The Maneater University of Missouri- Columbia March Bi-weekly Student Newspaper (online and print) 2011 -Nichole Ballard
Four candidates vie for city manager role The three-day interview process begins Friday.
By Nichole Ballard Published March 18, 2011 The public and City Council will get their chance to interview the four city manager candidates vying to fill Bill Watkinsâ€™ former role during a three-day process that begins Friday. The city of Columbia issued a news release identifying the potential candidates for city manager last Friday. The city also described the interview process and schedule, which will be a sort of round table event. The interview process is standard for the position, Columbia Human Resources Manager Margrace Buckler said. The candidates are scheduled for a reception with city staff and council members this evening and will then attend a meet and greet with the public at 6 p.m. Friday. "It's an event to get the public aware," Buckler said. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the candidates for the council to consider, as well. Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley said even though council members consider feedback; it doesn't have a lot of influence over the process of hiring the new city manager. He said the interviews are what really matter. Council members will interview each candidate in groups Saturday where they will be given the chance to ask specific questions. First Ward City Council Candidate Mitch Richards said he was going to try to attend Friday's meet and greet. "As for what questions I would ask, I need to think about it," Richards stated in an e-mail. "Definitely something about the budget, pensions, red-light cameras and police oversight." The council has yet to learn about the candidates other than what is on paper. Dudley said that from what he has seen he feels it is an extremely excellent pool of candidates vying for city manager. "All we know about them is what we have from their resumes," Dudley said. The city has not committed to a specific deadline to fill the position. And, if there is pressure on making a decision, Buckler said she hasn't noticed it yet. "I have no idea when the decision will be made," Buckler said. "The mayor said it depends on how quickly (council members) can build a consensus."