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Charter Requirement for Hiring a Permanent Managing Director

from Reading City Council

May 01, 2019

For the first time in 23 years, City Council is tasked with the responsibility of hiring a permanent Managing Director.

Council consulted with the city’s attorneys and studied three Charter Board Advisory Opinions that provided guidance on this issue.  After considering conflicting opinions, City Council members through formal resolution unanimously voted to move forward with the appointment process. Council determined that not doing so would be a violation of the city Charter – and a violation of the oaths of office each has taken to obey the Charter.

Charter Section 401 defines the Mayor’s requirement to, within 180 days, fill the Managing Director position when taking office or when the position becomes vacant.  This appointment must be approved by Council. Over the past 23 years, Council has approved mayors’ appointments of all Managing Directors by resolution. Seven Managing Directors have been appointed, including two filling the position in a temporary or acting capacity.

The Scott administration’s claim that the Charter language is vague as it does not specify how Council must approve the appointment is unfounded. The Administrative Code Section 5-212 states that official actions of the Council shall be taken by ordinance, resolution or motion, as provided in the Charter.

Mayor Wally Scott appointed an acting Managing Director on Oct. 5, 2018.  The Charter uses the term temporary. Black’s Law Dictionary defines both with the same meaning – putting someone in place for a limited period of time. The Charter requires that City Council “shall, within 90 days” hire a Managing Director if the Mayor has not filled the position within the specified 180-day period.  The Mayor’s 180-day timeline to appoint a Managing Director expired April 5, 2019.

Watch the press conference HERE.

City Council will use the upcoming weeks to advertise for qualified applicants.  All applicants are asked to submit resumes to the City Council office by June 15th.  Council will then ask the Mayor to assist in reviewing and interviewing qualified applicants.

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