EDITORIAL — Public input needed in final selection of new manager

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

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Now that the search for a new town manager appears to be coming to a conclusion, the town council should allow the public to have some input in the final selection process.

The town solicited comments from the public about what qualities they would like to see in a new town manager when the search began last fall. That is a great start and the town council should be commended for reaching out for that input. The need for public feedback does not stop there.

This will be the first new town manager Farmville has had in nearly half a century after the retirement of Gerald “Gerry” Spates in late August. This is a position that has the ability to shape the town’s future and guide Farmville through much of the 21st century. This decision by council will likely be one of the biggest they make while serving on the board. It is important they receive affirmation and buy-in on their choice from the general populace.

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A meeting featuring the council’s top candidates answering questions in a public forum would be a great way for the town to get to know the candidates and relay their thoughts to the council.

The town council should include the citizens in this selection process as much as possible. This is not only the council’s town manager, it is our town manager as well. Getting to meet the finalists, ask questions and offer input would be a wonderful way for all of Farmville to be involved in this very important choice facing our town.