MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 30, 2013

Council highlights priorities


— Muskogee city councilors may have tipped their hand when revising the job description for city manager.

Councilors revised the description shortly after Greg Buckley vacated the office.

The revisions seem to highlight the differences the council had with Buckley.

The council did not delete anything from the job description, Ward II Councilor James Gulley said.

Three or four provisions were added.

Among the additions were:

• A provision to make the city manager maintain a cordial relationship during labor relations, contract negotiations and collective bargaining.

• A provision to require the city manager make regular inspections of all city facilities and operations and report findings to the council.

• The council’s expectation that the next city manager have some retail development expertise.

Changing a job description after someone leaves usually means one of two things — the changes reflect where the employee excelled or failed.

It seems pretty obvious that Buckley would be here if the council felt he excelled.

It seems reasonable to assume the council felt Buckley did not live up to expectations in these areas.

It appears the council was not happy with the falling sales tax revenues during Buckley’s term in office.

A struggling economy has a way of keeping citizens from making purchases.

The next city manager should know how to manage a city.

It should fall to other groups — including the City Council — to create economic opportunities.

The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce — although not an official arm of government — has a vital role in retail development.

Finding a city manager who focuses on running the city is imperative. Finding one that also can help grow retail is gravy.