Moo-ving forward on finding a new Town Manager

April 11, 2011

The Town COWncil has selected the firm of Peckham & McKenney to conduct the search for our new Town Manager. That firm will start conducting interviewing COWs to get the “feel” of Woodside.

Ten firms responded to the Town’s request for proposals. The proposals are available on the Town website. The COWncil Subcommittee (made up of Mayor Romines and COWncilmembers Kasten and Tanner) winnowed down the list and interviewed the two finalists Peckham & McKenney and Management Partners and recommended the former. We are pleased that the COWncil hired the firm Peckham & McKenney instead of longtime Town consultant Management Partners, Inc…

P&M, has a great deal of experience in recruiting for executive positions in California and with Town similar to Woodside. We have long been concerned about the cozy relationship between our Town Manager and Management Partners. We hope that the decision to hire P&M means that the recruitment and selection of candidates will be made independently of the current administration.

In March, a P&M partner Bobbi Peckham attended a special Town meeting where citizens of Woodside were asked to give her feedback as to what qualities they would like to see in a new Town Manager. Unfortunately, only four citizens turned up for the meeting, but P&M is still taking suggestions, advice, and criticism via the web. This is the opportunity for COWs to make their views so we hope you will take advantage of it.

Only four members of the public were present and they had high praise for our current Town Manager, with one going so far as to say the solution to hiring a new Town Manager was to clone Susan George. While Bobbi Peckham jokingly said she was working on it, she did lead the meeting through a series of questions trying to distill what Woodside is looking for in a Town Manager.

She asked what the top three issues/ challenges facing Woodside now and in the future are, how those issues will affect the Town and the new Town Manager, as well as asking how well the Town currently handles those challenges and how well the Town Manager has done delivering services to the community. She also wanted to know what else she needed to know about Woodside.

She gave assurances that all e-mails will be kept private and she (and the COWncil) encouraged those who are critical of the current Town Manager or of how the Town is run to speak up in and be heard to help ensure the next Town Manager is the best representative of the Town possible. The more information that P&M has about what COWs want in a Town Manager, the better the job they can do in helping the COWncil make the selection.

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