Since the resignation of City Manager Ed Burchins earlier this month, more than 40 individuals have inquired about the position, according to Human Resources Director Amy Martin.
While Martin said that not all of the applicants were qualified, the early response bodes well for the hiring process.
“A few of the (individuals) were impressive,” said Martin, who is reviewing resumes and making initial contact with applicants.
“I am really just doing an administrative function right now until the recruitment process is defined by the (city council). I have not received specific guidance on that process yet,” Martin said. “City council really owns the hiring process for this position.”
An ad posted online for the position said the city would require the next city manager have a degree in public administration, business management, or related field and considerable experience in a management level with a public sector organization. A master’s degree in public administration or related field is desired. The “ideal candidate” would also have at least 7 years in of management experience (preferably within municipal governments) and knowledge of all areas of local government.
The ad said that “special consideration will be given to candidates with a proven record of general project management and economic stimulus project management.”
Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience and education. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.
Mayor Tommy Parker said city council is expected to flesh out the actual hiring process at either January’s agenda workshop or at a special retreat.
“Applications, I think, will close at the end of January, and I really don’t see us doing anything (with officially hiring someone) before the first of March,” Parker said. “We have yet to really design the hiring process because it all happened so fast .”
Faced with three vacancies in positions central to the city’s bureaucracy – city manager, chief of police and fire chief – Martin has had her hands full after only being on the job for two months herself, Parker said.
“I think that Miss Martin, being a professional, knows the best ways to advertise these positions,” Parker said.
Wanting to involve the new city manager in the process, Martin said that the hiring of employees to serve as chief of police and fire chief will wait until after a city manager is hired.
“Those are two critical positions, and it is important for the new city manager to have a say in that process. (Acting police chief) Kimothy Monroe and (acting fire chief) Randy Gibson will continue to act in their capacities until we make that hire. We are very confident in their ability as interims.”
In a move that Martin says will increase the diversity of the applicant pool as well as draw some younger candidates, for the first time ever the city is advertising its city manager position on websites like Craig’s List and LinkedIn.
“The city is exploring new recruiting techniques, which we expect to yield a lot more applicants for our positions with a more diverse population being reached – connecting with more of the younger generation,” Martin said.
That change in approach includes position on diversity websites, as well.
Parker said that, all things considered, he thinks the city is running efficiently with Harold Haywood serving as interim city manager.
“I think the current team is working together really well,” Parker said.