Councilors will conduct wider search for city manager to take Sandy into the future

The Sandy City Council is taking its time to find a new city manager.

At its meeting July 1, the council discussed some of its options, taking advice mainly from City Attorney David Doughman.

Acknowledging that (Lazenby leaving) would be a “big change” from business as usual, Doughman suggested it would be prudent to appoint one of the current department heads, who would act as interim city manager while the council conducted a regionwide search.

The council was scheduled to review letters of interest in the interim position at a workshop Tuesday, July 9, after The Post’s press time.

Several councilors agreed with Doughman, speaking in favor of looking outside of the city in a regional search that would take at least six months and cost $15,000.

Councilor Lois Coleman questioned if the city could afford the cost of a wide search by a firm, similar to the search that brought Police Chief Kim Yamashita to Sandy several years ago.

Councilor Carl Exner reminded Coleman there would be some savings in the new city manager’s salary, compared to Lazenby’s current salary.

“I know we have (department heads) that can do an excellent job,” Coleman said, “but I want to see what is outside. I think we need to go regionally.”

Councilors Olga Gerberg and Brian Adams, however, believed the city doesn’t need to spend the thousands it would require to conduct a wide search.

“I don’t see a reason to reinvent the wheel and spend money,” Gerberg said. “We have a recommendation from (Lazenby) to hire internally. We have a lot of people on our staff who are capable and familiar with what’s going on in the city.”

Adams suggested Lazenby has been “grooming” some of the department heads and, in effect, teaching them how to be a city manager.

“I understand (Coleman’s) point about wanting to see (outside candidates), but I also place a very high value on (Lazenby’s) recommendation.”

But Doughman advised the council to take at least six months and not rush the choice.

“(One of the department heads) would make a logical candidate for the interim,” he said. “Then you can take a look down the line at your future. You could do something that is very robust at a national level or do something regional; you could do anything, if you have that amount of time.”

Exner said he would like to make the choice with the future in mind.

“I wonder if there isn’t somebody out there who we might be able to garner who would bring in some expertise that would help us move to the next step,” he said.

Department heads were asked to submit letters of interest if they would accept the council’s appointment as interim manager, especially if they also want to apply for the permanent position.

The council reviewed the letters of interest at a workshop Tuesday, July 9, after The Post’s press time. Councilors were expected to appoint an interim city manager at that meeting so he or she would have more time to work with Lazenby before his departure at the end of July.

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