RG15.2 when I first met Jon Ruiz

We’ll wake up Monday morning and we’ll have a new city manager. Like it or not and understand it or not, no other single person has as much power in Eugene (and maybe Lane County) as the person who is the boss of the 1500+ people who work for the city of Eugene. Thanks to the generosity of the mayor, I was given the opportunity to be in the room when about 30 citizens got to “interview” the three finalists. “Interview” might be a little misleading — that connotes a back-and-forth exchange that resembles a conversation. We weren’t allowed anything that natural. In fact, I was called the day before the sessions by city staff to be told that the question I had submitted in advance was not going to be asked because “it was too weird.” To their credit, they listened to why I thought the question had merit, and it was included, and the answers were telling, because the question didn’t ask the candidates for an answer so much as a question. Jon Ruiz showed a curious mind and a disarming demeanor. He’ll need both. Let’s wish him luck. We’ll be wishing good fortunes for ourselves at the same time.