Tallahassee Reports has learned that the scoring by the five-member search committee for the initial executive director of the Children’s Services Council (CSC) graded the initial interviews anonymously.
In other words, the interview scoring across six categories by the the five members of the CSC Search Committee for the five candidates under consideration was released without providing information on which search committee member assigned what grade.
See the scoring sheet below.
Tallahassee Reports was told that the grading process was approved by CSC officials and is an acceptable methodology called an “objective selection process.”
However, the process does not allow for questions of search committee members about their grading.
The search committee members include Jonathan Sjostrom, Chief Judge, Chair, Carmen Adams Conner, Carolyn D. Cummings, Paul Mitchell, and
Questions on Grading
The interview scoring shows that the clear choice of the selection committee was Chris Letsos, who received 140 points out of a possible 150 points.
The second and third choices were Cecka Rose Green (119) and Kelly Otte (118).
A review of the scoring shows two of the five members of the search committee scored Cecka Green above the the committee’s clear choice – Chris Letsos.
One anonymous search committee member gave Green a perfect score (30) and Letsos received 27 points. Another anonymous search committee member gave Green 29 points and Letsos 27 points.
Also, 11 of the 12 perfect scores (5) awarded by category to Cecka Green came for two search committee members. In contrast, each of the five committee members gave Letsos at least 3 perfect scores across the six categories. In total, Letsos received 20 “five” scores out of the 25 scores.
Anonymous Approach Lacks Accountability
The anonymous approach employed by the CSC does not allow for questions about search committee member scoring. For example, it is clear, from the above analysis, that two selection committee members heavily favored Cecka Green’s candidacy. But, why?
The anonymous approach keeps these two committee members from explaining there rationale for scores that are not consistent with the overall grading of the committee.
In addition, this lack of transparency during the process minimizes the information available to the community -via media reports – related to the CSC. A community that approved the CSC by a referendum which is responsible for allocating approximately $8-$10 million in property taxes each year.
The Next Step
Today the CSC Search Committee and the CSC is faced with a decision on the next steps in the hiring process of the executive director. It was recently reported that two of the top three candidates withdrew from consideration, leaving Cecka Green as the remaining finalists.
The next step was supposed to be a a second round of interviews of the final three candidates.
Will the selection committee add other candidates and proceed with interviews?
Will the CSC decide to interview Cecka Green and then make a decision?
Or will the CSC vote to hire Green?