Job interviews can be stressful, but Charlottesville took that process to a new level this week – putting finalists for city manager on stage to answer questions before an audience of about a hundred residents.
While the public in Charlottesville can be loud and combative during city council meetings, a crowd at the Jefferson School was polite and restrained as members of council questioned three men. Mike Mallinoff, former manager of Annapolis, Tarron Richardson manager of DeSoto, Texas – a sizable suburb of Dallas and Ted Voorhees, manager of Powhatan County admitted the process was unusual but not unpleasant.
“When you’re working for a government, sometimes you do these kinds of things, but in an interview process this was a first,” said Mallinoff.
“Being a city manager, you’re always in the spotlight, so you always have to be prepared,” Richardson added.
“A city manager job is a high stress job,” Vorhees agreed. “It’s very public, and if you can’t put up with a little stress under the lights you probably should be in a different line of work.”
The applicants fielded questions about transparency, policing, economic development and racial healing, then mingled informally with residents. City council hopes to make a decision by the end of the month.