December 21, 2014

Medina
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Brunswick council heads into 3rd search as top 3 city chief candidates withdraw

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.

McNamara

McNamara

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 jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.