A tough job, Dec. 2, 2005

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005

I’m sure critics of the Hilton project will seize upon the item in today’s paper about the abrupt departure of the hotel’s general manager is a sign that something is not right.

They would be wrong, I think, at least as far as the hotel is concerned.

People leave jobs all the time for any number of reasons. Keith Alexander was in Suffolk about a year, I think, perhaps a bit longer. I’ve left jobs in less time than that and it certainly didn’t mean there were any problems with the newspaper. The problems were mine.


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I can think of at least two newspaper jobs I’ve had that I’ve known within in the first week or at least month, that I had made a mistake in accepting them. The money wasn’t good enough, there was too much bureaucracy, the schools in the town were bad, we couldn’t afford to buy a house there, the publisher was an idiot and I felt I deserved his job…I ended up leaving, for the good of both me and the company. It’s not a good situation to have someone in a management role who’s disgruntled for whatever reason, personal or professional. It could be anything.

I don’t know if that was the case with Mr. Alexander but his reasons for leaving were his own.

I imagine it was a tough job, considering the hotel’s unique relationship with the city. I mean for most of us, it’s tough enough to deal with our corporate bosses, but to throw a local government into the mix, it would have to be a nightmare.

And that’s not a knock on anyone with our city. It’s just the nature of the beast. I mean at the top, you’ve got seven people in charge, each with his or her own, often competing, agenda. In addition, I’m sure there are many rules and regulations with which you have to deal that don’t normally apply to private enterprise.

Which brings us to the site of the former Obici property. I was upstairs in city hall the other day checking out the bulletin board with all the invitations to bid and noticed the deadline is today for developers to submit proposals on what to do with that piece of land.

What jumped out at me on the paper was that the city of Suffolk is looking for someone to &uot;partner&uot; with on developing the site.

Were I a developer, that would at least give me pause, if not prompt me to jump in my car and get the heck out of here as fast as I possibly could. It’s hard enough to be in business with another person, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be a partner with an 800-pound guerilla like a local government. While financial, construction and marketing skills are going to be important, they will pale in comparison to the political skills the winner of this bid will need, I’m talking Karl Rove level skills here.

Anyway, it’s an important project to our community and I wish all the bidders lots of luck.