Granite Shoals Mayor Aaron Garcia formed a special committee on Dec. 14 to find solutions to the city’s chronic understaffing problem. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Granite Shoals took down a job listing for a new city manager soon after it was posted due to a disagreement between Mayor Aaron Garcia and the other members of the City Manager Search Committee.
The committee, which Garcia created and chairs, is meeting Wednesday, Feb. 8, to sort out a new, collaborative advertising package
Garcia approved an advertisement package for the position, which he received from executive recruitment firm Strategic Government Resources, on Jan. 10 without putting it before the committee. He announced the approval during the City Council’s regular meeting that same day.
Some city staff and council members on the search committee expressed frustration with Garcia’s decision to approve the posting without receiving input on job qualifications and parameters from the committee he formed for that purpose. They insisted the advertisement be reworked.
“Why have the committee if you’re just going to do it?” Councilor Ron Munos told DailyTrib.com. “We weren’t able to give any input into it. I personally don’t agree with some of the content, but I don’t speak for the whole committee.”
Fellow committee member and Councilor Michael Berg echoed Munos’ sentiments.
“(Garcia) put it out there himself without any input, which I think is wrong,” Berg said.
He said more work needs be done to create an effective ad and that he’d like to hear everyone’s viewpoints on what should go into the qualifications for the position, such as residence requirements, experience, educational background, and salary.
According to City Secretary Dawn Wright, Strategic Government Resources believed the entire search committee had approved the ad campaign. She filed a public information request on Feb. 3 with the city to see all correspondence between Garcia and SGR. The request has yet to be fulfilled.
“I just want Aaron to be held accountable,” she said.
Garcia told DailyTrib.com he did not mean to cause trouble.
“I can see their perspective on it, and I can understand it, totally,” he said. “There was no ill intent. We’re going to get through it and move forward.”
The mayor acknowledged that his solo approval of the ad campaign excluded his fellow committee members and councilors, but he did note that search committee members and councilors were able to give input during one-on-one interviews with SGR.