Home court advantage – – Freeman-Manzanares

May 30th, 2013 by Ken

They say that familiarity breeds  contempt – – but in some cases, it can also build trust and respect.

That seems to be the case recently as local governments sought and hired local people for open management positions.

In Lacey, the city did a nation wide search for a new city manager upon the retirement of Greg Cuoio and ended up hiring his assistant Scott Spence into the job.  From all indications, Spence is doing a good job.

When the Lacey Fire District went looking for a new fire chief upon the retirement of Jim Broman, they did a nationwide search and ended up hiring his assistant Steve Brooks, as the new Lacey Fire Chief.  From all indications, Brooks is doing a good job.

Now, Intercity Transit has been involved in a nine-month search for the replacement of former transit manager Mike Harbour, who left after 17 years to take a job with Sound Transit in Seattle.

After a nationwide search for a new general manager, four finalists have been named, including Ann Freeman-Manzanares, a 20-year veteran of Intercity Transit and the acting general manager for the last nine months.

Three other candidates are also in the hunt.  They include:  Douglas Hodson the assistant to the general manager of King County Metro;  Bryan Jungwirth the senior project manager for Valley Metro in Phoenix; and Mary McLain, the assistant to the general manager of Sun Van Transit in Tucson.

I’ve met all the candidates briefly and they all seem well-qualified, friendly, articulate and out-going.  But, it’s tough to beat the home court advantage of Freeman-Manzanares considering the track record for hiring locals here in Thurston County.

I’ve met her and talked with her, but I really know very little about her.  Transit staff are being quiet and not taking sides but there’s a feeling in the air that Freeman-Manzanares is the boss.   During the nine months she has managed the system, my only complaint about the system is the lack of communications on the search for a new general manager.

My guess is that she will be the pick of the transit board, unless one of the other candidates is so outstanding that there’s very little choice but to select him or her.  A tie will go to the local.

Posted in Government, History, Local Politics, The Real News

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