Back Off: Let administrators do their jobs 2015.02.25

When a Morenci city council member asked for a role in a hiring process Monday night, it brought to mind a similar incident with a school board member a few years earlier. In both cases, the elected officials were exceeding their responsibility as board and council members.

The board member didn't like the way the interview process was headed for a teacher hire. In the recent case, a council member didn't like the recommendation for the new code and zoning administrator. In both cases, they wanted to be part of the hiring process in hopes of bringing about a different outcome.

When the school board chooses administrators and council chooses department heads, they're hiring people to make personnel decisions. That's part of why administrators are hired. Trust is placed in their decisions, and if that's not going well, perhaps it's time to try to find a new administrator.

Elected officials need to avoid trying to micromanage a situation. They certainly won't agree with every decision made, and if significant problems are found with a candidate, then it's surely council's right to block the recommendation and search again for a suitable candidate.

We don't think that was the case at all with Morenci's new code enforcement officer, and no other council members did, either. Overwhelming support suggests that a good decision was made. That choice should be accepted rather than trying to do it all over again in hopes of a different result.