Archive for Thursday, July 11, 2002

City administrator good first step

July 11, 2002

To say we're excited about the hiring of Michael Yanez as the city's first city administrator is accurate. To say the hard part has just begun is the understatement of the year. Yanez inherits a staff that will not only have to learn to deal with a new boss, but the city's first full-time boss. City administration is one of several facets in which Eudora, long-accustomed to operating as a small town, will have to deal with the infrastructure demands of a growing population.

With Yanez's leadership, we expect accountability will go up, productivity should follow, and results will ultimately be the measuring stick of Yanez's effectiveness in his job. For those doing their jobs, the addition of daily feedback and constructive coaching will be a welcome new component to their careers. It's likely there will be some turnover from those uncomfortable with a new layer of bureaucracy or management, depending on your point of view. Yanez will have to determine who's with him and build a coalition he feels comfortable working with that will make the city a better place to live. He'll also have to figure out who needs attention and who can do their job without their boss looking over their shoulder all day.

We know little about his management style: will he be a task-master, will he be hands-on, micromanaging every detail, or will he let good people do their jobs and manage up or manage out those who need it?

Whatever his style, he'll have to figure out the best way to balance working with council members to move projects forward while also helping them learn where the inefficiencies are. Finding better ways to conduct the city's business can be a precarious task, but we're confident the city council will trust Yanez to do the job he was hired to do.

After all we've written in this space about the council's delay in hiring an administrator, today we applaud the mayor and the council for moving forward. Unfortunately for them, the honeymoon was a short one. Yanez didn't even have his bags unpacked before he showed up at his first budget workshop.

We conclude with a message for each party affected by Yanez's hiring. To the city staff, we say give your new boss the kind of Eudora welcome that makes this a special place to live. Tell him how he can help you be more effective in your position and what your expectations are. To the city council, we say congratulations; we're happy to see this progress. To Yanez, we say welcome to Eudora. We know you'll come to love it as we do. We hope you're not afraid of hard work there's plenty to be done. Finally, to the community, show your city administrator that what happens in this town is important to you. Exercise your right as a citizen by participating in your hometown governance by attending council meetings and, more importantly, voting.

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