Friday, January 30, 2009

Tucker out = good. Lindheim in = ?

Mayor Ron Dellums appointed Dan Lindheim to the long-vacant city administrator post. The Oakland blogosphere is generally unhappy with it:
I don't know much about Lindheim, but there seem like some serious warning signs. The first being that Lindheim is a "longtime confidant". There was supposed to be a nationwide search to fill the post, with former city manager Robert Bobb being a favorite. When he opted to take a job with the Detroit school system, the job quickly went to a friend of Dellums. There's been no list of who else was considered or what the process for the search actually was.

Another warning sign is that "Lindheim also tried hard to keep outgoing police Chief Wayne Tucker on board". Tucker's classless departure erased any doubts that he wasn't the right man for the job, if the list of problems under his command wasn't enough.

Lindheim may be the most qualified person willing to take the job, but he doesn't meet the Mayor's listed qualifications ("12 to 15 years of senior level executive management experience preferably in a large sophisticated diverse urban governmental organization").

The charges of cronyism don't seem far off the mark given the lack of information and Lindheim's lack of qualifications.

Regardless of whether he is the best person for the job, there needs to be more transparency about how he was selected. If there's not, Dellums' already low approval ratings are likely to go even lower. And if he's not the best qualified, then the council shouldn't approve his appointment.

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