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Kalamazoo Commission picks a second executive search firm

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Mayor Hopewell and Commissioner Cooney have a brief exchange of ideas after Thursday evening's special commission meeting.
Mayor Hopewell and Commissioner Cooney have a brief exchange of ideas after Thursday evening's special commission meeting.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The Kalamazoo City Commission has picked Illinois based Vorhees Associates LLC. to help them find their next city manager.

They were chosen over the Kalamazoo based Welsh and Associates because while the local firm may know the community, it’s more important that their executive headhunters know how to find city managers. Welsh and Associates has only worked in the private sector, never the public sector.

Commissioner Don Cooney says now it will be the Commission’s job to make sure the firm knows what special qualities of leadership they want, so the firm can find candidates who will be the “right fit”. He says their inability to acheive that with their first search firm was one of the reasons they failed.  

Mayor Bobby Hopewell suggested some kind of blending of the two firms be attempted, that Vorhees might be asked to subcontract or at least consult with Welsh.

But the majority of Commission, including Cooney,  opposed that idea and in the end they voted unanimously for Vorhees.

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