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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

City of Centralia City Manager Search Committee met June 19

By Michael Abella | Sep 3, 2019

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City of Centralia City Manager Search Committee met June 19.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

The members of the City Manager Search Committee met for the first time on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Centralia City Hall. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Herb Williams. He thanked those that have accepted the nomination to serve on the committee and noted the importance of the duty assigned to the committee to search for the next City Manager.

Roll Call:

Marcus Holland, Chuck Lane, Forrest Langenfeld, and Steve Upchurch Ex-officio Members: Mayor Herb Williams and Councilman David Sauer Staff: City Clerk Kim Enke

Public Participation:



None due this being the inaugural meeting of this advisory committee.

New Business:

A motion was made by Committee Member Lane and seconded by Committee Member Upchurch to nominate Committee Member Langenfeld as the Chairman of the City Manager Search Committee. The motion carried.

Chairman Langenfeld discussed the upcoming resignation date of City Manager Ramey. He discussed the importance of not rushing to fill the position and getting as many candidates as possible. Committee Member Lane stated that he would like more direction to determine what the City Council is looking for in a candidate. Mayor Williams asked that the City Clerk share some information regarding the search that has been started.

City Clerk Enke shared the ad that has been posted on the City website, the job board, advertised in the Sentinel, posted on the IML website, and ILCMA job board. She stated that the ad does include a deadline of July 15th, but also states that resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. She reported that seven resumes have been received. She informed the committee that the review of the applications by the committee should be done in closed session since the resumes do contain confidential personnel information and provided more information to the committee regarding the Open Meetings Act. (Committee Member Sutton arrived at 3:12 p.m.) Handouts were provided that included recruitment and job search information from the ILCMA as well as past search committee interview information. The basic duties and powers of the City Manager as provided by the Municipal Code and State Statute were also provided in the packet.

Chairman Langenfeld began discussion of the selection and requested input from Mayor Williams and Councilman Sauer. Mayor Williams stated that he would like a minimum of three candidates to be brought to the Council for further review. Councilman Sauer explained that when he took part in the last search, the committee narrowed it to three before involving the entire City Council. He added that it is the committee’s decision since they were appointed to carry out the search. Chairman Langenfeld reviewed the importance of doing the job that is expected of the committee to make sure the results and expectations of the residents are met. Committee Member Lane questioned if the committee would be interviewing the candidate. Mayor Williams stated that the committee would be interviewing them and then coming back to the Council with the candidates chosen to take a closer look at them. Councilman Sauer questioned if there were funds available for some of the final candidates to visit Centralia and meet the Committee. Chairman Langenfeld stated that he felt it was important to bring final candidates in face to face. There was discussion about the interview process and the need to determine how the interview process will work. Chairman Langenfeld stated that the group should review the handouts provided and then meet once again to determine the process and the next steps of the committee. Committee Member Holland questioned what would take place if a City Manager is not hired prior to the current City Manager’s resignation date. The City Clerk pointed out that in the handouts provided, the Centralia Municipal Code provides that the City Council can appoint a temporary or acting City Manager. Chairman Langenfeld stated that the committee would want to communicate with the City Council if there is not a candidate at the time of City Manager Ramey’s resignation to allow them to make an appointment as necessary. There was discussion about any other options to get more candidates beyond the current postings including use of other job search websites and recruitment efforts. Committee Member Sutton questioned if there was a current list of things that the City Manager is currently working on or any future plans that the committee should make sure the candidates have experience with. Councilman Sauer stated that he would ask the City Manager for a bullet point list of pending or planned projects including infrastructure, road projects, and any other projects of importance. Committee Member Lane stated that it would be beneficial to also have a list of the most important skills necessary and the type of experience that the committee is looking for. He added that by having this list, it will give the committee direction on how to select the candidates. Committee Member Sutton stated the importance of finding someone that has planning experience for the future. Committee Member Sutton discussed the possibility of conducting market research and recruitment to reach out to those already involved in community development or planning and the need to target those types of candidates in other communities. Mayor Williams stated that he would like to have 25-30 possible candidates for the committee to review and choose from. Chairman Langenfeld stated that he would be looking further online at the ICMA website for further guidance and reaching out to contacts in other communities. He stated with the many new projects in the community, the industrial park, and downtown, the City needs someone that is ready for a challenge and ready to step up to lead Centralia. He added that budgetary experience is also necessary. Councilman Sauer discussed the vast responsibilities of the City Manager including not only the day to day operations of the City but also dealing with multiple bargaining units as well as managing the budget. He stressed the importance of finding someone with city managerial experience as a City Manager or as an Assistant City Manager in a larger community.

Other Business:

A motion was made by Committee Member Lane and seconded by Committee Member Holland to meet on Wednesday, June 26th at 3:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Centralia City Hall. The motion carried.

Councilman Sauer asked that contact information be shared among the committee. Committee Member Sutton inquired if the meetings and discussions being held would be in closed session due to discussing personnel issues. Committee Member Lane stated that it would be an open meeting unless they are specifically talking about certain individuals. Chairman Langenfeld added that the review of applications would be held in closed session. Mayor Williams also agreed that the meetings can be closed when talking about a specific individual candidate. Committee Member Sutton suggested that some discussion could be held in closed session and suggested reviewing the 2(c) exceptions. He stated that he expects the committee to discuss employees and things that are currently in place, funds, and the structure of the City and felt that those discussions should be able to be held in closed session. Councilman Sauer stated that he would have the City Attorney address this question and added that he wants to keep the search committee meetings open as much as possible. Chairman Langenfeld suggested that before the next meeting everyone review the handouts and suggested that everyone come up with a list of three traits/skills just as Committee Member Lane suggested. He also stated that he would be reviewing the City Manager Association website. He also stated that although it is a Council decision to appoint an interim City Manager, he would try to assist the Council with the situation since he doesn’t feel that the committee would be ready to make a recommendation prior to City Manager Ramey’s resignation date.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 3:43 p.m.

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City of Centralia