Bemidji City Council Extends Search for Firm to Help Find New City Manager
The Bemidji City Council has decided to extend the search for a consulting firm to help find a new city manager for two more weeks.
With the council voting to hire a consulting firm and giving staff a week to line up proposals, only one firm, GovHR, responded in time for Monday night’s meeting.
As they only heard back from one firm, councilors voiced their concerns over not having any other proposals to compare services and prices. City legal explained some consultants did not send proposals due to being busy. Council members still wanted to give more time for proposals to come in.
“If that were to cost our council 30 to 60 days, I think that’s a sacrifice to make to get the hire right,” said Bemidji mayor Jorge Prince.
Other councilors shared their concerns with going back on the timeline they originally set. Ward 4 Councilor Emelie Rivera put forward a motion to hire GovHR, but it failed in a 4-3 vote.
“Is it worth it to council for an extra 30 days? We’re talking about our staff and city residents,” Rivera said. “And yes, it is really important to get it right. But there is no guarantee that we are going to get more than one.”
The council voted 6-1 to accept proposals until May 31. This would give city staff time for their June 5 regular meeting. Councilor At-Large Audrey Thayer was the only vote in dissent, saying this was not enough time for the search.
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