FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth City Council interviewed their final four candidates for city manager Tuesday in a day long, closed door session. Each applicant had to return a series of written questions sent to them earlier, make an oral presentation to the council and answer council questions. Each candidate spent about an hour and a half before the council. They talked about budgets, transportation, growth and, perhaps most importantly, their vision for technology.
City staff says right now in Fort Worth’s government it’s difficult for one city department’s computers to talk to the department next to them, much less communicate with the public.
“We simply are the sixteenth largest city in the nation and we’ve got to begin to act like that,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “You know, its the 21st century and we still have some 20th century technologies.”
Mayor Price says the next city manager must make city hall more accessible to the public with technology.
Here are the candidates in the order they were interviewed:
Milton Dohoney Junior is the former city manager of Cincinnati where he started several programs to open communication with the city’s neighborhoods.
“So, what are the ways that we make it possible for citizens to communicate with us what they’re thinking?” Dohoney asked as he outlined what questions should drive the city’s search for new technology. “How can we reach out and get messages to them, information we need to disseminate to the public?”
Craig Malin is the city administrator for Davenport, Iowa. Davenport is ranked among America’s top 10 digital city governments for a city with a population less than 125,000.
“I described how I could do that for them,” Malin said. “We essentially carry around these tools in our pockets and we expect really extraordinary service that’s instantaneous these days.”
Joyce Wilson was hired as city manager of El Paso in 2004 and is the only city manager that city has ever had.
“I do have some hands on experience looking at where an organization is looking at technology investment and where it needs to go,” Wilson said.
And Mark McDaniel is city manager in Tyler, but grew up in the Fort Worth area and still has family there.
“CEO’s have to be engaged in advancing technology in the organization and that’s what I intend to do if hired as city manager,” McDaniel said.
The council will discuss their candidates behind closed doors before it makes a decision in the next week or so to either narrow the field further or choose the next city manager.
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