10/22/04 — Manager list to be narrowed

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Manager list to be narrowed

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on October 22, 2004 2:01 PM

The Goldsboro City Council spent this morning in closed session, narrowing down a list of candidates for the city manager position.

The board met with Jim Mercer, owner of the Mercer Group, who is heading up the city's search for a new city manager.

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

Eighty-seven candidates from across the country applied for the position, and Mercer narrowed that list down to 13 for the council to consider.

The council is expected to cut about three names from the list today. Then Mercer will perform reference and background checks on the remaining 10 candidates.

After the background checks are completed, Mercer will cut the list down again to between five and seven candidates for the council to interview.

"We had a good response," Mercer said. "A lot of diversity in the candidates."

Mercer took the criteria established by the council to winnow down the candidates.

In August the council told Mercer that education, experience and computer expertise were some of the qualities it wanted in a new city manager.

Mayor Al King thought the city needed someone with a master's degree in public administration and five years experience as a manager or as an assistant city manager.

Councilman Bob Waller thought experience in finance and a familiarity with state laws was necessary, and Councilman Charles Williams thought the manager must know how to deal with diverse people and cultures.

Waller also thought the manager should have computer knowledge, so the city's computer system could be updated.

Councilman Jimmy Bryan said he would like to see someone young hired, with the possibility of working with the city for a while.

Waller said he would also want someone with experience in water and sewer matters, so the city could continue to be a leader in those areas.

Bryan and Waller listed the emphasis on city cleanup and restoration as one of the issues facing the city.

The council said that it also must maintain a good relationship with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Councilman Jackie Warrick said that good communication skills and the ability to handle citizens' complaints were also necessary.

On Nov. 8 and 10 the council will then interview each of the remaining candidates.