South Central Reporter

South Central Reporter

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

City of Centralia City Manager Search Committee met June 26

By Michael Abella | Sep 3, 2019

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City of Centralia City Manager Search Committee met June 26.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

The members of the City Manager Search Committee met on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Centralia City Hall. The meeting was called to order by Committee Chairman Forrest Langenfeld.

Roll Call:

Tom Ashby, Sheila Burcham, Marcus Holland, Chuck Lane, Forrest Langenfeld, Greg Sutton, and Steve Upchurch

Ex-officio Members: Mayor Herb Williams and Councilman David Sauer

Staff: City Clerk Kim Enke

Public Participation:



A motion was made by Committee Member Lane and seconded by Committee Member Holland to approve the minutes of the June 19, 2019 minutes. Committee Member Burcham abstained, the motion carried.

New Business:


Old Business:

Committee Chairman Langenfeld suggested the advertisement be placed on the ICMA website. He asked Clerk Enke to review the ICMA website and the process for the City to advertise. She stated that the cost is $600.00 and the ad would run for 60 days. It could be renewed at no additional charge following the initial 60 days if needed. It would be available on their website and also in their newsletter once posted. She reported that the City Manager stated that he would approve the expenditure for the ad if the ICMA ad is placed. Chairman Langenfeld inquired if there have been any further applicants. Clerk Enke reported that there have been two additional resumes submitted. Committee Member Ashby reflected on the past searches that resulted in approximately 115 applications and stated that the current number of applicants are not sufficient to start the interview process yet. He stated that there is only six weeks before the City Manager’s resignation date and recommended that the other resources be contacted such as the ICMA and IML. Committee Member Sutton stated other communities had suggested the use of the ICMA to him as well. Committee Member Ashby stated that more applicants are needed before the search committee can start the interview process. Committee Member Sutton suggested the possible use of the ILCMA and some interim programs available through some Illinois colleges. Committee Member Ashby agreed that it may be necessary to utilize the ILCMA further and also recommended reaching out to Brad Cole, the IML Director directly. Chairman Langenfeld requested that Committee Member Ashby contact Director Cole. Committee Member Ashby stated that he was would speak to Director Cole to get any recommendations, but the decision of how the interim period is handled is to be determined by the Mayor and City Council.

There was discussion among the members concerning the experience and qualifications desired of the successful candidates. Committee Member Burcham inquired if five years of municipal experience was a requirement. Councilman Sauer stated that the qualifications necessary should be discussed by the group and stated that he didn’t feel that someone should be ruled out due to not meeting the five year experience requirement. He noted that some may have two or three years of municipal experience or Assistant City Manager experience in a larger community that could be qualified and he doesn’t want to rule any out any applicants due to the low number of applications received. Committee Member Ashby stated that some adaptation may need to be made depending on the pool of candidates. A roundtable discussion was held that resulted in the following list of what qualities and skills the candidates should possess in addition to the experience desired by the committee members while conducting the search: strong leadership skills, content knowledge across multiple departments, community planning experience, legislative experience, fund development experience, grant writing experience with knowledge of funding sources, consideration of candidates that are from outside the community, candidates with a proven track record of managerial experience, strong municipal budget and fiscal management experience, a candidate that will look toward the future and future planning, economic development experience, experience with infrastructure issues, negotiating skills, a problem solver, and candidates with listening and communication skills that can bring the community together and improve perception.

There was discussion concerning the process to review applications. Chairman Langenfeld suggested that until the deadline of the ad, the committee members could review the applications individually and then after the deadline and more resumes have been submitted the committee could meet and begin the review and ranking of candidates as a group. Committee Member Ashby suggested that the City Clerk begin the initial review of the resumes and provide information to the committee. The Clerk stated that although she could do that, every resume would be submitted to the group for each resume to be reviewed.

Committee Member Ashby stated that he would provide the information he received after his conversation with Brad Cole to the City Clerk in order to share it with the City Council. The Clerk asked that the committee review the current ad to be sure it includes all of the qualifications the members discussed. Chairman Langenfeld requested that any changes be submitted before the end of the day on June 27th to the City Clerk in order to place the ad on the ICMA website as soon as possible.

Committee Member Sutton requested if an acknowledgement letter was being sent out to the candidates as they submitted resumes. City Clerk Enke stated that each candidate is receiving an acknowledgement that notes that their resume is being reviewed by the search committee and that they would be contacted by the committee if they are considered for interview. She noted that also they are being provided links to the City website, the links to the budgets and past audits, access to the Tourism website, and Chamber of Commerce website in order to provide more information to the candidates so they can learn more about the city and what Centralia has to offer.

Committee Member Burcham inquired if residency was a requirement that should be listed in the ad. She noted that she would like the City Manager to be a resident. Councilman Sauer and Committee Member Ashby both stated that the residency requirement should not be placed in the ad. Councilman Sauer stated that the City Council could require it from the candidate when the contract is negotiated by the City Council. Councilman Sauer stated that with the low number of applicants, he did not want to become more restrictive on the requirements of the applicants at this time.

Committee Member Holland requested if the list of projects were received from City Manager Ramey as discussed at the previous meeting. Councilman Sauer stated that he did review a large list with the City Manager, but didn’t want to discuss it at this time due to some projects that have not been announced. He stated that when it does get closer they can review the specific issues and the list.

Councilman Sauer suggested that the entire committee review the Open Meetings Act and take the online training since the review of the applications and discussion of specific candidates will be taking place during upcoming meetings.

Other Business:

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 3:42 p.m.

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City of Centralia