Cleveland City Council takes no action on hiring executive search firm for new city manager

Cleveland City Council met Tuesday, Feb. 8, for a special-called meeting to discuss the employment, duties and compensation for recruiting a city manager. Currently the City is operating with an interim city manager, Stacy Williams, who joined the City in October 2021 as public works director.

Tuesday’s meeting started with the Council immediately going into an executive session to discuss hiring the executive head-hunting firm of CPS HR. The firm helps cities like Cleveland find and recruit city manager candidates. Recently, CPS HR was involved in the hiring of Dayton’s new city manager.

Toward the end of the executive session, Councilman James Franklin surprised the small audience waiting in the council chamber by asking Police Chief Darrel Broussard to stand outside of the auxiliary chamber where the Council was meeting to apparently keep peace amongst the council members.

After another few minutes in executive session, the Council returned to the main council chamber and voted to adjourn without taking any action.

The acrimony between council members on the hiring of a city manager is a carryover from the Jan. 7, 2022, meeting where three members of council – Franklin, Carolyn McWaters and Delores Terry – voted in favor of naming Williams as interim city manager. At that time, Councilman Danny Lee, Councilwoman Marilyn Clay and Mayor Richard Boyett expressed concern about the fact that no interviews had been conducted prior to his appointment to the City’s top job.

“I like Stacy and he knows that, but I don’t know anything about him. I know he lives in Humble and I know his wife. It’s just ludicrous that a council could meet and not even look at a man’s resume, or anybody’s, and just make a decision like this,” Boyett said at the Jan. 7 meeting.

The Council will likely debate the issue of hiring an executive search firm or opening the job to other applicants at a future meeting. For now, Williams will continue as interim.

Williams previously worked for the City of Humble for 30 years, most recently serving as capital improvements projects manager and streets improvement manager.

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  1. It is disturbing that elected officials would not want to hire the best candidate for the position based on their city management experience. As a long time resident in the city it is clear that those three council members are more concerned with their own agenda and not the tax payers money.

  2. We as tax payers deserve to have a city manager who is qualified for the position. The council members need a training on fiscal responsibility.

  3. In my opinion the City Manager should be required to live in the city limits of Cleveland or at a minimum in its ETJ to be certain he or she has “skin in the game”, is a member of our community and is acting in the best interest of the City Of Cleveland taxpayers with local vendors whenever possible. I also think Drama Queens” and people who have no idea about finances and city management shouldn’t be council representatives. To me it is embarrassing for our city. Also, why should this discussion be in closed session? This is an item that should be discussed in open session in my opinion.

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