ALPENA - The end of the business day Friday was the deadline for interested people to submit their applications for the city manager position. According to Mayor Matt Waligora nearly two dozen people have applied for the position which became available after former City Manager Thad Taylor was released from his contract without cause.
Taylor's termination set off a chain of events that brought about the recall of former Councilmen Mike Nunneley and Dave Karschnick. Alpena Planning and Development Director Greg Sundin has served as interim manager while the council set the stage for a new hire. Sundin has submittted an application and expressed interest in the job.
Waligora said he spoke with consultant Frank Walsh Friday afternoon and was told more than 20 applications were received with several hours remaining in the day. Waligora said Walsh was pleased with the response and will begin to sort through the resumes to find people the council may find suitable. Waligora said council will not go through all of the applications and will allow Walsh to do the preliminary selection.
"What he will do is go through the applications and weed some of them out," Waligora said. "He will then compile a short list of candidates and forward it to the council in time for its April 1 meeting. We will then discuss the candidates and narrow it down to the four we will interview."
Waligora said the agreement with Walsh instructs him to sort through the applications and make recommendations. He said council can, however, get all of the applications if it so chooses. Waligora said the consultant is a professional who handles matters of this nature daily and the council trusts him to eliminate people who don't fit what the city is looking for. He said Walsh was given a list of criteria of what the council wants in its new manager.
"We hired the consultant for a purpose and we trust him to go through and weed out those who don't qualify," Waligora said. "He knows precisely what we are looking for, but if we request all of the applications to review ourselves we can get them. I don't think that is necessary though."
Waligora said once the field is narrowed down to four potential candidates during the council's regular meeting on April 1 and interviews will be conducted during a pair of special meetings to be held later in the month. The first special meeting is scheduled for April 13, and the second on April 20. Waligora said it was decided to hold the meetings on Saturdays so the candidates will not have to miss any work should they already be employed. A final decision on who is selected to be the new full-time city manager is expected to be announced during the council's regular meeting in April 22.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com