Statesboro City Council has a special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, when a decision to hire a new city manager is expected.
Earlier this week, Mayor Jan Moore said the council was ready to make a hiring decision and that a meeting would probably be called for Tuesday. City Clerk Sue Starling then emailed the meeting notices Friday morning.
The council could close a portion of the meeting for further discussion on the personnel decision, but if a vote is taken, that will have to be done in open session.
City Human Resources Director Jeff Grant released the names and background information of four city manager finalists June 17, so more than the minimum 14 days required between that release and a hiring decision have now passed.
Currently employed in four different states, the finalists all have Master of Public Administration degrees, and most have experience working with cities roughly the size of Statesboro, population about 30,000.
Anthony J. Carson Jr., is city manager in Painesville, Ohio, population about 20,000. He has been there since 2013, and previously served as administrator or manager of two smaller towns in Maryland and Delaware. But from 1998 to 2006, Carson was county administrator of Trumbull County, Ohio, population about 225,000.
Joyce A. Parker is now a state-appointed emergency manager in Michigan and heads her own government consulting practice, based in Ann Arbor. From 2004 to 2008 she was city manager of Inkster, Michigan, population about 32,000. She has worked for other cities and townships in Michigan and Illinois.
James T. “Ty” Ross is city administrator in Dalton, population about 33,000, in the most northern tier of Georgia counties. In that post since 2009, he also has a law degree and was previously a dean at Dalton State College and an attorney in private practice.
Randy A. Wetmore has been city manager of Marshalltown, Iowa, which has about 27,500 people, since 2010. Before that, he was an assistant city manager in the much larger city of Des Moines. He has also been a deputy administrator in Franklin, Tennessee, and worked for cities in Oregon, Kansas and South Dakota.
Two years interim
Statesboro has been without an official city manager since City Council fired Frank Parker from that post by a 3-2 vote in June 2014. Parker sued the city, resulting in a February 2016 settlement. The city’s insurer agreed to pay Parker and his attorneys $120,000, but the city admitted no error in his dismissal.
Robert Cheshire, previously head of the city’s Engineering Department, has now served as interim city manager for more than two years. When the new city manager is hired, Cheshire will retain the title and duties of deputy city manager, a position created in 2015.
The four finalists were selected from 57 individuals who applied for the city manager job in a second-round search launched in March with an April 15 deadline. As in the first round last fall, which yielded 53 applicants, the city worked through the Norcross-based firm Slavin Management Consultants, which collected and screened the applications.
Tuesday’s called meeting is needed to make a timely decision after the council’s July 5 regular meeting was cancelled because of its proximity to the July 4 holiday, Moore said.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.