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Ellsworth City Council defends city manager pick

Councilors on Monday voted in a favor of a contract to hire Glenn Moshier.
Ellsworth City Hall
Ellsworth City Hall(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) -The selection of a new city manager in Ellsworth is raising concerns with some members of the community.

Councilors on Monday voted in a favor of a contract to hire Glenn Moshier.

He’s currently the police chief.

Council Chair Dale Hamilton read several statements from people questioning the possibility of Moshier holding both jobs.

Ellsworth City Council Meeting, Tuesday, January 11, 2021

Email live questions or comments to dhamilton@ellsworthmaine.gov

Posted by City of Ellsworth, Maine on Monday, January 11, 2021

Councilors are defending their choice.

In a prepared statement, Councilor Marc Blanchette, said, “We believe this alignment of function provides the city with an opportunity to be more efficient and cost-effective while maintaining a balance of workload that utilizes existing expertise without compromising the responsibilities of the city manager role.”

Jon Stein, V.P. of Heart of Ellsworth, said, “Ellsworth with its robust growth trends both in population and economic activity is too big for one person to take on both of these roles. What does it say when a number of citizens are sending emails and calling city council members and hearing back only from its chairman and not necessarily satisfied with all of the answers?”

Hamilton says it’s important to note the city manager position and the police chief position are not merging.

Moshier will still play a vital role in the department.

Hamilton said daily oversight will be “managed through a reorganization of the police department.”

Moshier will start his position as city manager next week.

Ellsworth City Council Meeting, Tuesday, January 11, 2021

Email live questions or comments to dhamilton@ellsworthmaine.gov

Posted by City of Ellsworth, Maine on Monday, January 11, 2021

The city also released the following statement:

“I am responding on behalf of the city council to statements and questions that we have received regarding the City Manager hiring process. Upon completion of a targeted bidding process, the council selected Eaton Peabody to provide oversight and facilitation of the recruitment process. We established a process that included community participation. Although we did not incorporate every suggestion regarding how the community could participate, we did endorse and recognize the need to gather community feedback. This formally took place on October 21, 2020, and informally throughout the process. The competitive hiring process moved through the stated process until we selected one finalist. When the finalist removed himself from consideration, we were prepared to seek additional applicants.

Prior to starting a new process, we identified the opportunity to promote from within and we made an announcement to the community that we were beginning negotiations with Glenn Moshier. We understand that some members of the community feel that this is a diversion from the process but we do not share that same opinion. We were only weeks removed from the receipt of applications and we believe that it was entirely appropriate to review Mr. Moshier’s credentials before starting a new process. Mr. Moshier meets the qualifications for the position and has a long history to evaluate his candidacy against the other applicants. We immediately announced the decision to begin negotiations with Mr. Moshier to the public, consistent with the stated plan to provide the public with an opportunity to provide feedback on this candidate.

The demonstrated skill set and qualities of Glenn Moshier are consistent with the position requirements and his qualities are consistent with the recommendations generated by the community. Glenn brings practical skills that include; holding a Bachelor degree in government; experience in budgeting, union negotiating, leadership, high-level management, and finance. Mr. Moshier has a demonstrated history of strong community engagement. We believe that his background prepares him to be an outstanding city manager.

One of the frequent criticisms of city government is that it is not innovative, creative, and efficient. We believe that the situation presents a unique opportunity to address these criticisms. We thought it was productive to entertain a discussion of how Mr. Moshier might be able to maintain responsibility for functions that have historically been associated with a titled position.

The city manager by charter has direct oversight and control of all departments. We appreciate the feedback and concern from the community regarding the need to maintain clear lines of division between the city manager and police department as it relates to certain functions. At the same time, we believe some functions can be assumed by Mr. Moshier in the transfer. These functions relate to high-level items such as policy, procedures, and planning. Day to day oversight will be the responsibility of the deputy chief who will manage such things as schedules, supervision, and community policing. We believe this alignment of functions provides the city with an opportunity to be more efficient and cost-effective while maintaining a balance of workload that utilizes existing expertise without compromising the responsibilities of the city manager role.”

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