The next Thousand Oaks city manager should have the freedom and incentive to "clean house" based on an unbiased analysis of the city's current directors and future requirements.
It would be this manager's task to reorganize, downsize and reduce salary levels.
To accomplish this task, this manager can have no prior connections with the city, its directors, council or commissions.
This manager should establish no loyalties other than to the residents.
This manager's task would then be to prepare the city for another manager who would not have to come in and "clean house."
The City Council should have a unanimous decision on the final candidate. Without this 5-0 vote, many in the council members' constituency could feel disenfranchised. Consider that Linda Parks received 20,000 votes, highest in city history, in the 1996 election. For her vote to be discounted by a 3-2 split would be deplorable.
The next city manager should:
* Pledge never to hold a secret meeting with other council members, directors and planning commissioners.
* Pledge to adhere to the letter of the General Plan.
* Pledge to have conservative fiscal responsibility.
* Pledge to form an ad hoc committee of citizens to meet with once a month or more to review and discuss the progress and state of the city.
* Pledge to conduct a complete audit of the city by an independent and never-before-used accounting firm.
Finally, I would like to see the final candidates come to the council meeting and present to the council and the public their views and qualifications to run the city of Thousand Oaks.
The city has already used a telephone survey to determine the public's opinion on sensitive matters.