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Springfield to be without city manager for weeks.

Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - It will take at least until late October for the city to have a new city manager on the job to succeed Mike Kelly, who is set to retire as of Sept. 1 after 16 years running City Hall.

City Human Resources Director Bill Spiry made that assessment Monday after an hourlong meeting of a City Council subcommittee charged with recruiting the new city manager.

Spiry had suggested to the subcommittee - composed of Mayor Sid Leiken and councilors Anne Ballew and Christine Lundberg - that it begin drafting a written profile of a new city manager, with his staff's help, before selecting an executive search firm to recruit candidates.

Lundberg objected to involving city staff deeply in the process of drafting the profile of their new boss.

"I am not comfortable with staff doing that role," she said. "I would like the search firm to do that work."

Spiry said he was simply offering technical expertise. "The council decides what the priority is," he said. "We will just be pulling it together for you."

He agreed, though, to concentrate first on finding the search firm, although he said doing so would delay hiring a new manager by a few weeks.

Two members of the subcommittee showed irritation with community leaders who had written formal letters of support - some well before Kelly announced his retirement - for Assistant City Manager Cynthia Pappas, a likely candidate for Kelly's job.

"Frankly, I was a little surprised to see them," Leiken said, as the subcommittee discussed seeking community opinions about city manager candidates.

`I wouldn't say that inherently precludes (the letter writers) from being part of this process,' Spiry said.

"But it might," Ballew said. "From my point of view."
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Title Annotation:Government; The human resources director estimates the new hire won't be on board until October
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 10, 2005
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