Five finalists selected for City of Shoreline City Manager position

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Correction: Novak chose the 13 applicants to go to the City Council. 11-25-2013 4:20pm

The Shoreline City Council has selected five finalists to move to the final round of interviews for the city manager position. Former City Manager, Julie Underwood, resigned on October 3 for family reasons. The five finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Neal Beets, Town Manager, Town of Windham, CT
  • Arlene Fisher, City Administrator, City of Cheney, WA
  • Subir Mukerjee, City Administrator, City of Milton, WA
  • Nabiel Shawa, City Manager, City of Walla Walla, WA
  • Debbie Tarry, Interim City Manager, City of Shoreline, WA 

“We had a large pool of very qualified candidates to choose from and we believe these five individuals best exemplify the values we want to see in a City Manager for Shoreline,” stated Mayor Keith McGlashan. “We encourage residents to come meet the candidates at the candidates’ reception on December 6 at City Hall.”

The City hired Novak Consulting, an executive search firm, to help with the search and hiring of a new city manager. Novak received 64 applications for the position. Of those, 13 were chosen by Novak Consulting to go through an initial interview with the City Council. From the results of those interviews, the City Council chose the five finalists.

The City’s Leadership Team will interview the candidates on Friday, December 6, which will then be followed by a Candidate Reception hosted by the City Council from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall.

The reception will give residents an opportunity to meet the candidates and provide Council with feedback. The final interviews will take place on Saturday, December 7 during an executive session of the City Council under the authority of RCW 42.30.110(1)(g). 

Council will appoint the new City Manager on Monday, December 9, during its regular business meeting.

It is anticipated that a new city manager will begin work by early February.


12 comments:

Tom Jamieson,  November 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM  

Seriously, would the City Council have the public believe that out of a "large pool of qualified candidates" the five finalists proposed by Deputy Mayor Eggen in his motion just happened to meet with unanimous approval of the rest of the City Council within 35 seconds of the motion? Washington State's Open Public Meetings Act prohibits Council from taking action in a closed meeting other than what is allowed by specific exemptions. Notwithstanding the privacy of the candidates, narrowing the field to five cannot take place in a closed meeting. Council held an Executive Session on November 11, 2013 at 5:45pm, citing exemption to the open meeting requirement: RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment. Presumably this was the meeting in which the City Manager candidates were evaluated. Eliminating all but five of the candidates from further consideration goes beyond evaluation. It is selection, and selection is not exempt. Whether the final five were determined by rule or by roster, it is still selection, and must take place in an open meeting.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM  

Somehow I think they selected finalists just so they could justify selecting Debbie Tarry, who does the City Council think they are fooling (other than the applicants)?

Anonymous,  November 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM  

I hope they don't make the same mistake of picking someone already on staff. We saw how that worked last time. They need fresh insight and real experience...not another drinking buddy.

Tom Jamieson,  November 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM  

In March, 2006, Bob Olander was appointed City Manager, after serving 2 months as Interim City Manager, and Assistant City Manager before that. The minutes of the March 27, 2006 Regular Meeting of the City Council make it pretty clear that the current City Council does not feel bound by the policies of earlier councils, at least not when it comes to hiring a City Manager:

"Deputy Mayor Fimia said this action provides the City with more stability and saves the City thousands of dollars by not having to conduct a national recruitment."

"Mayor Ransom noted that in the prior City Manager recruitment, the City conducted a national recruitment and 42 applicants were screened down to six that were interviewed by the Council before a final selection was made. He said Mr. Olander represents the “satisficing factor,” meaning that he is an in-house candidate and the full Council felt he is well qualified. Mayor Ransom also pointed out that it is the policy of the City to promote from within and Mr. Olander has earned the respect of the Council and in turn the Council is showing their loyalty by hiring him as the City Manager."

Anonymous,  November 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM  

What policy to promote from within, or is Bob Ransom just making things up again?

Just like the City Council we have now? When they selected Julie Underwood, they claimed they met with community about the selection criteria when in actual fact they were meeting in executive session during the entire process because the staff and council were too busy trying to convince the public to vote for property tax increases.

On top of that, they selected Julie Underwood, who had been arrested for drunk driving on a Thursday night only 18 months before while Assistant City Manager, a case she pleaded down to criminally negligent reckless driving with alcohol involved -- a case that can be found in the District Court. But hey, if you are friends with individual Councilmembers, an arrest is no impediment to upward mobility! Evidently Debbie Tarry has friends on the Council.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2013 at 7:23 AM  

Shraga Biran for City Manager!

Anonymous,  November 21, 2013 at 9:14 AM  

Anon @6:53 AM: I would sure like to see a link to that record or you better retract it. That is a pretty bold accusation.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2013 at 10:01 AM  

@9:14 AM - not an accusation but FACT:

Date of Citation: 7/18/2008 on I-5 Northbound near Northgate, on or about Midnight-1AM. BAC 0.85
King County District Court Case #C0729582 dated 10/7/2008

Not retracting it AT ALL since I have a copy of it, maybe you should go get a copy and read it for yourself. Read it and weep, our city is out of control, the Mayor has his own arrest for drunken misconduct while on city business. And to think people are throwing darts at RWD and SWD...

Wanna see the details, there is a courthouse right by Cromwell Park on Meridian.

Anonymous,  November 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM  

This unspoken "policy of in house promotion" stunts the organization with myopic inbreeding. First, after an exhaustive search, Julie Underwood was "selected" by this same city council; then, after an exhaustive search, Underwood "selected" Debbie Tarry to be the assistant city manager: and now, after an exhaustive search, the city council will "select" Tarry as the new city manager. The only thing missing is the banjo music.

Anonymous,  November 23, 2013 at 9:06 AM  

How much money have money has the city spent on these executive search firms that are just for show? I recall they spent $20K for the Prothman seach to hire Julie Underwood, then they spent money on a search firm to hire Debbie Tarry (Assistant City Manager), the Planning Director, the City Engineer (TWICE because the one they selected quit within months), the Administrative Services Director, and now another City Manager - if we just apply $15K to the last five searches that is $45K plus $20K for a total of $65K.

Plus Novak Asso. used to be called Management Partners, when Steve Burkett was terminated he immediately went to work for Management Partners -- they were a contractor with the City of Shoreline for council retreats and leadership training. Novak bought out the remaining partners a few years ago. What did Steve Burkett do as one of his first acts as the new Sequim City Manager? Hire Novak. What did Julie Underwood do as one of her first acts as the new Shoreline City Manager - hire Novak to do an executive search to fill the newly vacated Assistant City Manager position. Makes you wonder if Steve Burkett and Julie Underwood kept in touch through Novak. And Debbie Tarry is going to carry on the relationship, isn't she?

Anonymous,  November 23, 2013 at 6:42 PM  

All we can do is pray for deliverance. Voting doesn't seem to work.

Anonymous,  November 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM  

Pray for Deliverance? Do you mean the movie? I hear banjos...

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