From the Mayor 12/21/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

By now, you all know that the city commission has voted unanimously not to renew our City Manager’s contract.

In my two years on your city commission, I’ve been required to vote on many very difficult issues. This was one of the toughest, as there are so many things that Micky has done extremely well.

I’ve read that City Managers typically stay in one job for only a few years; I’ve seen statistics showing that the average tenure lasts only 5 to 10 years.

Because running a city is just flat difficult.

There is no getting around the fact that the City Manager is the one that has to say “No” to many requests from the public. He also has to be the one to say to underperforming city employees, “You need to clean up your act,” and “You’re fired,” and a whole host of other things that all hurt and hurt deeply, whether they are justified or not. We are all human, and it is incredibly hard not to be angry when we hear those words.

In addition, I’ve seen bad city managers who let their department heads and other city employees take the heat for every unpopular policy or decision. A great city manager intentionally takes a lot of the heat for unpopular decisions, to spare his department heads and other city employees from the constant barrage of abuse, so they can concentrate on their jobs. On top of that, the City Manager is always under scrutiny. So, if any City Manager makes a blunder, like we all do, it will be front page news and the whole town is going to know about it.

There is just no getting around the fact that being a City Manager is a very difficult job.

I wish Micky the best in his next job, and I will always consider Micky as a respected colleague. In many ways, he has exemplified the characteristics of a great leader. I would also like to point out something that not many people know. Micky and his wife Donna have quietly stepped up and made significant financial donations to help out worthy causes in the city on several occasions.

What’s next for the city? The city commissioners will begin the search process for a new City Manager right away. It will likely involve the appointment of an interim City Manager until the permanent choice is made, but it’s too early to know whether that will occur.

I would ask the citizens of Independence to join me in three ways.

First, I ask that everyone join me in thanking Micky, and wishing him great success in his next position.

Second, I ask that everyone be patient with the city commissioners as we take whatever time is needed to find the best possible City Manager.

Third, if you’re a believer, I very much appreciate your prayers. I’m totally convinced of the power of prayer.

I have complete confidence that the city will continue to run smoothly in the interim. Our city has an excellent Assistant City Manager, outstanding department heads in Dave Cowan, Barb Beurskens, Terry Lybarger, Mike Passauer, and Jerry Harrison. We have well trained, conscientious city employees, from the top all the way to the last person employed. They know exactly what needs to be done each day and they will not be without leadership. I believe that if there are problems, our city staff will figure them out and they will become stronger for it.

I’ve said it before, and I still believe it: Independence’s best days are still to come.

Mayor Gary Hogsett