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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Janesville Officials Looking To Dewalkerize Profile For City Manager Candidates

According to this story from the Janesville Gazette, a specialized employment firm hired by the City of Janesville developed a profile of the city's issues and priorities to help recruit potential candidates hoping to become Janesville's next city (administrative) manager. But judging by the frowns and negative responses from those who read the 3-page job description document, it sounds like the firm nailed our increasingly depressing local and declining state environment perfectly. According to the story, the firm based their report mostly on the input from 51 people, including city council members, department heads, business leaders, community partners and residents.

But I have to wonder which business leaders the recruitment firm spoke to, to draw such an accurately bleak picture from? Afterall, the folks from Forward Janesville, the Rock County 5.0 and many others were celebrating when Walker won the recall election in 2012. What were they celebrating? Did the firm talk to any of those happy-happy smiling folks?

Because with Walker, they were celebrating lower state aid for local roads, utilities and services in the face of rising costs, a frontal attack on public schools and public property, declining morale among public employees, a spiraling down of wages and benefits across all sectors, expanding new entitlements for private schools and increasing anti-competitive subsidies to businesses, a divide and conquer mentality meant to polarize communities and constituencies in an effort to ram through a far-right class war agenda and a definitive loss of local power and control at the mercy of an increasingly centralized red state government, among many others. Couldn't they convey their feelings of pure joy and optimism to the recruitment firm to show potential candidates how wonderful things are expected to get in Janesville? Now is the time to step up folks.

Because these fine, fine "business leader" folks have referred to themselves as the "ambassadors of optimism," they are of all people the perfect choice to explain how bright and rosy things will be any day now under Scott Walker. I'd be the first to offer them the floor and say, "please proceed." I want to be enlightened.

And those Janesville city council members and others who supported Scott Walker should also step up and explain why the firm's profile is so wrong or depressing. Because outside of mourning the GM Plant, they have Walker. What more could they possibly want?

Yet, why they didn't strongly object to the profile outright but instead suggested to shorten the document to spin out the truth shows just the opposite of faith they have in the future under Walker AND a huge lack of honesty on their part.

As a Janesville resident and taxpayer, I don't want the next city manager to feel as though he/she was tricked into the job. At the same time, I don't want a city manager who is here as a career opportunist or someone who might think they could scapegoat problems as inherited from the past manager. I want someone who knows exactly what the challenge is and is up to it because is enormous.

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