07/22/04 — City hires consultant to hire manager

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City hires consultant to hire manager

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 22, 2004 2:00 PM

The Goldsboro City Council has picked an Atlanta-based firm to conduct the search for a new city manager.

The council considered firms based in Charlotte and Virginia Beach before deciding on the Mercer Group.

City Manager Richard Slozak will retire Dec. 30 after working for the city for 33 years.

Jim Mercer, owner of the company, will head up the city's search, which could be completed within three to four months. The estimated cost will be about $23,000.

The first step in the process will be to interview council members to find out what they want in a manager.

Interviews with department heads, other local organizations and some city staff members will also be conducted.

After determining the desired traits of a city manager for Goldsboro, the firm will advertise the position in a number of publications.

In addition, the company will actively recruit potential candidates.

The field of applicants will be winnowed down to about 10, and the firm will go over that list with the council. The list would be cut again to about five candidates.

The council would then interview each of the remaining candidates.

Before the interviews begin, an extensive background check will be conducted on the candidates, Mercer said.

Though Mercer won't participate in the interview process, he said he would observe and give feedback to the council after the interviews.

The company will also assist the city in negotiating a contract with the new manager, since the council has not had to do that for 18 years.

Slozak's contract, written in 1986, is a four-page document that defines his duties, compensation and benefits, and other terms of his employment.

The company has conducted compensation studies, so it will be able to recommend a competitive salary for the manager position, Mercer said. Slozak is paid $123,000, plus benefits.