City tries a new method

The city of Minot conducted its own search to replace now-retired city manager David Waind earlier this year. Ultimately, a local selection committee narrowed the list of finalists to three candidates, and the job was offered to current city finance director Cindy Hemphill, who did not accept the job.

That meant the city was back to square one. In a second attempt to replace Waind, city officials announced last week that the city has hired The Prothman Company, a firm that specializes in national and executive services.

Mayor Curt Zimbelman pointed out that the city uses outside contractors on a regular basis, and after not getting enough satisfactory applicants, hiring a recruiting firm was the best thing to do.

Some residents might feel the city is wasting taxpayer money by hiring a recruiting firm when a local search committee could do the same job. Well, the city tried that method the first time, and it didn’t work. City officials and members of the local committee spent months recruiting and interviewing candidates, only to come away empty-handed. Was that not also a waste of taxpayer money given that public employees spent time working on the search and conducting exensive interviews?

Hiring an outside firm to do much of the legwork allows city officials and employees to tend to their own business while the process progresses. The city manager is a key position in Minot’s city government structure. If the second search ultimately finds a qualified person who is hired by the city, it will have been a good investment.