City manager candidate mulls opportunity

STEUBENVILLE – City Council offered the vacant city manager position to the sole remaining candidate Saturday afternoon, and that person is expected to make his decision about accepting or rejecting the job early this week.

The job offer came after council members interviewed the candidate for approximately two-and-a-half-hours Saturday morning followed by a 90-minute interview by the citizens committee Saturday afternoon.

Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf said the candidate wanted to discuss the city’s offer with his wife, “and that he also has a job offer from another city.”

Metcalf declined to identify the final job candidate, but said the council members and the citizens committee, “really liked his background and feel he will be an asset for our community.”

The candidate arrived in the city Friday afternoon and was given a tour of the community by Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci.

Mucci said he also planned to provide the applicant a copy of the city’s budget and was ready to discuss city projects.

“We had some really good people who applied for our city manager job but they hired by other communities. The fact our final candidates were under consideration by other communities tells me we had quality candidates on our final list. The people we were seriously considering were also being considered by other communities,” Metcalf declared.

Councilman at large Kenny Davis described the final candidate, “as a great guy. He is awesome. His interview with us went very well.”

“I am praying this gentleman accepts our offer and agrees to be our next city manager. I know every member of the citizens committee supported him to be our city manager,” Davis said.

Under the charter language, Saturday was the deadline for offering the city manager job to a candidate.

Metcalf said if the final candidate rejects the city’s offer, council will re-advertise for the job.

“If we have to re-advertise, I plan on streamlining the process and will hopefully hire a new city manager by the end of October. But first of all, I hope this candidate accepts our offer,” Metcalf stated.

The council members had narrowed the original list of 34 applicants to five finalists and then saw two of the final candidates withdraw their names.

Council met for approximately 90 minutes last Sunday, eliminated an additional candidate and scheduled the final two finalists for interviews Saturday.

Metcalf cautioned after last Sunday’s meeting one of the two candidates also was interviewing for another city manager job.

That applicant notified Metcalf Wednesday he was withdrawing his name from consideration, leaving the single final candidate.

The search for a new city manager started after former City Manager Cathy Davison resigned from the job in mid-May, ending her 38-month tenure.

The advertisement for the job said the city has a population of 18,000 residents and an annual budget of $11.3 million.

The charter states the city manager will, “be responsible for complete operation of a full-service city and all service and safety departments.The salary is open and the successful applicant shall, within six months of appointment, establish and maintain residence in Steubenville,” is cited in the city charter.

The charter requires applicants to possess an, “undergraduate degree in public administration, business administration or related field and have at least two years of experience as a city manager or assistant city manager or, in the alternative, have at least 10 years of experience as a city manager.”

According to the city charter, “Once the applicant is chosen, the said applicant must be on the job within 30 days from the date he or she is hired.”

Under the terms of the charter, Mucci is serving as acting city manager until someone is hired for the position.