WEST – If appointed interim city manager by City Council, Police Chief Shawn Lacey says he will use the time with a potential eye toward a permanent job change.
The council, at a meeting scheduled for Monday, is expected to consider appointing Lacey as interim city manager. The board is also expected to present a commendation to outgoing chief executive J. Mark Rooney, who on September 9 announced his intention to resign.
The meeting agenda provides the clarity that was lacking as a result of the previous board meeting on how it plans to handle Rooney’s resignation.
Lacey and City Council Chairperson Sharon Ahern said on Friday that the potential interim period could serve as a trial period for Lacey and the council and give all parties time to consider future steps.
âI think it would be a two-way look for the board and for Chief Lacey. It may not be, in the end, something that interests him,â said Ahern.
An interim period would give all parties time to consider future steps, Ahern said.
âFor now, we would just like to stabilize ourselves and see how the chief slips into the position. I guess he will do just fine, after all he’s been in this situation before and no one knows the city. better than him, âAhern said.
Lacey, who was appointed chief by Rooney, briefly served as interim city manager when Rooney was out of town for conferences or when he had free time during his more than three-year tenure. Some of these passages have occurred during major storms or when Lacey has had to make executive decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
âI look forward to the opportunity to become an interim manager. I am honored to be asked,â said Lacey.
In the acting role, Lacey would also continue as Chief of Police. A 34-year police veteran, Lacey said he’s not yet sure he’s ready to close the door on his law enforcement career.
âI have to weigh.â¦ Am I ready or willing to surrender my police badge and take this great leap of faith?â Lacey said.
City council members whose term is limited to a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms have both the power to hire and fire the post of general manager. In other words, the bosses of the manager can change every two years according to the wishes of the voters of the municipality, which can subject the position to politics.
“The tenure of managers has not always been the longest. I have to weigh that. I love the city, I grew up in the city and have worked for the police department for the past 34 years and wish stay paid employee, âsaid Lacey.
If Lacey is appointed to the acting position, Ahern said she anticipates the board will discuss how to fill the full-time position in the future. She noted that Rooney moved from acting to permanent status and that the board chose not to seek candidates when it selected former CEO Michelle Buck to become permanent CEO after she became director by interim after Steve Hartford resigned in 2013.
âThere are a lot of different models of how this might play out,â Ahern said.
The quote prepared for Rooney “commends his efforts for the betterment of the city” and “presents his best wishes for success and happiness.”
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chamber and can also be viewed at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85052429033.