September 20, 2010

Lewis Racks Up the Frequent Flier Miles...

We’ve honestly started to pity County Manager Greg Lewis, here at Niagara Times.

Over the past few months, he’s accumulated quite a few frequent flier miles, jetting from interview to interview—and missing a lot of work.

Lewis’ job searches, of course, all tend to follow the same pattern:

1) Greg sends in his resume. 2) The hiring committee whittles its field down to five or so finalists, and Greg almost always makes the cut for this group. 3) Someone else, usually with a much shorter resume, gets the job.

And then, the headhunters who are handling Greg have to make that phone call to him. “
They really liked you, and you gave a strong interview. But they’re going to take a pass. It’s just that…well, they just can’t visualize you in that role with their organization. They don’t think you’re a fit.

A few weeks later, the process starts all over again.

This, of course, is how it all
played out down in the Florida panhandle over the past month.

We long ago stopped attempting to count the number of counties where Greg’s name turned up. Between information gleaned from newspaper accounts of Lewis being named a finalist, and friendly tips that telephone calls “checking up” on him from counties as far apace as
Florida (again and again), Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan—even Arizona—were coming in, we’ve watched Greg bounce from interview to interview without success. (He's even now reduced to applying to manage cities the size of Lockport.)

A common thread in many of the articles about Lewis has been statements like this:

While all had experience in government, and in large, complex organizations, only one came with county experience. That was Gregory Lewis, currently the manager in Niagara County, New York. Previously, he was administrator in Lyon County, Minn., and Beltrami County, Minn.

And yet, despite that fact, Lewis keeps getting passed over.

Why is that? Well, while some would suggest Google searches linking to this blog are killing Greg’s job hopes, honestly, we’re too modest to take all the credit. And, we still remember Lewis’ appearances on LCTV, and we think that may be part of his problem as well. Counties are looking for a certain kind of leader at the helm—one with a commanding presence, and a certain grace. Greg may be coming up a tad short in that category.

Regardless, Greg must be starting to sweat. We see by the Countdown Clock that he’s down to 71 days. That’s not a lot of time to land a sweet new six-figure gig to navel-gaze and draw up unsolicited plans to restructure government that save no money, but increase your personal power. Yeah, come to think of it, Greg’s personality may be part of the equation here, too.

Of course, we’d be remiss to note that one man has been fighting hard to give Greg a job. We are told that, at the last meeting of our own county’s county manager search committee, our old pal, Dennis F. Virtuoso, minority leader, implored his fellow legislators to give Lewis a per diem contract while we sought a candidate of Greg’s caliber.

But, um, no, Dennis, like damn near every other county in the United States, we’re going to take a pass. He’s just not a fit...

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