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Tue, Oct. 22

9 remain in pool of contenders for Prescott City Manager

PRESCOTT – The field of hopefuls for the post of Prescott City Manager has now been narrowed to nine.

Prescott Human Resources Director Mary Jacobsen reported Wednesday, July 27, that the City Manager Selection Ad Hoc Committee recently screened the qualified applicants, and produced a list of nine semi-finalists.

“We are going to Skype (interview) nine candidates next week,” Jacobsen said, referring to the internet video conferencing forum.

The nine semi-finalists remain from the original field of 58 applicants. Earlier this month, Jacobsen told the City Council that her department had narrowed the entire field down to 20 of the most qualified candidates. The ad hoc committee reviewed those 20 to come up with its list of semi-finalists.

Prescott City Clerk Dana DeLong pointed out that the ad hoc committee met twice in July in its efforts to narrow the field.

The first meeting – a closed executive session – took place Tuesday, July 12, and lasted about a half-hour. The agenda listed: presentation of candidate materials, as well as discussion of the role and function of the committee.

The next meeting – another executive session – took place Tuesday, July 26, included review and discussion of candidate applications, and lasted about an hour and 10 minutes.

Two more meetings are scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 2 and 3, for the Skype interviews, DeLong said.

The Arizona Open Meeting Law allows the city to discuss personnel matters in closed-door sessions. City Attorney Jon Paladini earlier advised the council that the ad hoc committee would be subject to the open meeting law, and therefore would be required to post its meeting agendas.

While Paladini noted that the names of the semi-finalists are not considered public, state case law requires the release of the names of finalists.

City officials have noted that the field of finalists – expected to include three or four – would be invited to Prescott for face-to-face interviews.

Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms said the finalist interview process is anticipated to be more robust than a simple panel interview – similar to the process conducted recently for the city’s new police chief.

The ad hoc committee consists of six members: Prescott Mayor Pro Tem Jim Lamerson, and City Councilmembers Jean Wilcox and Steve Blair; and community members Michael Gjede, who has extensive personnel experience and has served on other city committees; Julie Ruttle, a local business person; and John Baudek, a former city manager.

The search is being conducted to replace City Manager Craig McConnell, who resigned May 13, effective July 12. The council agreed that McConnell should stay on throughout the search and transition to a new city manager.

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