Past Hiring Process for Police Chief Vastly Different

In lieu of the very secretive search for a new Davis police chief–one that has been defended based on the need for confidentiality and also standard operating procedures–it was very interesting to do some research into the last chief hiring process in mid-2003 by then City Manager Jim Antonen and discover that the process itself was vastly different and much more open than this secret process we have seen play out over the last month.

On May 4, 2003, there was an article in the Davis Enterprise where all six candidates for the Davis Police Chief had come to Davis and gotten a chance to meet the community.

Each of the six were identified by name to reporter Lauren Keene as well as the public. And their backgrounds were briefly profiled in the newspaper–something that has not occurred this time.

There was a public opportunity to meet and mingle with both city officials and other police employees. There were also numerous functions where the public got to meet and talk with the candidates for the police chief position.

This process took roughly two months, as the City Manager made the final decision by July 10, 2003 to hire Jim Hyde. The names of all six finalists were released to the public a full two months before a final decision was made

That is not to suggest that the past process was perfect. There were public suggestions that there needed to be a broad and diverse citizen group that would help advise the City Manager on the selection of a new police chief. In fact, the concerns raised were rather prophetic and it seems possible that much of the drama of the past year could have been avoided with a more frank discussion from the onset. And yet that did not happen in 2003 and indeed we have moved even further from this ideal in 2007.

There were issues raised in public in 2003 that became the focal point of the problems that led to the exit of Chief Jim Hyde. These problems have not been addressed to this day or in this hiring process. How can we expect to not have a repeat of recent history? And now the public has no means to access the new candidate for police chief to see how they view some of these very crucial issues.

The process has moved backwards since 2003. The public has been less rather than more involved in it. And now the City Manager could very well hire a man to be police chief, who people in this community know absolutely nothing about.

Talking with people involved with the past process, I was very interested to find out that there was in fact a number of public meet and greets, where not only the Human Relations Commission, but members of the public got a chance to meet some of the candidates prior to the hire of Hyde. And we are not talking about a meet and greet for a mere 30 minutes.

The process has been very different this time. In January, there was an announcement in the paper that there were seven candidates. This time, none of those candidates were named by City Manager Bill Emlen. There were assurances made that the public would get a chance to meet some of the finalists. And tonight at the City Council Meeting, just prior to it at 6 pm, there will be a half-hour meet and greet for the public. A very limited time frame and very little opportunity for the public to meet and get to know the only realistic candidate at this point.

The explanations for the secrecy were based on process and precedent, but that appears to be untrue based on the examination of the historical record, at least in the recent past. While we acknowledged that City Manager Bill Emlen has a very difficult task at hand and a difficult decision to make, any error should have been on the side of too much public openness rather than not enough. There have been suggestions made about dissatisfaction with the caliber of candidates and even the suggestion that this hire may not occur and that the process would restart. We hope that Mr. Emlen will choose a more public process next time through and we believe that the will lead to a better outcome and stronger support from this community.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Law Enforcement

32 comments

  1. City Manager Bill Emlen’s police chief selection process has not been respectful of the community nor will it serve the new chief well. By insolating the candidates from meeting citizens who have serious concerns about current and past police practices builds neither communication or trust. It also short changes the candidates and limits their ability to evaluate whether they themselves would want a job that will require tremendous communication skills and enormous effort to correct the department and repair the damage the past police chief’s administration caused. Emlen has constructed a process that is highly secretive. This does not bode well for our community.

  2. City Manager Bill Emlen’s police chief selection process has not been respectful of the community nor will it serve the new chief well. By insolating the candidates from meeting citizens who have serious concerns about current and past police practices builds neither communication or trust. It also short changes the candidates and limits their ability to evaluate whether they themselves would want a job that will require tremendous communication skills and enormous effort to correct the department and repair the damage the past police chief’s administration caused. Emlen has constructed a process that is highly secretive. This does not bode well for our community.

  3. City Manager Bill Emlen’s police chief selection process has not been respectful of the community nor will it serve the new chief well. By insolating the candidates from meeting citizens who have serious concerns about current and past police practices builds neither communication or trust. It also short changes the candidates and limits their ability to evaluate whether they themselves would want a job that will require tremendous communication skills and enormous effort to correct the department and repair the damage the past police chief’s administration caused. Emlen has constructed a process that is highly secretive. This does not bode well for our community.

  4. City Manager Bill Emlen’s police chief selection process has not been respectful of the community nor will it serve the new chief well. By insolating the candidates from meeting citizens who have serious concerns about current and past police practices builds neither communication or trust. It also short changes the candidates and limits their ability to evaluate whether they themselves would want a job that will require tremendous communication skills and enormous effort to correct the department and repair the damage the past police chief’s administration caused. Emlen has constructed a process that is highly secretive. This does not bode well for our community.

  5. I disagree. I understand that this process is different. I understand that the general public are being kept out of the process. But we aren’t involved when other staff positions are filled. I don’t think that even a several hour meeting would tell us much about the person. Forcing a candidate to have what essentially be a “town hall” meeting for part of their interview seems out of place. This is not a political position. This is a managerial position. When UCD hired their new police chief, we received no more than an announcement. When the school district hired their Climate Committee person, we received no more than an announcement. When the City hired Bill Emlen, we received no more than an announcement. We need to be patient here. I’m sure that the person selected will be the best person for the position available. The officers must have confidence in their chief in order for them to follow their direction.

    The reasoning you give is that by throwing potential candidates into the political fire, they would feel the heat and not want the job. What just might you have planned to weed out the weak of heart?

  6. I disagree. I understand that this process is different. I understand that the general public are being kept out of the process. But we aren’t involved when other staff positions are filled. I don’t think that even a several hour meeting would tell us much about the person. Forcing a candidate to have what essentially be a “town hall” meeting for part of their interview seems out of place. This is not a political position. This is a managerial position. When UCD hired their new police chief, we received no more than an announcement. When the school district hired their Climate Committee person, we received no more than an announcement. When the City hired Bill Emlen, we received no more than an announcement. We need to be patient here. I’m sure that the person selected will be the best person for the position available. The officers must have confidence in their chief in order for them to follow their direction.

    The reasoning you give is that by throwing potential candidates into the political fire, they would feel the heat and not want the job. What just might you have planned to weed out the weak of heart?

  7. I disagree. I understand that this process is different. I understand that the general public are being kept out of the process. But we aren’t involved when other staff positions are filled. I don’t think that even a several hour meeting would tell us much about the person. Forcing a candidate to have what essentially be a “town hall” meeting for part of their interview seems out of place. This is not a political position. This is a managerial position. When UCD hired their new police chief, we received no more than an announcement. When the school district hired their Climate Committee person, we received no more than an announcement. When the City hired Bill Emlen, we received no more than an announcement. We need to be patient here. I’m sure that the person selected will be the best person for the position available. The officers must have confidence in their chief in order for them to follow their direction.

    The reasoning you give is that by throwing potential candidates into the political fire, they would feel the heat and not want the job. What just might you have planned to weed out the weak of heart?

  8. I disagree. I understand that this process is different. I understand that the general public are being kept out of the process. But we aren’t involved when other staff positions are filled. I don’t think that even a several hour meeting would tell us much about the person. Forcing a candidate to have what essentially be a “town hall” meeting for part of their interview seems out of place. This is not a political position. This is a managerial position. When UCD hired their new police chief, we received no more than an announcement. When the school district hired their Climate Committee person, we received no more than an announcement. When the City hired Bill Emlen, we received no more than an announcement. We need to be patient here. I’m sure that the person selected will be the best person for the position available. The officers must have confidence in their chief in order for them to follow their direction.

    The reasoning you give is that by throwing potential candidates into the political fire, they would feel the heat and not want the job. What just might you have planned to weed out the weak of heart?

  9. If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour. That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark. I would assume that he understands this and is proceeding with diligence and caution…. good luck, Bill.

  10. If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour. That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark. I would assume that he understands this and is proceeding with diligence and caution…. good luck, Bill.

  11. If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour. That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark. I would assume that he understands this and is proceeding with diligence and caution…. good luck, Bill.

  12. If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour. That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark. I would assume that he understands this and is proceeding with diligence and caution…. good luck, Bill.

  13. The police chief position is both a managerial and political. Any significant leadership position in city government has a political aspect to it and no more so than that of police chief. A chief is not merely administrating the law and managing the department, he/she should be building bridges to all sectors of our community and hopefully representing all the residents of the community regarding law enforcement matters. To do that effectively a police chief must know what their citizens want and communicate with them. It takes political skill for a city manager, police chief, fire chief, planning department head etc. to be successful.

    In 2003, then city manager Jim Antonen conducted a police chief selection process that was much more open and transparent. The community knew who the other finalists were and had the opportunity to meet many of them. And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process. As a result Jim Hyde’s first years as chief were by and large supported by most citizens. People, at the time, had faith that Chief Hyde was committed to reforming the department and providing effective and fair law and order.

    It is true there is no guarantee that any given person will succeed at a job. Only time will tell as we discovered with Jim Hyde. Hyde’s conduct in his last year as chief was in many ways a reversal of his commitment to the open communication and community out reach style he had initially exhibited. He became defensive, insular and did not respect the critics of his department or of himself. He became adversarial and hostal towards many in the community who he disagreed with turning them into former supporters. To many observers it felt like Hyde had decided to look for another job or did not care what people really thought of his administration. After he took the job in Antioch it became public information that he had been actively seeking employment elsewhere for over one year. Evidently Hyde had decided to move on and did not wish to work to resolve the crises and complaints within his own department or the community he was sworn to serve.

    I would think that by schooling and exposing the final candidates about the failures of the last chief and the current distrust that many folks in this town have towards the police administration would serve as a useful and helpful tool to the future chief. I would think that by introducing the candidates to the critics of the police department would be a useful tool. Hearing this criticism directly from those affected helps with the necessary communication to resolve that conflict and build the success for the new chief and the police department that we all hope for.

  14. The police chief position is both a managerial and political. Any significant leadership position in city government has a political aspect to it and no more so than that of police chief. A chief is not merely administrating the law and managing the department, he/she should be building bridges to all sectors of our community and hopefully representing all the residents of the community regarding law enforcement matters. To do that effectively a police chief must know what their citizens want and communicate with them. It takes political skill for a city manager, police chief, fire chief, planning department head etc. to be successful.

    In 2003, then city manager Jim Antonen conducted a police chief selection process that was much more open and transparent. The community knew who the other finalists were and had the opportunity to meet many of them. And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process. As a result Jim Hyde’s first years as chief were by and large supported by most citizens. People, at the time, had faith that Chief Hyde was committed to reforming the department and providing effective and fair law and order.

    It is true there is no guarantee that any given person will succeed at a job. Only time will tell as we discovered with Jim Hyde. Hyde’s conduct in his last year as chief was in many ways a reversal of his commitment to the open communication and community out reach style he had initially exhibited. He became defensive, insular and did not respect the critics of his department or of himself. He became adversarial and hostal towards many in the community who he disagreed with turning them into former supporters. To many observers it felt like Hyde had decided to look for another job or did not care what people really thought of his administration. After he took the job in Antioch it became public information that he had been actively seeking employment elsewhere for over one year. Evidently Hyde had decided to move on and did not wish to work to resolve the crises and complaints within his own department or the community he was sworn to serve.

    I would think that by schooling and exposing the final candidates about the failures of the last chief and the current distrust that many folks in this town have towards the police administration would serve as a useful and helpful tool to the future chief. I would think that by introducing the candidates to the critics of the police department would be a useful tool. Hearing this criticism directly from those affected helps with the necessary communication to resolve that conflict and build the success for the new chief and the police department that we all hope for.

  15. The police chief position is both a managerial and political. Any significant leadership position in city government has a political aspect to it and no more so than that of police chief. A chief is not merely administrating the law and managing the department, he/she should be building bridges to all sectors of our community and hopefully representing all the residents of the community regarding law enforcement matters. To do that effectively a police chief must know what their citizens want and communicate with them. It takes political skill for a city manager, police chief, fire chief, planning department head etc. to be successful.

    In 2003, then city manager Jim Antonen conducted a police chief selection process that was much more open and transparent. The community knew who the other finalists were and had the opportunity to meet many of them. And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process. As a result Jim Hyde’s first years as chief were by and large supported by most citizens. People, at the time, had faith that Chief Hyde was committed to reforming the department and providing effective and fair law and order.

    It is true there is no guarantee that any given person will succeed at a job. Only time will tell as we discovered with Jim Hyde. Hyde’s conduct in his last year as chief was in many ways a reversal of his commitment to the open communication and community out reach style he had initially exhibited. He became defensive, insular and did not respect the critics of his department or of himself. He became adversarial and hostal towards many in the community who he disagreed with turning them into former supporters. To many observers it felt like Hyde had decided to look for another job or did not care what people really thought of his administration. After he took the job in Antioch it became public information that he had been actively seeking employment elsewhere for over one year. Evidently Hyde had decided to move on and did not wish to work to resolve the crises and complaints within his own department or the community he was sworn to serve.

    I would think that by schooling and exposing the final candidates about the failures of the last chief and the current distrust that many folks in this town have towards the police administration would serve as a useful and helpful tool to the future chief. I would think that by introducing the candidates to the critics of the police department would be a useful tool. Hearing this criticism directly from those affected helps with the necessary communication to resolve that conflict and build the success for the new chief and the police department that we all hope for.

  16. The police chief position is both a managerial and political. Any significant leadership position in city government has a political aspect to it and no more so than that of police chief. A chief is not merely administrating the law and managing the department, he/she should be building bridges to all sectors of our community and hopefully representing all the residents of the community regarding law enforcement matters. To do that effectively a police chief must know what their citizens want and communicate with them. It takes political skill for a city manager, police chief, fire chief, planning department head etc. to be successful.

    In 2003, then city manager Jim Antonen conducted a police chief selection process that was much more open and transparent. The community knew who the other finalists were and had the opportunity to meet many of them. And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process. As a result Jim Hyde’s first years as chief were by and large supported by most citizens. People, at the time, had faith that Chief Hyde was committed to reforming the department and providing effective and fair law and order.

    It is true there is no guarantee that any given person will succeed at a job. Only time will tell as we discovered with Jim Hyde. Hyde’s conduct in his last year as chief was in many ways a reversal of his commitment to the open communication and community out reach style he had initially exhibited. He became defensive, insular and did not respect the critics of his department or of himself. He became adversarial and hostal towards many in the community who he disagreed with turning them into former supporters. To many observers it felt like Hyde had decided to look for another job or did not care what people really thought of his administration. After he took the job in Antioch it became public information that he had been actively seeking employment elsewhere for over one year. Evidently Hyde had decided to move on and did not wish to work to resolve the crises and complaints within his own department or the community he was sworn to serve.

    I would think that by schooling and exposing the final candidates about the failures of the last chief and the current distrust that many folks in this town have towards the police administration would serve as a useful and helpful tool to the future chief. I would think that by introducing the candidates to the critics of the police department would be a useful tool. Hearing this criticism directly from those affected helps with the necessary communication to resolve that conflict and build the success for the new chief and the police department that we all hope for.

  17. City Manager Bill Emlen should be more open with the public. Former City Managers have been more forth coming allowing citizens to meet and ask questions of the candidates. What is he afraid of?

    The Chief of Police serves all of the tax paying citizens of Davis and we should know who is being considered for the position. This is even more true given that there were several lawsuits against the Davis Police Dept. and / or the city this past year and one big lawsuit still in the works. Who knows, there may be more?

    City Manger Bill Emlen should remember that this is all taking place under his watch and should be more forthcoming and open.

    Where is the leadership on this issue?

  18. City Manager Bill Emlen should be more open with the public. Former City Managers have been more forth coming allowing citizens to meet and ask questions of the candidates. What is he afraid of?

    The Chief of Police serves all of the tax paying citizens of Davis and we should know who is being considered for the position. This is even more true given that there were several lawsuits against the Davis Police Dept. and / or the city this past year and one big lawsuit still in the works. Who knows, there may be more?

    City Manger Bill Emlen should remember that this is all taking place under his watch and should be more forthcoming and open.

    Where is the leadership on this issue?

  19. City Manager Bill Emlen should be more open with the public. Former City Managers have been more forth coming allowing citizens to meet and ask questions of the candidates. What is he afraid of?

    The Chief of Police serves all of the tax paying citizens of Davis and we should know who is being considered for the position. This is even more true given that there were several lawsuits against the Davis Police Dept. and / or the city this past year and one big lawsuit still in the works. Who knows, there may be more?

    City Manger Bill Emlen should remember that this is all taking place under his watch and should be more forthcoming and open.

    Where is the leadership on this issue?

  20. City Manager Bill Emlen should be more open with the public. Former City Managers have been more forth coming allowing citizens to meet and ask questions of the candidates. What is he afraid of?

    The Chief of Police serves all of the tax paying citizens of Davis and we should know who is being considered for the position. This is even more true given that there were several lawsuits against the Davis Police Dept. and / or the city this past year and one big lawsuit still in the works. Who knows, there may be more?

    City Manger Bill Emlen should remember that this is all taking place under his watch and should be more forthcoming and open.

    Where is the leadership on this issue?

  21. DG writes: “The process has moved backwards since 2003. The public has been less rather than more involved in it.”

    In my opinion, public input is not necessarily a “forward” move. It depends on who the public is.

    I think Bill Emlen (or any city manager) would be wise to expose the candidates to some community leaders, including the members of the city council, perhaps the head of the chamber of commerce, leaders of civil rights groups, and, of course, some top cops in the department.

    What I would hope to get from those encounters would be for the leaders to express to the candidates what they want in a chief, and for the candidates to express to the leaders what their vision of the chief’s job is.

    If one or more of the leaders had a strong reason to oppose one of the candidates, that opposition should be taken very seriously.

    What I would find unproductive, however, would be the kind of meet and greets with the general public such as Jim Antonen did. I don’t see how that helps weed out bad candidates or promotes a good one.

    DG continues: “And now the City Manager could very well hire a man to be police chief, who people in this community know absolutely nothing about.”

    Again, I don’t think that I, as a member of the community, need to meet the candidates and weigh in on who deserves the job. Nor do I think most ordinary members of the community need to. But, as I say above, it would be helpful to vet the candidate through a number of civic leaders.

  22. DG writes: “The process has moved backwards since 2003. The public has been less rather than more involved in it.”

    In my opinion, public input is not necessarily a “forward” move. It depends on who the public is.

    I think Bill Emlen (or any city manager) would be wise to expose the candidates to some community leaders, including the members of the city council, perhaps the head of the chamber of commerce, leaders of civil rights groups, and, of course, some top cops in the department.

    What I would hope to get from those encounters would be for the leaders to express to the candidates what they want in a chief, and for the candidates to express to the leaders what their vision of the chief’s job is.

    If one or more of the leaders had a strong reason to oppose one of the candidates, that opposition should be taken very seriously.

    What I would find unproductive, however, would be the kind of meet and greets with the general public such as Jim Antonen did. I don’t see how that helps weed out bad candidates or promotes a good one.

    DG continues: “And now the City Manager could very well hire a man to be police chief, who people in this community know absolutely nothing about.”

    Again, I don’t think that I, as a member of the community, need to meet the candidates and weigh in on who deserves the job. Nor do I think most ordinary members of the community need to. But, as I say above, it would be helpful to vet the candidate through a number of civic leaders.

  23. DG writes: “The process has moved backwards since 2003. The public has been less rather than more involved in it.”

    In my opinion, public input is not necessarily a “forward” move. It depends on who the public is.

    I think Bill Emlen (or any city manager) would be wise to expose the candidates to some community leaders, including the members of the city council, perhaps the head of the chamber of commerce, leaders of civil rights groups, and, of course, some top cops in the department.

    What I would hope to get from those encounters would be for the leaders to express to the candidates what they want in a chief, and for the candidates to express to the leaders what their vision of the chief’s job is.

    If one or more of the leaders had a strong reason to oppose one of the candidates, that opposition should be taken very seriously.

    What I would find unproductive, however, would be the kind of meet and greets with the general public such as Jim Antonen did. I don’t see how that helps weed out bad candidates or promotes a good one.

    DG continues: “And now the City Manager could very well hire a man to be police chief, who people in this community know absolutely nothing about.”

    Again, I don’t think that I, as a member of the community, need to meet the candidates and weigh in on who deserves the job. Nor do I think most ordinary members of the community need to. But, as I say above, it would be helpful to vet the candidate through a number of civic leaders.

  24. DG writes: “The process has moved backwards since 2003. The public has been less rather than more involved in it.”

    In my opinion, public input is not necessarily a “forward” move. It depends on who the public is.

    I think Bill Emlen (or any city manager) would be wise to expose the candidates to some community leaders, including the members of the city council, perhaps the head of the chamber of commerce, leaders of civil rights groups, and, of course, some top cops in the department.

    What I would hope to get from those encounters would be for the leaders to express to the candidates what they want in a chief, and for the candidates to express to the leaders what their vision of the chief’s job is.

    If one or more of the leaders had a strong reason to oppose one of the candidates, that opposition should be taken very seriously.

    What I would find unproductive, however, would be the kind of meet and greets with the general public such as Jim Antonen did. I don’t see how that helps weed out bad candidates or promotes a good one.

    DG continues: “And now the City Manager could very well hire a man to be police chief, who people in this community know absolutely nothing about.”

    Again, I don’t think that I, as a member of the community, need to meet the candidates and weigh in on who deserves the job. Nor do I think most ordinary members of the community need to. But, as I say above, it would be helpful to vet the candidate through a number of civic leaders.

  25. Davisite writes: “If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour.”

    That’s a good point.

    Davisite goes on: “That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark.”

    That’s not such a good point.

    Emlen should be held accountable for all of the decisions and hires he makes, regardless of the procedures he uses.

    Even if he required the candidates to attend 10 four-hour public meetings in order to be considered for the job, he would be criticized if the person he picked turned out to be a failure.

  26. Davisite writes: “If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour.”

    That’s a good point.

    Davisite goes on: “That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark.”

    That’s not such a good point.

    Emlen should be held accountable for all of the decisions and hires he makes, regardless of the procedures he uses.

    Even if he required the candidates to attend 10 four-hour public meetings in order to be considered for the job, he would be criticized if the person he picked turned out to be a failure.

  27. Davisite writes: “If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour.”

    That’s a good point.

    Davisite goes on: “That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark.”

    That’s not such a good point.

    Emlen should be held accountable for all of the decisions and hires he makes, regardless of the procedures he uses.

    Even if he required the candidates to attend 10 four-hour public meetings in order to be considered for the job, he would be criticized if the person he picked turned out to be a failure.

  28. Davisite writes: “If Black is hired as Police Chief, the City Manager will take the heat if it turns sour.”

    That’s a good point.

    Davisite goes on: “That is the price he pays when the process is not transparent and the public is left in the dark.”

    That’s not such a good point.

    Emlen should be held accountable for all of the decisions and hires he makes, regardless of the procedures he uses.

    Even if he required the candidates to attend 10 four-hour public meetings in order to be considered for the job, he would be criticized if the person he picked turned out to be a failure.

  29. “And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process.”

    I think the fact that Hyde was ultimately disliked by so many among the “public” who met him in advance of his being hired greatly debilitates your larger point.

    That is, the whole process you favor was used, and it seems to have failed.

    That, in and of itself, does not prove that the Antonen system was not a good one. But it strongly advances the argument that all the meet and greets in the world don’t guarantee anything at all.

    To repeat myself, I think it’s much more important that a smaller number of civic leaders (of the type I name above) can have the chance to really interview the candidates at length, and then share their observations with the city manager who will make the decision.

    My suspicion is that the Antonen process, at this point, would merely expose the candidates to a misrepresentative group of citizens, many of whom have an ax to grind.

  30. “And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process.”

    I think the fact that Hyde was ultimately disliked by so many among the “public” who met him in advance of his being hired greatly debilitates your larger point.

    That is, the whole process you favor was used, and it seems to have failed.

    That, in and of itself, does not prove that the Antonen system was not a good one. But it strongly advances the argument that all the meet and greets in the world don’t guarantee anything at all.

    To repeat myself, I think it’s much more important that a smaller number of civic leaders (of the type I name above) can have the chance to really interview the candidates at length, and then share their observations with the city manager who will make the decision.

    My suspicion is that the Antonen process, at this point, would merely expose the candidates to a misrepresentative group of citizens, many of whom have an ax to grind.

  31. “And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process.”

    I think the fact that Hyde was ultimately disliked by so many among the “public” who met him in advance of his being hired greatly debilitates your larger point.

    That is, the whole process you favor was used, and it seems to have failed.

    That, in and of itself, does not prove that the Antonen system was not a good one. But it strongly advances the argument that all the meet and greets in the world don’t guarantee anything at all.

    To repeat myself, I think it’s much more important that a smaller number of civic leaders (of the type I name above) can have the chance to really interview the candidates at length, and then share their observations with the city manager who will make the decision.

    My suspicion is that the Antonen process, at this point, would merely expose the candidates to a misrepresentative group of citizens, many of whom have an ax to grind.

  32. “And most importantly, the community had been exposed to the new chief in a credible way prior to his hiring. When Antonen made his final selection of Jim Hyde to be the new chief, it is my recollection that everyone I talked to was both satisfied with the hire and appreciative of the hiring process.”

    I think the fact that Hyde was ultimately disliked by so many among the “public” who met him in advance of his being hired greatly debilitates your larger point.

    That is, the whole process you favor was used, and it seems to have failed.

    That, in and of itself, does not prove that the Antonen system was not a good one. But it strongly advances the argument that all the meet and greets in the world don’t guarantee anything at all.

    To repeat myself, I think it’s much more important that a smaller number of civic leaders (of the type I name above) can have the chance to really interview the candidates at length, and then share their observations with the city manager who will make the decision.

    My suspicion is that the Antonen process, at this point, would merely expose the candidates to a misrepresentative group of citizens, many of whom have an ax to grind.

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