Newport City Councilors began their formal search for a new city manager Monday. They met with a recruiting consultant to help them through the process of hiring a new city manager which may take a number of months to complete.
Councilors said they want well qualified candidates to review and interview. They talked with recruiting consultant Bob Gibson of Lincoln City, a well seasoned veteran at his craft, as to what the minimum qualifications might be as well as what may be the most important question to ask of themselves – “What needs to happen in the first six months, brought about by the new city manager, that will make his/her administration be a success?” Big question.
Gibson gave the councilors five questions to take home and to think about as the process moves forward dealing with attributes of the new city manager, knowledge of critical issues facing the city, salary range and the timeframe for putting him in the city manager’s seat.
Gibson also said that he will set up a mix of traditional interviews and some components of an assessment center. He said he uses a system of interviews that allows each candidate to be evaluated on multiple attributes by multiple assessors.
Gibson recommended that once the council tentatively selects the successful candidate, a contingent of the city council actually travels to the community where the finalist works. Once there, they should meet face to face with those best positioned to evaluate the candidate’s contributions to the community and anything else they might learn about him/her.
The council will discuss the process briefly during tonight’s city council meeting – then formally authorize a wide reaching advertisement calling for applications.
Today, June 3rd, is current City Manager Jim Voetberg’s last day. He has taken a management position with a small water and sewer district in suburban Seattle.