Columbia city manager candidates discuss vision for city

Council decision could come soon

Columbia city manager candidates discuss vision for city

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The two finalists for Columbia's city manager position discussed their visions for the city's future, as the city council's decision on who to hire nears.

The finalists, interim city manager John Glascock and Racine, Wisconsin city administrator Jim Palenick, met with media members Thursday morning to take questions on a wide range of topics, including their vision for the city moving forward and how they would manage it. 

The two candidates will meet with individual city council members Thursday afternoon in closed-door meetings. CPS HR, the consultant hired by the council to help with the search, said the council could announce their pick for the job on Thursday. The finalist would then take part in contract negotiations, and the city council would have to vote on that contract.

Palenick said his numerous jobs across the country have helped him approach large-scale problems in different ways. Most recently in Racine, a city 45 minutes south of Milwaukee, Palenick said he found ways to motivate developers to come to the city. He said the area had not seen much development in years.

Palenick said it would take a unique approach to solve lingering issues in Columbia, such as pubic transportation and affordable housing. He said incentivizing and possibly partnering with the private sector could help.

Glascock, a 16-year employee with the city of Columbia, said he hoped to improve the morale of city workers. Several departments had workers that felt undervalued, he said, and he hoped that by meeting with more of them face-to-face, he could begin to improve working conditions.

Glascock became interim city manager in November following Mike Matthes' resignation from the city that month.

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