Decision on City Manager may be made tonight - Arizona Range News: News

Decision on City Manager may be made tonight

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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:02 pm | Updated: 4:31 pm, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

The Willcox City Council may be ready to announce its choice for city manager Monday night.

A special meeting has been scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., on Monday, June 10.

The agenda includes an executive session “regarding the hiring of the city manager,” as well as consultation with the City Attorney for legal advice.

Agenda item No. 9, “regarding city manager,” indicates that an announcement may possibly be made that night.

The Council conducted interviews in executive session Thursday night with Darrel Steven Carlyle of Red Oak, Iowa; Tedmond Soltis of Kremmling, Colo.; and Robert Decker of Alto, N.M.

Prior to that, the Willcox community had an opportunity to meet the three final candidates for the City Manager post Thursday afternoon in Council Chambers.

After the Council emerged Monday night from a closed session which lasted about one hour, Councilman Sam Lindsey moved to direct City staff to schedule “face-to-face interviews” with Carlyle, Soltis, and Decker.

Lindsey also asked that the other applicants be notified of the Council's decision.

The new Willcox City Manager is scheduled to begin sometime between Monday, July 15, and Thursday, Aug. 1.

The City received a total of 24 applicants – 12 of which were from within Arizona and the other 12 are from out-of-state – “from California to New York,” said Sherry Lynn Van Allen, with the City's Human Resource Department, who set the schedule for the hiring process.

Current City Manager Pat McCourt had announced his impending retirement in a March 6 letter to the Council.

While his last day in the office will be Wednesday, June 26, in order to use up his leave time, his last official day will be July 6.

The application process officially closed April 19.

The Council was given the applications on April 22, to be reviewed at the April 29 meeting.

At the Council's April 15 meeting, Mayor Bob Irvin asked McCourt to serve in an advisory capacity at the April 29 meeting, to which he agreed.

On May 7, Van Allen asked the Council to submit its supplemental questions, which were due back to the City's Human Resources Department by May 17.

The Council reviewed the supplemental questions on May 20, and phone interviews were scheduled on Tuesday, May 21.

Phone interviews during a lengthy closed session on May 29.

The three finalists were scheduled to arrive on June 5; with interviews scheduled for the next day from 6 p.m., to 9 p.m.

A “meet and greet” was also held June 6 from 3:30 p.m., to 5:30 p.m., in Council Chambers.

Advertising began March 10, with the City placing the ads on its own website, in the Range News, on the International City Managers Association (ICMA) website; the League of Arizona Cities and Towns website; and a national website devoted to Public Sector Jobs,, as well as all public City bulletin boards, with a total cost of about $875, she said.

The city manager position was advertised at a salary between $75,000 to $95,000, depending on experience, and calls for a Master's degree in Public Administration, or equivalent; “or four to 10 years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.”

In his March 6 letter of resignation, McCourt said, “I want to thank you for the opportunity of serving the people of Willcox for the last four and one-half years.”

I have enjoyed the challenge and I hope I have fulfilled the expectations of the community.”

McCourt said he submitted his resignation because “I feel it is time for me to pursue a new path in life...”

I look forward to continuing to provide services to the Mayor and Council, and the community up to that time,” McCourt said.

The council hired McCourt as city manager in November 2008.

He brought to Willcox his 30-year work history, most recently as city manager of Alamogordo, N.M., from January 1998 to July 2008.

Prior to that, McCourt was city administrator of Osage Beach, Mo., from July 1989 to January 1998.

He worked in Arizona during the 1980s as city manager of Page; chief administrator of Medical Care Systems, Inc., in Springerville; clerk of the board/chief administrator of Apache County in St. Johns; and assistant city manager of Springerville.

McCourt holds Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Cincinnati, as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

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