City manager search continues

May. 30, 2013 @ 05:41 PM

The hunt for a new city manager continues. 

City Council members met earlier this week to discuss their next step after their initial search for a job manager ended without a manager.

“We have instructed the head-hunter to continue our search,” Council member Margaret Desio said. 

Council members initially met with four finalists, spokesperson Pete Hovanec said. Three were external candidates and one was internal.

The Elizabeth City Advance reported that their current city manager, Rich Olson, was working with a head hunter on an employment agreement with Monroe. According to an e-mail Olson sent to The Advance, the City was willing to pay up to $160,000 with a benefits package. 

According to the story, Elizabeth City’s city council gave Olson a $15,000 raise — bringing his salary to $138, 465 — which compelled him to stay. 

Next week council members will meet with other candidates. These candidates have already been brought to council and had expressed interest in Monroe. Desio was unsure about how many candidates they will see, but said it will probably be fewer than 10. 

As of now, there is no timeline for hiring a new manager. 

“We sort of learned after the process started that we’re just going to keep looking until we find the right one,” Desio said. 

She added that it would be “wonderful” if they could find the right person quickly, but they will continue to look until they find the right person for Monroe.

Monroe lost its city manager last July when Wayne Herron resigned. Herron resigned following disputes surrounding a rejected bonus for Monroe Police Chief Debra Duncan. 

Assistant City Manager Greg Demko has been serving as the interim city manager since then. 

The Florida-based firm Colin Baenziger & Associates is conducting the nation-wide search. They were hired for $21,500. 

The job hunt started after a $50,000 study was conducted to investigate why there is a high turnover rate among Monroe city managers. The study, completed by the law firm Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, found that members of city council do not adhere to the Council/Manager form of government set by the city charter, creating a frustrating work environment. The study also found instances of nepotism and “strong and demanding leadership” among each faction of city council.