Steubenville manager search resumes

STEUBENVILLE – Seven people have filed applications for the city manager job, and 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf is anticipating more interest in the job as the second round of advertising and interviews for the vacant post gets under way.

Council met for 25 minutes in executive session Tuesday night to discuss, “accelerating the search for a new manager” following last week’s decision by the final city manager candidate to turn down the Steubenville job and take a similar position in Kansas.

“We have started our advertisements in the Herald-Star, on the International City Manager Association website as well as state and national publications. The deadline for the applications is Oct. 11, and we will sit down on Oct. 14 to start reviewing the applications,” explained Metcalf.

“And this time we will involve the citizens committee in the telephone interview process. That will give the citizens committee more information as we all prepare to narrow the list of applicants for the face-to-face interviews. We hope to complete the search process and have a new city manager as soon as possible,” added Metcalf.

Members of council had offered the manager job to Gerald C. Smith 10 days ago, but after reviewing the job offer from Steubenville and an offer from Junction City, Kan., Smith accepted the Kansas position.

Smith currently lives in Kansas.

The official Junction City website listed Smith as one of four finalists vying for the city manager job and cited his 20 years in municipal management.

Smith was the only candidate to travel to Steubenville for a face-to-face interview for the city manager position after the second finalist notified Metcalf two weeks ago he was withdrawing his name from consideration because he had accepted the city manager job offer in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“We had some very good candidates in this first round, and we anticipate seeing good candidates as we continue pursuing a new city manager. I think it may have been a case of bad timing because several city manager candidates were on the move this summer. But there are more candidates who will be looking for a manager job, and I think we will find a good list of candidates,” Metcalf said last week.

Metcalf said he was disappointed, “but I hope to see a city manager named by mid-November.”

Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci said he had, “no concerns,” regarding the need for a second search.

“I am prepared to continue performing the duties of the acting city manager and I will continue dealing with the challenges facing our city. If the council moves at an accelerated pace in this next search it will be an advantage to the city,” Mucci commented.

“By the nature of the job there are always city manager candidates looking for a job. I am confident council will find a good person to be our next manager,” Mucci added.

The council members had narrowed the original list of 34 applicants to five finalists and then saw two of the final list of candidates withdraw their names.

“We had some really good people who applied for our city manager job but they got hired by other communities. The fact our final candidates were under consideration by other communities tells me we had quality candidates on our final list. The people we were seriously considering were also being considered by other communities,” Metcalf explained.

The search for a new city manager started after former City Manager Cathy Davison resigned from the job in May, ending her 38-month tenure.

According to the city charter, “Once the applicant is chosen, the said applicant must be on the job within 30 days from the date he or she is hired.”

Under the terms of the charter, Mucci will continue serving as acting city manager until someone is hired for the position.

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