City manager search resumes again

STEUBENVILLE – The second round in the search for a city manager will resume Monday evening when City Council members sit down in executive session to start reviewing 31 applications.

The first go-around in the search process ended Sept. 18, when Gerald C. Smith, the only candidate to meet face-to-face with the council members, turned down the Steubenville job to accept a city manager’s job in Junction City, Kan.

City Council met for 25 minutes in executive session that same night to discuss “accelerating the search for a new manager.”

“We started our advertisements in the Herald-Star, on the International City Manager Association Website and in state and national publications. The deadline for the applications was Friday, and we will sit down at 5 p.m. Monday to start reviewing the applications. That meeting will be to determine how many candidates qualify for the job under the terms of the city charter,” explained 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf.

“This time, we will involve the citizens committee in the telephone interview process. That will give the citizens committee more information as we all prepare to narrow the list of applicants for the face-to-face interviews. We hope to complete the search process and have a new city manager as soon as possible,” Metcalf added.

Council had offered the vacant manager’s job to Smith after council members and the citizens committee had interviewed him.

But, after reviewing the job offer from Steubenville and an offer from Junction City, Smith accepted the Kansas position.

Smith currently lives in Kansas.

The official Junction City Website lists Smith as the next city manager job for the community and cited his 20 years in municipal management.

Smith was the only candidate to travel to Steubenville for a face-to-face interview for the city manager’s position after the second finalist notified Metcalf he was withdrawing his name from consideration because he had accepted the city manager’s job in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“We had some very good candidates in this first round, and we anticipate seeing good candidates as we continue pursuing a new city manager. I think it may have been a case of bad timing, because several city manager candidates were on the move this summer. But there are more candidates who will be looking for a manager’s job and I think we will find a good list of candidates,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf said he was disappointed, “but I hope to see a city manager named by mid-November.”

Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci said he had, “no concerns,” regarding the need for a second search.

“I am prepared to continue performing the duties of the acting city manager and I will continue dealing with the challenges facing our city. If the council moves at an accelerated pace in this next search, it will be an advantage to the city,” Mucci commented.

“By the nature of the job, there are always city manager candidates looking for a job. I am confident the council will find a good person to be our next manager,” Mucci added.

The council members had narrowed the first round list of 34 applicants to five finalists and then saw two of those finalists withdraw their names. A third candidate was dropped from consideration by council members.

“We had some really good people who applied for our city manager’s job, but they hired by other communities. The fact that 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 also were being considered by other communities,” Metcalf said.

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

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 will continue serving as acting city manager until someone is hired for the position.