Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

What does city need in its next city manager?

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Greg Peck
April 12, 2013

Janesville will soon be plowing familiar territory. With Eric Levitt ready to depart May 7 for a comparable job in the larger city of Simi Valley, Calif., what should Janesville look for in its next city manager?

Some might argue that this is a real opportunity for Janesville to get someone with more vision, someone with a track record of leadership and community building who can carry Janesville to the next level.

Yet keep in mind how our manager-council form of government is designed to function. The vision should come from the community with council members directing it. The manager is an administrator whose role is to carry out that vision.

So what qualities should Janesville look for in its next manager? And is it reasonable to argue that the best guy for the job is already here in Assistant City Manager Jay Winzenz—assuming he applies for the job? Would the council be wise to just tap Winzenz and forgo the investment of tens of thousand of dollars in consultant fees to help with a broad search?

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Sunday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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