August 9, 2011 12:44:00 PM
Anytime an important community agency has an opportunity to choose new leadership, the net should be cast as far and wide as practically possible. The importance of good leadership cannot be overemphasized.
Monday, the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau board took the path of least resistance and gave Interim Director Nancy Carpenter the job full time. By doing so, they thumbed their nose at the community that provides support for the organization.
We have no problem with Carpenter. Columbus is her hometown, and she is clearly passionate about the job. Given an opportunity to prove herself to a search committee and to compete with other qualified candidates, she may still have arisen victorious. That''s something we will never know.
In agencies such as the CVB, where tax dollars and community interests are at stake, boards owe it to all of us to give due diligence in finding leadership.
If that person ends up being local, or even someone already in house, all the better.
Even then, it is wise to hire outside help. It proves assurance to the agency and community that every effort has been made to keep local politics out of the equation.
The Columbus Police Department, the Columbus Municipal School District and the Starkville School District are searching for new leaders. We hope they will not succumb to the CVB''s painful example.
Though the entities'' boards have tapped leaders they deem capable of taking the helm, at least in the interim, they still are reaching out for applicants.
The school districts have hired outside consultants to vet applicants and recommend their top choice, based on the districts'' requirements and input from faculty, staff and community members.
This ensures that they hire the best candidate, even if that person already is doing the job.
The CVB could have taken a cue from them.