Carson City attracted 64 applicants for its open city manager post, 12 of them from Nevada and the balance from 21 other states.
Headhunter Heather Renschler of Ralph Andersen & Associates on Thursday called that good news and predicted more will apply; the application deadline is today. The 64 had come in through Wednesday. She was providing a report to the Board of Supervisors on progress and nailing down timing for screening action to narrow the field. Larry Werner retired as city manager Dec. 19, and the board decided on a nationwide search.
“We may have 70 or 75” applicants, said Renschler, president and CEO of the Northern California headhunting firm the board retained. “We’ll have to see.”
Renschler intends to pare the list of applicants to the top dozen or 15 for public release by March 10, providing a list that would go to the five-member board for each member to name his or her top six or so. The consultant said that if supervisors desire, they can favor more, but she counseled “six is the magic number” because it is a manageable way to handle subsequent steps.
The final day in March and first in April, however, have been set as dates for a citizen leadership advisory panel to conduct interviews and for an evening public meet-and-greet reception if more than six make that cut, according to Renschler.
If a half-dozen is the number, only the evening March 31 public reception at the Community Center and April 1 panel interviews will be necessary, she said. If there are more candidates at that stage, however, the interviews will stretch over both days, with the public reception sandwiched into the evening between them.
Renschler also moved toward finalizing that citizen panel for the March 31-April 1 interim step, at the same time making it clear panel input is via comments only and won’t produce rankings or include cuts. The panel will probe for strengths and weaknesses.
“Their comments will be public information,” she added.
Four people outside city government already have committed for panel membership on both days, if needed, according to Renschler. They are Sheena Shrum, executive officer of the Builders Association of Western Nevada; Richard Stokes, superintendent of Carson City’s school district; Joel Dunn, executive director of the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Chet Burton, Western Nevada College interim president.
With the board, she agreed also to seek Max Cortes, the city’s court administrator. She said Clerk/Recorder Alan Glover would represent city elected officials and Finance Director Nick Providenti would join the group from the city’s departmental staff. During the meeting, by drawing, Mike Dzyak was selected as the at-large community member, with Jon Rogers as the backup.
Also selected by drawing were city staff labor association people: Ken Sandage of the sheriff’s department supervisors association and Bryon Hunt of the firefighters association. Renschler said an official from a surrounding governmental jurisdiction might also be sought to participate.
Final actions, which include board interviews and selecting the top candidate for making an offer, are slated for April 17 and May. The board established a salary range of $140,000 to $180,000 to conduct the search. Werner made about $140,000 when he retired. Werner’s deputy city manager, Marena Works, is serving as interim city manager while the search is under way.