Officials with Harlan Municipal Utilities discussed at length Thursday, the next step to find a new Chief Executive Officer. The HMU Board of Trustees talked about several options. Chairman David Tyrell says one search option is to use an executive recruiting organization or firm. “This has been brought to my attention by a lot of people so I contacted Mycoff Fry and Prouse group and they sent us two proposals. The idea is they are a professional search team that practices in the utilities area. They have a large group of contacts. The positives they can move quickly. They have a lot of prescreened. They have expertise in this field. The negative is they are expensive and there is some cost involved.”
Tyrell says the second option would be to use the employees at HMU for an internal process. “The second suggestion is to create an internal search team and use ads on numerous websites including the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and the American Public Power Association and various state organizations similar to IAMU and surrounding states.”
Board member Terry Arentson said he was for hiring an external search group because they would ask the right questions and hire the right person. Board member Michael Jones, however, disagreed. “My personal take is the second option would be the better option for our rate payer’s money. I do not mean this in a derogatory way to you Darrell, but this is the same firm that contacted Darrell and paid by Waverly to contact Darrell. And then we are going to turn around and give them several thousands of dollars to replace an employee that they took from HMU. I have a hard time not at least putting faith in the department heads that Tom (former CEO Tom Gaffigan) put in place when he was gone for health issues. I think he put the right people in place to do things here. I would like two board members to meet with the department heads. I have a hard time writing a check to the people that put us in this position in the first place.”
In his rebuttal, Tyrell said that it was in fact current CEO Darrell Wenzel who is leaving that put HMU in the position to look for a new CEO not the hiring firm. In the end it was Arentson who made a motion. “So I will make a motion to make a committee consisting of two board members and the management team to investigate the options. Jones seconded.”
The board approved the motion and will discuss the issue at their next board meeting on Thursday, February 27th.