The City of Geneva has not publicly volunteered any information about the search committee responsible for selecting our next city manager. Last week, Geneva Believer published the roster of the City Manager Search Committee, and now we have obtained information on how those committee members were selected.
The Search Committee Selection Process
The list of names of people on the search committee has generated as many questions as it has answered.
But a request for further information sent by Geneva Believer to the city has answered at least these two questions:
Who selected the committee?
How did they decide who would be on the committee?
This is how the selection process unfolded:
- City Council members each provided a list of names of people they thought would be able to offer council the best assistance in making the choice.
- City Council got together, went over the names and put together a list they all agreed upon.
City Council represents the entire city, so the process of allowing all nine representatives to nominate people they believe will best represent their constituents’ interest, and then having those nine representatives agree on the final list, seems reasonable.
But the process has not been transparent.
- The city didn’t publicly acknowledge the existence of a search committee until April 4th, when they announced the committee had already been selected.
- The city didn’t publicly share the list of committee members (even failing to respond to a request for the information from the Finger Lakes Times), and didn’t release the list until Geneva Believer requested the information on April 6th.
- The city didn’t publicly share the search committee selection process until Geneva Believer requested the information on April 12th.
“The Committee to Represent Our Diverse Community”?
City Council’s only public statement on the committee (via the Mayor) noted that the committee had been selected to “represent our diverse community.”
The Geneva community is 53% female.
The City Manager Search Committee is 33% female.
How can Council claim that this committee represents our community if they can’t even be bothered to notice an egregious lack of women representatives?
How can Council claim that this committee represents our community if they can’t be bothered to notice there is no one who speaks Spanish and only one person under 40?
The first meeting of the City Council Search Committee is Wednesday, April 18th on the Hobart William Smith campus. The city has not publicly revealed the exact location and time.
Contact City Council now and tell them to postpone the first meeting of the search committee and reset the committee selection process so that the public can be involved in a process that is transparent and equitable.
It’s our Geneva. And we can’t allow them to decide our new city manager for us, without us.