Who Will ‘He’ Be?

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission has offered its top job to its first choice. But who could the new executive director be? It is “he.” From this morning’s Gazette:

After 30 minutes in closed session, the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission voted last night to offer its first-choice candidate the position of executive director.

That person, acknowledged in the group only by the “he” pronoun, wasn’t identified. The two male finalists for the position are Karl Cassell, executive director of Jane Boyd Community House, and JohnPaul Chaisson-Cardenas of Seattle.

City Attorney Jim Flitz said any public organization would need to vote in open session on a motion to extend an offer to its first-choice candidate for a position – it does not, however, have to reveal that candidate’s identity.

If the commission’s first choice does not accept the position, the offer will then be extended to its secondchoice and third-choice candidates, respectively.

Other finalists are Kay Johansen, a Cedar Rapids attorney; Michelle McMurray, a five-year Cedar Rapids civil rights investigator; and Omaha, Neb., attorney Judith Wells.

I understand what they’re trying to do, and I sympathize, but with just three candidates, this seems sort of odd. I hope “he” takes the job and rights the commission’s ship.

At least the commission’s interview process was largely open, unlike the Cedar Rapids School Board’s super-double-secret superintendent search.

The district’s crackerjack search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates of Glenview, Ill., has recommended that a superintendent be hired with no public input. You’ve got to love taxpayer-funded consultants who want to shut the door on taxpayers. 

There’s still a chance the school board will open interviews with finalists. I hope they choose openness.


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