BRUNSWICK — City Council is still trying to find a city manager after its top three candidates from its second search withdrew their applications, Councilman at-large Pat McNamara said.
“We are in the process of reviewing some more resumes,” he said Monday.
Council narrowed the field of more than 55 candidates to three in August and moved forward with negotiations with its top candidate, McNamara said.
After several weeks, he said the candidate accepted a job on the West Coast.
“I thought we were going to secure him,” McNamara said. “The other two felt strongly enough that we were so far down the line with the first candidate that they withdrew their applications.”
He said Council received a few more applications after the search officially closed, and are reviewing those and may receive more applications from the search firm the city hired to help with the process.
The city began its search shortly after former city manager Bob Zienkowski announced in March he would leave for a position as township manager in Radnor, Pa. There were 53 applicants for the job and Council members interviewed 10 candidates in April and narrowed the list down to four. Three of those four dropped out of the running before Council could bring them in for final interviews.
The city decided to reopen the search and in May hired California search firm Neher and Associates. The city used the same firm seven years ago during the search that resulted in the hiring of Zienkowski.
Police Chief Carl DeForest has been serving as interim city manager since May.
McNamara said the ethics complaints filed against former Ward 4 Councilman Anthony Capretta may have factored into the failed search because Council was not able to focus its efforts solely on securing a city manager.
Council voted 5-1 Sept. 27 to remove Capretta from office on an ethics violation.
“Before, we were dividing our attention,” McNamara said.
He said he hopes to have a city manager secured as soon as possible, but he and other Council members still want to be careful and diligent in their search to find the right person for the job.
Ward 2 Councilman Vince Carl said he also hopes to find a city manager soon, but he is not concerned overall.
“The city’s in good hands right now. (DeForest’s) doing a great job running the city,” Carl said.
He said the biggest challenge in not having a city manager is making long-term plans.
“(DeForest) can’t do anything that’s long term because we’d rather have someone who’s going to be here permanently to do things long-term,” Carl said. “It’s definitely a diversion. It’s difficult to move forward without a city manager.”
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.