Not often do employees get the opportunity to help choose their next boss. But then again, city of Mountain View employees don't just work anywhere for just anyone.
The process to choose Mountain View's next city manager has gotten under way, and after 20 years of Kevin Duggan as the city's chief executive, at a special City Council meeting at noon Tuesday, city employees gave suggestions on the qualities and attributes the seek in their next boss.
"With Kevin Duggan, you've had someone who's demonstrated strategic thinking," said Dennis Drennen, an employee within public works. "Look for someone who has demonstrated experience developing a strategic plan, at least five years out, and who can communicate with staff."
One employee after another walked up to the podium and gave comments to the members of the City Council—who, with the help of an external human resources agency, will accept applications, interview candidates and choose one individual to manage the city's finances, operations, development and resources.
However, the majority of the employees advised the council to choose someone like Duggan.
"He's very much a people person. He's very direct, decisive and he collaborates with people," said another employee. "I'm really going to miss him and I wish we could clone him before he goes. I know you are going to have a tough time trying to find someone to replace him."
Richard Ames, who works in community development and is a union representative for the city employees, said he appreciated Duggan's fiscal conservatism and problem-solving attitude.
"A city manager should have a philosophy to solve problems and less to lay blame," said Ames, who reflected about what's happening with the public employees in Wisconsin and said that's not what they wanted in Mountain View. "We want someone who can work with various employer groups. There's no question that a city manager sets the direction for a city."
Since 1990 when Duggan came onboard, he's managed it through three recessions, helped eliminate a $8.5 million deficit over the last two years and seen companies—like Google, Symantic and Intuit—come and call the city home. Many of the improvements to the city's infrastructure, the construction of 12 city , the completion of the and and the redevelopment of downtown Mountain View have all been under his watch.
Helen Hempstead, of the finance department, shared that she admired Duggan's "high ethical standards and in finance that's very important."
Mike Fuller, of public works, explained that Duggan has been "a tremendous liaison between staff, council and other agencies."
Kim Castro, the youth resources manager, appreciated Duggan's trust in his employees.
It became clear very quickly to the City Council that Duggan would be hard to replace. Mayor Jac Siegel announced that another special council meeting will be held on Saturday, March 5, at 10 a.m. for the community to have an opportunity to share their opinions too.
"We anticipate the process to be completed by May and that a new city manager will start by July," he said.