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Interview process set for Village manager candidates

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At its Aug. 18 meeting, Village Council approved a process for interviewing the finalists for Village manager that includes a public forum for citizen participation.

The manager search is being conducted by Don Vermillion of the University of Dayton, who Council previously hired to oversee the process. At Monday’s meeting, Vermillion presented his suggestion for the interview process, which will take place on three different days in October, once each for the three finalists for the position. Council members approved of the plan, with the addition of a lunch during which each candidate will meet with five citizens, each having been selected by a Council member. Those five citizens will also attend an evening public forum with the candidate and will then present their feedback to Council.

“This gives you a separate set of eyes and ears and the opportunity at the end of the process to hear from them,” said Interim Village Manager John Weithofer. The citizens might also play a role in “marketing the community,” he said.

The lunch with citizens will begin the interview process, and will be followed by a tour of the village conducted by two Council members. Following the tour, the candidate will share an informal meal with Council, Weithofer and Vermillion, after which Council will interview each candidate. In the evening, the candidate will take part in a public forum open to all, during which the candidate will respond to questions from citizens. Following the forum, Council will meet in executive session to discuss the candidate.

While Council member Kathryn Van der Heiden suggested that all three candidates be brought to town at the same time to minimize the time commitment required by Council members, others disagreed, stating that having all candidates present simultaneously would be too chaotic for a thoughtful decision-making process.

Questionnaires designed by Vermillion were distributed in the News last week, and are also available downtown. The questionnaires seek to identify a list of desirable attributes for a manager in the areas of education, experience, management style and resonality. According to Vermillion Monday night, the questionnaires will be used by him to narrow down the potential candidates to a workable number. He will present the results of surveys filled out by Village staff, Council and citizens to Council about a week before their Sept. 15 meeting. At that meeting Council members will attempt to identify three finalists during an executive session.

Council hired Vermillion following the resignation of former Village Manager Eric Swansen in June. At that time, Weithofer, the former manager of Miamisburg, was hired as interim manager for a six-month period. Council has stated that it aims to find a new manager within the next several months, and will hopefully finish the selection process by their Nov. 3 or Nov. 17 meeting, with the possibility of having the new manager begin in December.

Other items of Council business will be reported in next week’s News.

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