Editorial: Community engagement a must in city manager search

Published 7:47 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

With news this week that Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams has accepted a new position, the city will again soon be looking for a new manager.

The city manager job is critical to the community, so we encourage the Albert Lea City Council to do what is necessary to find a candidate that will be a good fit to lead the city.

In city manager searches in the last decade, this process involved hiring an outside firm to gather applications, research the candidates and narrow them down to a list of finalists. The finalists were then brought in to meet the City Council, city and county leaders and other community stakeholders.

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Previous searches also set up a time where the community can meet the candidates and provide feedback to the city councilors. Though the council will ultimately decide who is hired, it is important for community members to be able to interact and meet the candidates for themselves.

Though Albert Lea has many great things going for it, there are some challenges it is facing right now, too, including the loss of two major retail businesses and the transfer of some health services to Austin.

The next city manager must be ready to tackle these issues head on and draw on the strengths of the community to encourage growth.