues in excess of $60 million (fees, grants, federal coffers and the like account for the difference).

The 11 members on the advisory panel may have their individual preferences. You may be able to ferret them out, anonymously of course, if you’re willing to spend a few hours reading their reactions at by clicking the appropriate prompt in red. If you prefer, you can check out the candidates there unfiltered: their interview responses can are right next to the written reactions on videotape. It should only take eight hours to catch them all.

Most of us, however, will leave it to the Board of Supervisors, which gets to make the pick. The mayor and four supervisors, whether you agree with their decisions or not, don’t shrink from work. This board has proved each member is a glutton for the punishment that hours of reading, showing up anywhere and everywhere, discussing, debating and making decisions takes to craft policy for a modern community.

There is no doubt in these precincts each of them will digest most or all of what’s mentioned above and consider other factors many citizens haven’t even thought about. It goes with the territory they chose and the roles for which we chose them. Will they select the best man (in this case, it applies) for the city manager’s job? We all may have our informed or uninformed viewpoints. But none of them matter.

What matters is whether Carson City’s elected policy makers can determine, during the first part of May, who among the quintet will exceed expectations the most.


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