Meeting behind closed doors, city commissioners and interim city manager Tom Berry cooked up a scheme essentially to hire a new city manager without conducting any kind of search.
They created the unnecessary position of deputy city manager. Berry planned to hire former Assistant City Manager Lonnie Ballard then recommend him to take over as city manager later this year.
The whole process meant Ballard would have been coming in under a cloud. He might be the best person to serve as city manager, but if no else were even considered, there would always be questions about his qualifications.
We hope the city now conducts a full city manager search, and if Mr. Ballard has any interest, we encourage him to apply. If he proves to be the best candidate, he'll have confidence knowing the taxpayers have confidence in him and the hiring process.
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