A consultant is focusing on 13 people as the best candidates to become Lakewood’s next city manager, according to documents obtained by The News Tribune.
Of the 32 people who applied for the job, consultant Greg Prothman identified in a memo to the Lakewood City Council that he selected 13 for first-round interviews that are currently underway. (Fourteen of the 32 applicants were from Washington state, three from Texas and two each from Minnesota and Oregon.)
Mayor Don Anderson said the candidate pool is deep, noting that the hiring process that landed former city manager Andrew Neiditz, who resigned in February to become the head of South Sound 911, drew about 10 applicants.
“That’s definitely not the case in this instance,” he said. “There are up-and-comers, very experienced people and people with lots of relevant experience and at least the qualifications on paper to do the job. We’ll have to figure out who is the best fit.”
In response to a public records request, the city redacted the names and identifying information for all 32 applicants. Officials cited a state law that exempts from public disclosure “[a]ll applications for public employment, including the names of applicants, resumes, and other related materials submitted with respect to an applicant.”
Prothman wrote in his May 15 memo that he has begun interviews either in person and via videoconference with the 13 applicants and would provide his recommendations for four to six finalists to the City Council during a executive, or closed, session on Monday, June 3. Ultimately, the council will decide who they bring in for final interviews.
The council is expected to hold its interviews with the finalists next month, and a community forum is planned at that time to give residents a chance to meet the finalists. The council is expected to make a hiring decision in late June or early July.
You’re invited to follow Christian Hill on Twitter @TNTchill.