Late last January when a divided City Council voted to change city managers, there was a bit of an open wound on the third floor. Bad press, recriminations and suddenly a need to embark on a recruitment effort nobody was looking forward to.
To the north, Ogdensburg had been grabbing headlines with its protracted demise of City Manager Art Sciorra, but suddenly Watertown was doing the same, albeit under different circumstances.
With weeks till vacancy, there had to be a pulling together. Some one or some how to rally forces divided. My choice was John Krol to head a recruitment effort and this week we paid Mr. Krol the final installment of his contract with the inking of a contract with manager in waiting Sharon Addison.
Krol was above reproach and well connected to the profession of municipal administration. When hired February 14th, he quickly talked to council members, crafted a job description and hit the street. An April 20 submission deadline yielded 37 applicants and by May 21, Council informed Ms. Addison she was there choice. A public announcement came four days later after a contract was negotiated.
To their credit, Council members knew they had to make it work once we got started and their was no acrimony or nonsense along the way. Mr. Krol analyzed the submissions, prepared matrixes, and helped as Council winnowed the field...First to 17, then to seven who did phone interviews.
After background checking, four were chosen for personal interviews on May 18-19 and out of that one was chosen.
Last night, I sent a note to the comptroller to pay the remainder of Krol's contract as the terms have been met.
Meanwhile, to the north, the Maple City has just hired a recruiter at 50% more money and surely some of our applicants might be appropriately considered by the 'burg.
In any event, there were skeptics who felt the process and Council could not be pulled together so quickly.
Thanks to Mr. Krol for answering the call. This was the first time he had done such an effort and gets an A+. Ironically, I had called him way back in 1995 when a manager searched here had faltered and he put me in touch with some people who were very helpful.
I promise I won't call again.