Thirty people have applied to become Lakewood’s next city manager as the hunt to find the next executive of Pierce County’s second-largest city shifts into high gear.
Sunday was the first review of people interested in applying to become Lakewood’s third city manager. The position is open until filled. Former city manager Andrew Neiditz resigned in February to become the executive director of South Sound 911, Pierce County’s new 911 emergency dispatch agency.
Consultant Greg Prothman will draft a memorandum with detailed information about the applicants that will be delivered to the City Council later this week.
Prothman declined to divulge any further information about the applicants until then.
“I’m happy with the quality so far,” he said.
The City Council roughly sketched out the path toward making a hiring during its meeting last week.
On May 20, Prothman will meet with the City Council behind closed doors to go over the applications. State law allows these so-called executive sessions for the “evaluation of qualifications of an applicant for public employment.”
The council will meet with Prothman again on June 3 as it decides who will be invited for interviews as finalists.
Those interviews will be held the week of June 17, with a community reception so residents can meet with the finalists tentatively slated for June 18.
The council may decide to send members for visits to the applicants’ cities, which could extend the timetable. The council is scheduled to make a hiring decision in late June or early July.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar had previously expressed interest in the position but decided against applying.
“I really like what I’m doing and I really enjoy working with the men and women at the PD and decided that’s where I wanted to be,” he said.
Lakewood Interim City Manager Heidi Wachter said she did not apply.
The position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in public or business administration, or related field of study, and at least seven to 10 years of experience in municipal government, including five years of senior management responsibility.
The City Council hired Issaquah-based Prothman as a consultant to lead the search for the new city manager. Its fee is $19,500.
The advertised salary for the position is between $140,000 and $175,000 in addition to “excellent” benefits.
The application materials for the show that the city is seeking a “progressive ‘hands-on’” manager with prior experience in community and economic development.
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