STEUBENVILLE - City Council members narrowed an initial list of 34 applicants for the vacant city manager's job to eight candidates Monday evening during a two-hour executive session.
Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf said council members met for more than two hours to review the qualifications of the applicants and finalize a list of candidates for telephone interviews.
Council members will meet again at 5 p.m. Wednesday to schedule the telephone interviews.
This is the second attempt by council members to fill the city manager's position that has been vacant since former City Manager Cathy Davison resigned in May after 38 months on the job.
"We started with 34 applicants and narrowed that list to 17 people who met the qualifications required by the city charter. We continued reviewing the candidates and took the list down to eight people," reported Metcalf after the meeting.
"Our next step is to set up the telephone interviews and try to narrow the list to three or four final candidates for face-to-face interviews. We will involve the citizens committee in the telephone interviews so they are up to speed when we invite the final candidates to the city for personal interviews," explained Metcalf.
Metcalf said several applicants from the first round of the search process applied again.
Council accelerated the search process for a new city manager after the first round ended with one final candidate who turned down the Steubenville job to take the city manager's position in Grand Junction, Kan.
A second finalist dropped out of the running for the job to accept a city manager job in Portsmouth, Ohio.
"We had some very good candidates in the 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 job and I think we will have a good list of candidates," Metcalf said.
Metcalf said he hopes to see a city manager named, "by mid-November."
Council members had narrowed the first round list of 34 applicants to five finalists and then saw two of the final list of candidates 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 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.
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, Mayor Domenick Mucci will continue serving as acting city manager until someone is hired for the position.