Lead­ers liv­ing locally

The Covington News - - Opinion -

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil will not re­quire its next city man­ager to live within the city lim­its.

While the coun­cil would pre­fer that a can­di­date live locally, it voted 3-2 to re­move word­ing say­ing just that from a brochure be­ing used in the search process.

Coun­cil­man Keith Dal­ton said the city needed to find the best per­son pos­si­ble to fill the po­si­tion, and he said such a per­son might need to live else­where, like Athens or At­lanta, be­cause of spe­cial cir­cum­stances.

We agree that the coun­cil needs the best leader pos­si­ble to run a di­verse, $120 mil­lion busi­ness, but locally-based or­ga­ni­za­tions, par­tic­u­larly lo­cal gov­ern­ments, have of­ten viewed hav­ing a leader live locally as the best prac­tice. If the next city man­ager chooses to live else­where, he or she will have a more dif­fi­cult time get­ting to know and prop­erly un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­at­ing Cov­ing­ton.

Ob­vi­ously opin­ion dif­fers locally, as Ox­ford will not ex­pect its next city man­ager to live in the town, while So­cial Circle’s school board put a clause in the con­tract of new Su­per­in­ten­dent Todd McGhee re­quir­ing him to live in the city lim­its.

In ad­di­tion to prac­ti­cal con­cerns, we also won­der if such a de­ci­sion sends a mes­sage to prospec­tive em­ploy­ees of not only Cov­ing­ton, but fu­ture busi­nesses as well, that the coun­cil doesn’t have con­fi­dence in its town’s at­trac­tive­ness.

Surely, Cov­ing­ton’s ar­ray of ameni­ties is not par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, but if some­body doesn’t be­lieve in a community enough to move there, why should that per­son be en­trusted to lead a city for­ward?

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