No Public Input for City Manager Candidates

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Raleigh City Councilors have decided to keep the interview process for the new city manager behind closed doors.

Councilors Monday debated whether to involve the public in some way or keep all of the interviews with the top candidates under wraps. With a strict Oct. 1 deadline, Councilors decided that there wouldn’t be enough time to hold a public meeting or forum and a formal interview with the top three to five candidates.

They also expressed concerns that they would risk losing a great potential candidate. Many of the applicants are still employed elsewhere, and some may not want their current employers to know they’re applying for other jobs.

Councilor John Odom, the only Councilor who has hired a city manager, said he wanted to “keep it close to the chest, so to speak.”

The public was invited to give input about a new manager via a survey in June.

Representatives of Springsted, the hiring consultant commissioned by the city, expect to have between 60 and 65 potential candidates by the time the application window closes at the end of the month. After making an initial review — background and credit checks, general Internet research — Springsted will create a booklet of the remaining applicants.

The Council will have a closed session meeting Sept. 13 to discuss the applicants.

Formal interviews with the top candidates will be take place in closed sessions Sept. 18, 19 and 20.

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