ONTARIO — Someone who understands budgets and financing, who likes the area, who has a vision and who is seasoned. Those are some of the ideas members of the Ontario City Council and a community group have about what kind of person the city is looking for in a new city manager.

Lynn Stokesbary, who works for Prothman, the company hired for the city manager search, met separately with both of those groups, as well as city department heads at Ontario City Hall, Friday. Members of the community group were invited by individual members of the City Council.

“Find a city manager that will track the money and follow policies and procedures, and I will be happy,” Councilman Jackson Fox said during the morning meeting with the City Council.

Councilman Ron Verini said it is important that the city manager appreciates the diversity of Ontario and is able to juggle a diverse City Council that doesn’t always see eye-to-eye.

“I would like to see somebody with military background,” Verini said, particularly somebody who was in a leadership position, he added.

Councilman David Sullivan said he is also interested in someone with good fiscal skills.

“The job is 60 percent finance,” he said.

It also needs somebody who is kind of tough and strong, he said.

“I would like to see somebody that is comfortable with the area,” he said, adding the person also needs to be progressive.

“Economic development is key,” Councilman Dan Jones said, adding a person who is skilled and who can lead in that area can really be beneficial to the city.

During the community member session, Gary Halcomb said he would not want to have someone who is a “resume builder” or is in the job for a short time and then retires. He would also like to have someone acquainted with Oregon law, budgeting and financing.

“We need to look at quality-of-life issues,” he said.

“Ontario has a lot of great things going for it,” Erin Cunningham, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Western Treasure Valley, said. “We need someone with vision and the ability to galvanize people who have different visions.”

Cathy Yasuda, Treasure Valley Community College Foundation executive director said, the city manager needs be able to reach out and build partnerships with other entities and be involved in the community.

“The city needs a strategic plan,” TVCC President Dana Young said.

Other comments from both groups were the city needs more stability; the new city manager needs to be someone who gets out of the office and is part of the community; should be someone with new ideas and who is willing and excited to take on challenges and difficulties; and the city needs a person who has experience and is seasoned and ready for growth.

Stokesbary said he will take the information and use it to draw up a profile of what the city is looking for and use in the notice that will be posted in several locations and use it in screening applications as they come in.

“There is a lot of good candidates out there,” Stokesbary said, but, he added, “If it fails we will do it again.”

Larry Meyer is a news reporter at the Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4813 or by emailing larrym@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com

Larry Meyer is a reporter for the Argus Observer.

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