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Council discusses hiring a city manager

By Mark Wineka

mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury City Council has taken a first step toward hiring a new city manager.

By consensus, council members decided Tuesday they want to seek city manager candidates from both the present staff and from outside current city government.

The main question for now is whether they should hire a search firm to help them with the hiring process. In the end, council decided that Assistant City Manager Zach Kyle and Mayor Paul Woodson should gather price quotes from a couple of companies specializing in head-hunting and return to council Oct. 7 with that information.

Salisbury has been without a city manager since Doug Paris resigned June 17. John Sofley has been serving as interim city manager since then.

Woodson broached the question about a search firm, saying an alternative might be to ask Kyle and Sofley to come up with a list of candidates for council to consider.

Councilman Brian Miller spoke in favor of going with a search firm, saying he wanted it to be a competitive process. Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy expressed some reservations, adding the five candidates a search firm gave council before Paris was hired the last time were “not that impressive.”

Council members also agreed with Woodson that “these firms are fairly expensive.”

Miller said there may be a completely different pool of candidates available to Salisbury now, but he agreed with Kennedy the scope of the search done last time could be reduced.

Miller said the council should be moving with some urgency, looking to hire a new city manager before governments get into the preparation of their 2015-2016 budgets and before a city election season rolls next summer and fall.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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