Ed Flentje’s first week

Interim City Manager Ed FlentjeIn his first week, Interim City Manager Ed Flentje is setting a calm and cautious tone in City Hall. He’s asking city Finance Director Kelly Carpenter to communicate directly with him, setting hour-long meetings with city council members and pressing the City Council to agree on a process to hire a permanent city manager.

The cautious side of him emerged Tuesday when he suggested that things like $890,000 land acquisition isn’t the type of thing that should be on the consent agenda, which is where the city’s park land purchase was until Council member Jim Skelton pulled it for discussion.

Flentje’s calm side is pretty much omni-present, at least publicly. But it was perhaps most visible during a workshop in which Mayor Carl Brewer suggested that Skelton’s idea to have the council interview city manager candidates in an open forum would allow for too much “grandstanding.” Skelton took offense and said so with fire in his voice. Flentje, meanwhile, sat 10-feet away watching like a moderator and just moved the conversation along once the raised voices gave him a chance.  Flentje also raised a caution flag during that discussion, noting that the council is already a few weeks behind the schedule they used to hire a city manager almost four years ago.