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Manager search elicits robust response

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The Village has received a robust response in its search for a new Village manager, according to Council member Brian Housh, who, with Council member Gerry Simms, is overseeing the effort. According to the consulting firm Management Partners, which is conducting the search, 59 applicants responded by the March 7 deadline.

“This is a little more than we expected,” Housh said this week. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

About 22 of the group hail from Ohio, and others are from a range of states, including four from Florida, two each from North Dakota, Utah, Georgia and Michigan and one from Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico and New York, among other states. Five of the applicants are female.

According to the consulting group, about 15 out of the total number “rose to the top” and appear to be strong applicants for the local position, Housh said. Village Council will review all the applications in an executive session following its regular March 17 meeting, and the next day the citizens group that is helping with the search will also review the applicants.

Through this process, Council hopes to winnow the group to a few finalists, who would then be asked to come to Yellow Springs for a public forum, along with more interviews, Housh said. The interviews will take place either shortly before or after Council’s first April meeting on April 7, and Council hopes to make a decision by the end of April, giving the new manager an opportunity to give a month’s notice and start the job in June. Council is aware of the need to move quickly, as Interim Manager Kent Bristol, who is scheduled for back surgery March 19, is ready to pass the reins to a new manager.

“We’re confident that we’ll make a decision by the end of April,” Housh said.

The new manager will replace former Village manager Laura Curliss, who left her job in September. Bristol, who had been Yellow Springs manager for 15 years during the 1980s and early 90s, signed on for the duration of the search.

Council began advertising the position in February, using a position profile created by Management Partners after the firm interviewed Village Council, Village staff and a citizens’ group regarding criteria important for the job. While the Village prefers applicants with city management training and experience, it is also open to nontraditional candidates, according to Housh.

“The right applicant needs good management skills as well as government know-how,” Housh said, although he stated that Council members have different levels of openness to nontraditional candidates.

The Yellow Springs Village manager profile was posted at the online site of the International City/County Management Association and about 10 other online sites and was also distributed at professional conferences, Housh said.

Doug Plunkett, of Management Partners, who has been the Village’s contact person, has ranked the candidates into three groups, with the top group those who appear the best fit for the village, the next group less strong applicants and the third group applicants who may not be appropriate. However, at Monday’s executive session, Council members will review all applications. The next day, the citizens group will also review all applications.

Citizens group members are Sue Abendroth, Christine Monroe-Beard, Hannah DeLamatre, Kate Hamilton, Corey Johnson, Ryan Peirson, Beth Holyoke and Bettina Solas. Housh and Simms are also on the committee, along with Bristol and Council Clerk Judy Kintner.

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