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Council screening Boro manager applications
Mayor McCollar: 'It looks really promising'
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Statesboro's mayor and council have received at least 35 applications in their search for the next city manager and are screening for those they will interview.

Last week City Clerk Sue Starling posted a notice for a called City Council meeting to be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, before the council's regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. The agenda for the 4 p.m. special meeting predicts no actions except adjournment after an "executive" or closed-door discussion, and Mayor Jonathan McCollar confirmed Friday that this will be a step in the city manager search.

"That's exactly what it is," McCollar said. "We've gotten in some applications in regards to the city manager position, and so we are going to be reviewing that information in closed session."

McCollar Jonathan 2018 W
Mayor Jonathan McCollar

Not to be confused with the special session, the 5:30 p.m. regular meeting's agenda features a number of items for public discussion and council action, including approval of loan documents for the Creek on the Blue Mile project.

Pending retirement

Current Statesboro City Manager Randy Wetmore announced in November that he will retire in May. After a closed session Nov. 20, the council by a public 5-0 vote had approved a new contract ending May 31. Replacing Wetmore's previous open-ended contract, the five-month agreement reduced his required work week to 32 hours beginning Jan. 1 and provided him two additional weeks paid vacation.

The city then launched a search, working with the Durham, North Carolina-based consulting firm Developmental Associates LLC. As of Friday, the mayor and council had received résumés of 35 applicants, said McCollar, who referred to this as "the first round" of applications. Midnight Sunday was the deadline, so more could have arrived after Friday.

"It looks really promising," he said. "We have a real broad spectrum of where they're coming from across the nation, so this looks really favorable, in my opinion."

National search

Applicants hail from a number of states, including Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, in addition to Georgia, he said. The mayor and council had not interviewed any applicants yet but will be preparing to do so as they seek to have a new manager hired by May 31, McCollar said.

Developmental Associates LLC's social media posting for the position stated that on-site interviews and skill assessments would be conducted March 28–29 in Statesboro.

"May is the time frame that we're looking for, but we want to get the right fit for the job," McCollar said.

Wetmore, who was hired after a national search, officially started as Statesboro's city manager Sept. 1, 2016. He came here from Marshalltown, Iowa, where he was city manager 2010–16, and has worked in management roles for local governments in six states during a 40-year career.

Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.