Manassas Park hires a new city manager whose resume makes you wonder why he didn’t get the job of city manager job in Oak Ridge, TN. Then you run across something like this story, where James Zumwalt turned in his resignation the same day he got closely questioned about how the city of Paducah committed millions of dollars to build a structure on land it didn’t own. Oops.
Zumwalt’s resignation comes after a complicated process involving securing land for a downtown Quilt Show Pavilion. The Commission was facing a time crunch to get the pavilion erected before the April show. Confident the city owned the property commissioners committed one and a half million dollars to build the pavilion. Only after committing the funding did the commissioners learn that the donated property was in fact deeded to the Paducah Renaissance Alliance, not the city of Paducah.
I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Zumwalt is an outstanding pick for City Manager. With a career spanning over 40 years in municipal administration, I’d gather he knows a thing or two about rescuing financially faltering municipalities from consequences of the actions of their elected leadership. During a career that long, you’re bound to have a bump or two in the road, and it’s entirely possible Zumwalt’s departure from Paducah was simply one of those. Seeing Zumwalt uncover that one of the people applying with the Paducah City Council to replace him was falsifying his resume, you tend to think well of the guy.
But still, after 40 years of service, many at the top positions of responsibility in municipalities vastly larger and more prestigious than Manassas Park, you have to wonder how he ended up here. Manassas Park isn’t quite work release employment for failed government bureaucrats, but a promotion from Paducah, Kentucky it ain’t.
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