City manager. In Glendale, the person who holds that position is as powerful, if not more so, than a City Council member.
The city manager, in addition to running the vast organization at City Hall, wields vast influence over hiring decisions, the agenda of public business and city departments, and has time and again steered the City Council in one direction or another.
And yet, for all the potential consequence of the position, the City Council has remained disturbingly mum on how it intends to replace outgoing City Manager Jim Starbird, who plans to retire at year’s end.
The hiring of a city manager is one of the most important decisions a City Council can face, and yet this current council has been content to meet behind closed doors while the public grows increasingly anxious about what form the process will take.
Let us add our voice to the growing chorus of those calling for an open and transparent process — one that will consider candidates from outside City Hall. Glendale, as the third largest city in Los Angeles County, deserves to know its elected officials are considering the best of the best, both internally and outside the current power structure.
Without those assurances, the public has a right to question the validity of the process — and ultimately, the validity of the final choice.