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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION -- Did the former Menlo Park City Council help to hire the current permanent City Manager?

From: domainremoved <Michael>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2019 18:52:13 +0000

Dear Menlo Park City Council,

This is Michael Hoff in Belle Haven neighborhood. Thank you for your service to the citizens of Menlo Park.

I am writing to find out more information about the Menlo Park City Council’s hiring process for the permanent City Manager position. My concern is the lack of government transparency and the lack of open communication for the recent hiring process for the permanent city manager position.

Will you please help me and the citizens of Menlo Park with an internal investigation for the hiring process for the permanent city manager position? If possible, I would like an independent investigator to investigate the city of Menlo Park and any communication with candidate recruiting firms.

The lack of transparency in the hiring for the permanent City Manager - City of Menlo Park, CA is disturbing to me and seems to be a disservice to the citizens of Menlo Park. There appears to be a lack of government transparency on the city’s hiring process which does not serve the citizens of Menlo Park. Yes, confidentiality in the search is important; however, so is the transparency in the hiring procedure and job posting. The prior city council selected a previous city manager candidate - who is probably very well qualified; however, the current city council did not take the opportunity to consider a full candidate search for the public. As a result, the citizens of Menlo Park are left with the decisions of the previous city council and the interim city manager now made permanent….unless, of course the current council has the desire and the power to overturn the decision and to open the job search from start.

First, I emailed the city admin on WED (NOV 7, 2018) requesting information about the permanent city manager position; I received the below reply on MON (JAN 28, 2019). This reply was received the same day after I emailed the entire city council asking for more information. I never received any reply from a city council member.

Second, below is an internet link from public information about the planned hiring process stating the name of the placement firm selected. Was this information true at the time of publication?

Third, below is my email to the placement firm mentioned in the article. I received a reply from both the president of that firm and from another employee confirming that they were indeed planning to place a search for the city of Menlo Park. [The message from the president of that firm to me was indicated as confidential and is not shared here.]

Fourth, I applied for the position with the placement firm yesterday (2/28) as their website lists the posting and stated “more information coming soon”. Web link and screen shot of this posting are attached.

A few questions that I am seeking public answers for both myself and for the citizens of Menlo Park:


  1. Will you please consider to cancel any existing employment contracts for the permanent city manager position and re-start the hiring process?
  2. What is the status of the permanent Menlo Park City Manager position?
  3. Has a contract been extended for the permanent position and if so, when?
  4. If yes, is this contract fully executed (signed by both parties)? If so, when?
  5. Were employment search firms contacted and if so, when?
  6. Which search firms were selected as finalists and when?
  7. Was city money available and allocated for this city manager candidate search? If so, when and how much?
  8. Were there any emails sent to the search firm finalist indicating a planned contract for the candidate search? If so, when?
  9. Was a contract (either signed or unsigned) sent to the search firm finalist? If so, when?
  10. Was the search firm paid any money whatsoever?
  11. Was this permanent position ever published on the city website under open positions and if so when? Will you please share this posting?
  12. What is the official city government process for hiring for the permanent city manager position?
  13. Was the official city government / city council hiring process followed for the hiring for this position?
  14. If yes, what is the reason for a lack of transparency for this hiring for the permanent city manager position? Is this lack of transparency something that can be improved for future city hiring?
  15. If no, what is the reason that the official hiring process was not followed?
  16. If there is not an official hiring process then does the city council want/need to have a process established for the citizens of the community?

Copied here is local news advocate, Mr. Kevin Kelly and local community advocates Ms. Lynn Bramlett and Ms. Pam Jones.

Thank you for your service and for your consideration for this request for information.

Sincerely,
Michael Hoff



  * Public search #1 mentioning the chosen recruitment firm.

https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2018/10/26/menlo-park-interim-city-manager-candidate-named


"Once an interim manager is in place, the city will begin its work to search for and select a permanent city manager. On Oct. 23, the council voted unanimously to contract with the professional recruiting firm Peckham and McKenney on the search at a proposed cost of $28,000. The council received and considered other proposals from Bob Murray and Associates, with a proposed cost of $25,000, and Ralph Anderson and Associates, with a proposed cost of $28,750. It received a proposal from GovHR USA, with a proposed cost of $24,500, but the council subcommittee did not interview the firm based on a lack of local recruiting experience, according to a staff report<https://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/18837/J1---AS---City-Manager-Executive-Recruiter-18-197>.

Council members expressed preference for Peckham and McKenney based on the firm's local experience. In the firm's proposal, firm president Bobbi Peckham described working with cities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to recruit city managers and others for council-appointed positions, and said the firm recently participated in the recruitment for the county manager position for San Mateo County and general manager position for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

The firm is expected to begin the search process for a new Menlo Park city manager in earnest at the start of the new year."


  * Public search #2 mentioning the hiring search plan


https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2018/10/18/menlo-park-council-works-through-plan-to-pick-new-city-manager


  * Public search #3 mentioning the hiring

https://padailypost.com/2019/02/21/menlo-park-picks-next-city-manager/



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Diaz, Lenka D" <LDDiaz_at_(domainremoved)az_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: RE: Menlo Park City Manager Hiring Process
Date: January 28, 2019 at 6:23:51 PM PST
To: Michael Hoff <mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)mail.com>>

Dear Michael Hoff,

I apologize for not responding to your email sooner. I thought you had received a reply until seeing your email via CCIN this evening.

The time line and process of the City Manager recruitment will be discussed in closed session with City Council on February 6, 2018. I have noted your contact information so you are included in any communication inviting interested candidates to apply.

Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Again, I apologize for the delay in receiving a response to your email.

Sincerely,
Lenka Diaz



Lenka D. Diaz
Administrative Services Director
City Hall - 2nd Floor
701 Laurel St.
tel 650-330-6677 | fax 650-327-5382
menlopark.org<http://menlopark.org>
-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Hoff [mailto:mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 1:21 PM
To: Diaz, Lenka D <LDDiaz_at_(domainremoved)org>
Subject: Menlo Park City Manager Hiring Process

Dear Ms. Lenka Diaz,

This is Michael Hoff in Menlo Park. I am writing to inquire about the process for applying for the Menlo Park City Manager position.

What is the time line and process for the city of Menlo Park hiring a permanent City Manager?

I am interested to apply for the position.

Sincerely,
Michael Hoff

————
805-570-7746





  * Peckham and McKenney planned to do the search…

https://www.peckhamandmckenney.com/searches


[cid:0C505123-7D86-470C-A5C3-D78722B7B699_at_(domainremoved)





Begin forwarded message:

From: Joyce Johnson <Joyce_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: RE: Form Submission - Contact Us
Date: February 1, 2019 at 10:16:34 AM PST
To: "mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)

Please send your resume and cover letter to apply_at_(domainremoved)
Joyce Johnson
Peckham & McKenney

From: Squarespace [mailto:no-reply_at_(domainremoved)arespace.info]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 5:53 PM
To: joyce_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Form Submission - Contact Us


Name: Michael Hoff

Email Address: mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)ailto:mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)

Message: Dear Peckham & McKenney,

This is Michael Hoff in Menlo Park, CA. I am interested in submitting an application for the City Manager position for Menlo Park. Below is my email to the city in November; however, I have still not heard back from the city. I understand that you website closed the applications for this position in OCT 2018; however, I never found an open posting for the position on the Menlo Park City webpage. Where do I submit my application and resume?

Sincerely,
Michael


Begin forwarded message:

From: Michael Hoff <mhoff22_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Menlo Park City Manager Hiring Process
Date: November 7, 2018 at 1:21:11 PM PST
To: lddiaz_at_(domainremoved)nlopark.org<mailto:lddiaz_at_(domainremoved)

Dear Ms. Lenka Diaz,

This is Michael Hoff in Menlo Park. I am writing to inquire about the process for applying for the Menlo Park City Manager position.

What is the time line and process for the city of Menlo Park hiring a permanent City Manager?

I am interested to apply for the position.

Sincerely,
Michael Hoff

————
805-570-7746

(Sent via Peckham & McKenney<https://www.peckhamandmckenney.com/>)


Received on Fri Mar 01 2019 - 10:48:28 PST

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