A few weeks ago Lauren Payne put together a special report looking at a city manager form of government. The report was intended to initiate discussion for Jonesboro citizens to determine if this method of government could work as well in Jonesboro as it has in other Arkansas communities like Hot Springs.
The city of Jonesboro continues to experience significant growth... and with that growth comes new challenges and opportunities. Being the largest city in Region 8, Jonesboro faces issues that many of the smaller communities in Region8 do not have to deal with... and dealing with those issues takes a special skill set in regards to leadership.
Our current Mayor-Council form of government calls for the CEO of the city, the Mayor, to be elected by what can be more of a popularity contest rather than competence. The city is a major business and should be managed in the same fashion. Under the current structure a person with no experience in any of the areas necessary to lead a business of this size could be elected based on a silver tongue and a slick PR machine.
What major business would select their CEO using the American Idol selection process? None... They hire a person based on their qualifications; a person who has the educational background and experience necessary to lead and succeed.
We think the city manager form of government deserves some serious consideration. It has been extremely successful in Hot Springs and could work here.
It is up to the Jonesboro City Council to advance the issue. Will they? We're not sure... but we certainly hope so. If not, then don't be surprised if our own version of Sanjaya is leading Jonesboro in the future.