ARCHER– The length of the search process for city manager raised some concern at the city commission meeting Monday, June 11.
Residents and commissioners alike questioned when the application process will close and when the new city manager will be chosen.
Commissioner Blanch Parker was concerned about keeping the application process open until the position is filled.
“We had five people we interviewed, and even if we had 50 interviews after that, we don’t owe them anything to keep this open if we want one of those five,” Parker said. “I don’t think we’re getting a system that we all agree on [the application process]. It is just hanging there dangling.”
Two additional applications were submitted last week. The new candidates are Christopher Johnson and Archer interim city manager John Mayberry.
The city commission posted advertisements at the end of April stating it will continue accepting applications until the position is filled. Fourteen applications were submitted. Those candidates were narrowed down to five and given an hour interview with each commissioner.
“I was under the understanding that we were taking applications and then we would interview, and if there were qualified candidates then we had every right to hire,” Parker said. “But I’m getting the impression that we have commissioners or everybody but me that thinks we can keep on taking applications and putting off hiring somebody until we’re good and ready.”
Commissioner Gabe Green motioned to offer the job to Mayberry. There wasn’t a second for his motion.
Local resident Sarah McIntosh voiced her concern about what she felt was a delay in choosing a city manager.
“I agree that it needs to be something that we take care of efficiently and quickly because we need a city manager in place to see us through the things we’re going through, particularly the sewage system,” McIntosh said. “I don’t think it sends a good message about Archer.”
The search has thus far lasted two months.
Commissioner Fletcher Hope said, “I’m slightly offended that we’re dragging it out, because we’re not.”
Hope said they’ve set the parameter to have someone chosen preferably by June, no later than July 1.
“I think it’s coming to closure. I think we need to follow the guidelines like we’ve done,” he said.
Mayor Frank Ogborn added, “We’re not slow about this process, it’s a tough decision. We’re moving through this.”
A special workshop will be held June 20 at 4 p.m. to discuss all seven candidates, including the five interviewed candidates and the two new applicants.
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