Good start - Cumberland Times-News Editorial

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May 9, 2011

City wants public’s help in hiring new administrator

The Cumberland mayor and council is on the right track by involving the public in the hiring process for a new city administrator.

The city will appoint a group of volunteers as a selection committee to advise city leaders about the hiring. The city might want to follow the Allegany County school board’s example when it hired its last superintendent. The board held various forums and invited the general citizenry as well as teachers and students to advise what kinds of personal qualities and professional credentials the school board should seek.

An opening for the city administrator position has occurred because Jeff Repp, the current administrator, has decided to leave the post June 30.

Mayor Brian Grim said the city decided to ask the public’s help in selecting a replacement. “The council and I have met and agree that public input, citizen involvement and business leadership are necessary in the review process,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the committee should send a letter to Margie Eirich, city clerk, by May 20. The letters should be sent to Eirich at City Hall, 57 N. Liberty Street, Cumberland, MD 21502.

Once Repp leaves office he will be succeeded on a temporary basis by Director of Administrative Services Jeffrey Rhodes. Rhodes has previous service as the city administrator in Frostburg as well as in Keyser and Grafton, W.Va.

Appointment of a city administrator is among the most important decisions city leaders can face. By adding the counsel of their constituency, city leaders are increasing the odds that they will make the best selection possible once the field of candidates is complete.