Shephanie Chelf wrote a terrific article in today’s Newburyport Daily News, July 25, 2006 on the search for a Planning Director for Newburyport, Massachusetts.
To quote today’s story:
“Moak declined to release the candidates’ resumes yesterday, citing an opinion from the city attorney. Capriola said the mayor would not release the information out of concern for personal information listed on resumes and cover letters.
Moak’s decision may be a violation of state public records laws. Typically, resumes of finalists are released because they are considered by state law to be public documents. The Daily News obtained resumes and cover letters for the three finalists from others who are involved in the hiring process.”
And so much for an open and transparent government. A possible violation of the state public records laws. My.
Good for Stephanie Chelf that she was industrious enough to get the resumes and cover letters from other folks.
And what do these resumes and cover letters tell us.
One of the things that I know many people are concerned about is that some of the candidates simply do not have enough qualifications for the job, and they are confused as to why they made it into the final cut, and other more qualified candidates did not. As Ms Chelf so tactfully put it, “The three remaining finalists have a range of planning experience.”
Of the three, Laura Harbottle, Town Planner for Scituate appears to be the most qualified, hands down. (You’ll have to read Ms Chelf’s story.)
Christopher Ryan, Town Planner for Walpole, would not strike me as being qualified for the job (at least on paper) of Planning Director in Newburyport, MA. Personally, I would want someone a whole lot more seasoned and experienced.
And Brian White, Senior Planner in Savannah, GA, according to today’s paper, “was informed of the planning position from Maria Capriola, assistant to Mayor John Moak. Capriola worked for the city of Savannah prior to coming to Newburyport.”
Again, not enough experience in my book, and Mr. White appears to agree.
“My educational background is in planning and geography. The position in Newburyport interests me because it would be a challenging opportunity to lead a planning department, but one I feel capable of doing.”
Personally, for such a vital, demanding and sometimes overwhelming job, I would want someone who knew they were capable of doing it and had proven it, not someone who felt they might be capable of doing it. Good grief. No wonder Mr. Moak didn’t want anyone to see these resumes and cover letters.
So good for the Stephanie Chelf and the Newburyport Daily News for doing a first rate story and getting the information that we all wanted to know, even though Mayor John Moak apparently didn’t want to part with it.