Meet the City Manager Candidates

After a comprehensive recruitment process that garnered 33 candidates from across the nation, Mayor Brian Treece announced that the Columbia City Council has narrowed the field to two finalists who have been invited to participate in an on-site interview process scheduled for July 10 and 11.

On July 10, the candidates will have individual interviews with each Council Member and the Mayor, a community tour, candidate sessions with senior staff and a public reception. On July 11, candidates will be available to the press and will conclude with a closed-session interview with the entire Council. The finalists will also undergo additional vetting that includes rigorous reference and background checks.

“The City Council promised the residents of Columbia a transparent, nationwide candidate search and we are pleased with the results,” Treece said.

As requested by the City Council, CPS HR Consulting conducted an aggressive engagement process to gather information regarding the leadership characteristics, knowledge, and skills that the public, employees and a myriad of stakeholders would like to see in Columbia’s next city manager. The culmination of these activities, which included two public community meetings, resulted in over 500 responses to an online survey and in-person meetings with more than 75 individuals, which included department directors, senior City staff, and a number of community organizations such as labor organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Missouri, and various community nonprofit or advocacy groups.

The public reception on Wednesday, July 10 will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Columbia City Hall, 701 E. Broadway. Members of the community are invited to meet and interact with the finalists.

Meet the finalists:

John Glascock has served as Columbia’s interim city manager since November 2018. Over his 16+ year career with the City of Columbia, Glascock has served as chief engineer, director of Public Works and, prior to his appointment as interim city manager, deputy city manager for three years. As deputy city manager, he was responsible for overseeing Community Development, Public Works, Sustainability and Utilities, more than 700+ employees and combined operating and capital improvement budgets of more than $275 million. During his tenure as interim city manager he has appointed an interim police chief and addressed community concerns regarding the Police Department, reorganized the City Manager’s Office to gain efficiencies and focused on relationship building with City stakeholders. Prior to joining the City, Glascock had a 20-year engineering career with MoDOT. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri and is a registered professional engineer.

James ‘Jim’ Palenick has served as city administrator of Racine, Wisconsin (population 78,000) since April 2017. He is responsible for a $205 million budget and more than 700 employees. Racine is a full-service, urban core city with services including regional water, wastewater, golf courses, zoo, library, 50-acre regional beach and health department. During his tenure, Palenick has focused on structuring, negotiating and gaining approvals for a series of large-scale, mixed-use, urban infill redevelopment projects that exceed $300 million in private investment in hotels, retail and over 1,000 new housing units. He also introduced body cameras for the Police Department and championed the cause of Community-Oriented Policing culture and expansion. Palenick noted in his application that over his 29-year city management career, he has championed strategic planning and economic sustainability; used innovation and non-traditional approaches to create success in the face of expected failure and delivered 29 balanced budgets even in trying economic circumstances. He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University and is a Credentialed Manager of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)