W e congratulate Tom Slaughter on his appointment as city administraton. It’s clear he now has his work cut out for him. The City Council was sharply divided on which candidate was best for the job, with a controversial vote by Councilman Bob Allen cementing the hire. We were also concerned to have learned during last Tuesday’s meeting that the selection committee was told to put Slaughter in the top five candidates. If he deserved to be there by virtue of his qualifications that would be fine, but to put him there simply because he was already the interim makes us wonder if all of the candidates were given a fair shake during the hiring process.
While much of what occurred during the Council’s administrator search was beyond Slaughter’s control, it’s fair to say that despite serving six months as interim, some in the community still view him as an unknown quantity. We urge him to be open and transparent in his dealings representing the city. We’ve heard (and experienced firsthand) that he does not always return phone calls or emails promptly. We get that he’s busy, but when it comes to city business, he must be reachable, responsive and forthright. We expect him to act professionally and to treat with respect everyone he deals with, from staff and council to the county and, especially, the public.
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