Princeton’s city council had a marvelous opportunity to demonstrate the transparency it promised when the city moved into its new municipal complex a couple of years ago.
I believe, though, the city has work to do to achieve what the mayor and the former city manager pledged.
Council is going to meet Friday to select a city manager to succeed Derek Borg, who resigned suddenly at the end of this past year. He was forced out by a council unhappy with the way he was guiding the municipal apparatus.
I had hoped the council would announce the process it would use to find the new manager. I urged the council to go big, to hire a national search firm to spread a wide net. It didn’t heed my advice … but I don’t care about that.
I do care, though, that the city kept its search process a secret. It advertised quietly through the Texas Municipal League. The decision on who to hire was made — also quietly — by the mayor and the interim city manager. The rest of the council reportedly will meet the individual they chose on Friday.
Borg and Mayor Brianna Chacon had said the new city complex, which features plenty of glass as a metaphor for openness and transparency, said the City Hall design would provide an example of how the city planned to govern.
Where, though, was the transparency in the search for the city manager?
It is my own belief that the city fell short in keeping that pledge as it hunted for a city manager. Let us hope this isn’t a harbinger of what lies ahead at Princeton City Hall.