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City Hall Vacancies: Cause for Concern?

Some people are wondering if the vacancies are emblematic of bigger problems. City Council President G. Manoli Loupassi says he hasn't noticed the city running less efficiently or effectively, but worries about the long-term effects.

"You don't necessarily bear the fruits of bad management instantly," he says, speaking generally. "You're not going to see the sclerosis until much later. If you've got heart disease, it's usually a slow death."

But Loupassi says it's too early to tell whether the city is headed for dysfunction. "I've got good confidence in the mayor," he says.

Bill Farrar, Wilder's press secretary, says the administration has placed "a very high priority" on filling the vacancies within the next four to six weeks. It's taken longer, he says, because Wilder and Chief Administrative Officer William Harrell have taken pains to ensure that the most qualified candidates are hired.

City Councilwoman Kathy Graziano hopes the positions are filled soon. She worries that the vacancies are causing some internal discord. "The longer that a department doesn't have a boss or director, the more difficult it is for the folks working in that department," Graziano says. — Scott Bass

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