FAIRBORN — The City of Fairborn received 36 applications for its city manager position, according to city officials.
They represent 17 states with half of the applicants coming from Ohio — including those who are current city employees.
Council hopes to introduce citizens to their next city manager by the end of February or beginning of March.
“We’re excited that our consultant tells us that we have strong candidates,” Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said. “The hardest part will be deciding among the great list of candidates who will be our next city manager.”
Council opted to hire Colin Baenziger and Associates in November 2016 to lead the search. The city has since hosted forums to gather opinions of citizens and business owners concerning what they would like to see in their next leader. Candidates are being evaluated until Feb. 12 and finalists will be selected Feb. 13 with interviews scheduled to take place Feb. 23 and 24. The city is planning an event around that same time to give locals the opportunity to meet the candidates.
Robin McClure, who serves as the city’s human resources specialist, said the number of applicants may decrease as some of the hopeful individuals find work elsewhere and drop out as the city goes through the hiring process. McClure has served the city for 18 years, seeing five city managers in her time.
“It’s always interesting and exciting to see what kind of leadership and what direction it will take Fairborn,” McClure said. “We’re on such an upswing — anyone coming in is going to be very fortunate that they will walk in during a time that they will see a lot of progress. It will make them feel very good about the city and their position here with the city.”
Candidates were able to apply for the position directly from the Colin Baenziger and Associates website, which also included information about the ideal candidate and general facts about the Fairborn community as a whole.
It laid out that the ideal city manager would possess strong leadership qualities, the ability to work closely with council — leaving “surprises” for the elected officials at the door, valuing transparency while using strong judgment, a good attitude, a sense of fairness, and a nod toward teamwork among all city employees and elected officials, while not being afraid to make a decision when it is in his or her authority to do so.
“The next manager will be energetic, inspirational and visionary while being extremely ethical and possessing a high degree of integrity,” the website said. “The individual’s top priority will be doing what is best for Fairborn’s residents and businesses. He/she will view the city as ‘our city’ and encourage inclusion.”
The website added that the next leader would have strong people and customer service abilities, value efficiency and be business friendly with a pull toward development. A sense of familiarity of “appropriate application of information technologies” will be considered a “plus,” the website said.
According to the Colin and Baenziger and Associates website, council would prefer hiring someone with a master’s degree and/or an ICMA credentialed city manager or someone working toward such, in addition to having five to 10 years of experience in a similar position as well as a background in finance, strategic planning and economic development.
The new city manager will be paid $120,000 to $160,000 per year based on experience, with inclusion into the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System.