Columbia Mayor Brian Treece introduced John Glascock on Monday as the city council’s choice to become the next city manager.
“Now more than ever our community needs stable leadership,” Treece said before introducing Glascock to a packed council chambers at City Hall. Glascock has worked for the city for several years, is from Boone County and has been interim city manager since Mike Matthes resigned amid controversy over his leadership last fall.
LIVE PLAYBACK of a news conference with Glascock and the city council is available in the player below
Glascock said he will prioritize increasing compensation for city employees — an issue which has dogged city leaders — in upcoming city budget work. The city’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Glascock also listed other priorities including building trust in the police department and hiring top-level positions including police chief and finance director.
“I am confident that we are on the right path in building trust with our community,” Glascock said of the police department and city government.
LIVE PLAYBACK of the announcement is available in the player below
This announcement represents the first in a three-step process of hiring the candidate.
The city council will begin negotiations with Glascock after which the city council will vote to approve the agreed upon terms. Treece said a vote to begin negotiations is expected Monday night.
Treece on Monday outlined what he said was a long and thorough public vetting process to arrive at the choice of Glascock, including two public meetings about what residents wanted in a new city manager and 75 one-on-one meetings with stakeholder groups. The council also considered public comments left via website and in emails and personal conversations with Columbia residents.
Treece said residents identified qualities such as honesty, building relationships and a commitment to working on equity and diversity issues as attributes they’d like the next city manager to have. He said the council believes Glascock best embodies those qualities.
The city of Columbia has spent several months and nearly $25,000 on a search firm in findings its next city manager.
Glascock was one of two finalists whose names the city released earlier this month. The other candidate was Jim Palenick of Racine, Wisconsin. The two appeared at a public forum last week.
Glascock will need to fill five key positions in city government when he takes over – police and fire chiefs, director of the finance department, internal auditor and Glascock’s old job of deputy city manager. Glascock said on Monday that he has not set a timeline for filling those spots, but plans on meeting with council members to learn their priorities for the jobs.
“While they can’t hire the person, they can give input to it, and I want their input moving forward,” Glascock said.
Treece and Third Ward councilman Karl Skala told ABC 17 News on Monday night that they both prioritized filling the police chief position. In 2010, the city hired an executive search firm to help find candidates for the chief spot, a search that ended in the hiring of Ken Burton. Columbia Police Officers Association director Dale Roberts told ABC 17 News that he saw no reason to conduct a search this time, supporting interim chief Geoff Jones for the spot if he wanted it.
Glascock has also said before that he supported the work Jones has done since taking over as interim chief in February. On Monday, though, he said he would still need to meet with council members on their priorities before saying how he might conduct a search for chief.
Maria Oropallo, head of the city’s Finance and Audit Advisory Commission, said Glascock should conduct at least a statewide search for finance head and internal auditor. People with the qualifications to do the job in bigger cities and state government could possibly compete for the job. Oropallo said she did not think a search firm would be necessary to handle those hirings.
“People want to come to Columbia, people want to live in Columbia,” Oropallo said. “And I think we have enough here in our own HR department in order to do that search.”