‘Last manager standing’ at City Hall

City Hall got a little Bruce Willis on its Web site, proclaiming “Last Manager Standing” in a headline about the City Council selecting Robert Layton as its new city manager.

After reporters noticed the headline on Wednesday and asked a county staff member to print out a copy of the home page screen, the city changed the headline to “City Manager Update.” However, city officials say the timing of the change was a mere coincidence.

City spokesman Van Williams said the “Last Manager Standing” headline “attempted to capture a lengthy and difficult competition, an endurance test of sorts that included a large pool of outstanding public servants.” “Last Man Standing” is the title of a Bruce Willis crime thriller.

Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan was among finalists for the job. Layton is city manager of Urbandale, Iowa.

The headline, Williams said, was the “result of a routine collaboration that usually involves staffers from the communications team, IT-IS (information technology and services) and others who informally weigh in on matters related to managing content at www.wichita.gov.

Williams said the city regularly updates the site’s banner headline “to keep the page fresh.” “It will possibly change tomorrow when any number of local organizations and groups are perhaps meeting. Again, no correlation (on the timing of the headline changing).”

Headlines on the site, Williams said, are “intended to be accurate and engaging. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail, according to the prism of the reader. It wasn’t our best headline. Nor was it our worst. The feedback was mixed. We could’ve done better. We certainly aim to every day.”