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Springfield mulls city manager post.

Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - It will take at least until mid-September to hire a new city manager to replace Mike Kelly, who last week announced his plans to retire as of Sept. 1.

That was the message city Human Resources Director Bill Spiry gave members of the City Council during a work session Monday evening. "This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your tenure," Spiry said. "This is a very high-profile position. This is essentially the captain of the ship."

Spiry recommended that the council engage an executive search firm to locate and screen candidates for the city manager's job rather than have his department find candidates. "We don't do this very often," he said. "As a result, we don't have the expertise an executive search firm could offer us."

Once a job description is agreed on and signed off on by the City Council - a process that is likely to take weeks - the job should be advertised for a minimum of four weeks, Spiry said, and six weeks might be even better.

Allowing for the difficulties of getting people together during the summer months, he said, it will be the middle of September at the earliest before a new manager could be working at City Hall. Kelly is paid a base annual salary of $141,416 under his current contract.

Kelly told the council that once he's done with a planned hunting trip in September he would be available on a consulting basis if the council needed an interim manager.

Assistant City Manager Cynthia Pappas, a likely candidate for Kelly's job, excused herself from the work session before discussion of the job posting began.

Mayor Sid Leiken appointed a council subcommittee composed of himself and councilors Anne Ballew and Christine Lundberg to recommend a search firm and begin drafting a profile of the kind of city manager Springfield needs. The full council will make the final decision on choosing the firm.

Councilor Tammy Fitch said she thought six weeks might be too long a time to post the position. "It goes to the notion of Springfield," she said. "If someone has to process that long I'm not sure they would fit in well with how Springfield gets things done."

But Fitch acknowledged the seriousness of the decision the council will be making as it seeks to replace Kelly, who has headed the city's administration for 16 years.

"It's not quite the election of the pope," she said. "But it's close."
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Title Annotation:Government; The human resources director recommends that the council hire a search firm to find candidates
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 26, 2005
Words:418
Previous Article:Lane County considering budget cuts in 2007.
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