Miami Mayor Brent Brassfield outlined the process for selecting a new city manager as council members met in regular session Monday.
The process, outlined in the city charter, calls for the convening of the city council and the utility board in a joint session during which the boards will name a screening committee.
The committee will be comprised of the mayor, two city council members, two utility board members and two at-large city residents - one to be selected by the two city council members, the other to be named by the utility board members.
According to the city charter, the screening committee will submit its recommendation of up to three candidates to the council and utility board for consideration.
After interviews, both boards will then vote on an appointment with the successful candidate needing a majority vote for appointment.
Council member Rudy Schultz, having read recent news reports of Open Meeting violations in regard to the process of selecting Oklahoma State University president, advised that measures be taken to ensure that the council and utility board avoid potential violation.
Shultz suggested that the charter's intention is to limit the screening committee to no more than three nominations.
To follow the Open Meeting Act, the committee should notify the public of its meetings and post agendas for its meetings.
The committee would be permitted to enter into executive session to discuss and review applicants but would have to take votes about semifinalists or finalists in open session.
According to OSU journalism professor Joey Senat - who is also president of the Oklahoma Freedom of Information organization, the process should be transparent.
Regarding the OSU presidential selection in which a search committee unanimously recommended a single name to OSU's governing board, Senat said “The way the process has run, it looks like it's been a done deal,” Senat said.”We'll never know if he ( Burns Hargis) was the best-qualified candidate, and we don't even know who the finalists he beat out would have been.”
Miami city council members appeared to be united in their attempt to stay above board.
The council anticipates that the search for a city manager could be a four- to six-month process.
“That is why we need to get started as soon as possible,” Shultz said.
Monday's discussion also included the possibility of hiring a professional search group.