FAIRBORN – Fairborn City Council has selected four final candidates and one alternate finalist for the city manager position.
The finalists include Lowell Crow of Monmouth, Ill.; John Jezak of Maumee, Ohio; John Murphy of Hobbs, N.M.; and Thomas Thomas of Rock Island, Ill. Robert Anderson of Fairborn is an alternate candidate should one of the four individuals withdraw.
The city will host a candidate reception 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Holiday Inn, 2800 Presidential Dr., in the hotel’s challenger/discovery room, during which citizens are encouraged to come and meet the candidates. Refreshments will be provided.
“Council wants to provide citizens the opportunity to meet the finalists and provide a first impression so the citizens can look at who will be interviewed privately by council on Friday, Feb. 24,” Fairborn Public Relations Specialist Katie Lewallen said in an email interview. “Last time when there were three candidates prior to [former city manager] Deborah McDonnell being hired, the same practice was followed so that citizens could meet one of the potential community leaders.”
Council met in a special meeting Feb. 13, immediately dismissing into executive session, to discuss the finalists. The city started with 36 applications, which represented 17 states with half of the candidates coming from Ohio. Council is working toward introducing the new city leader by the conclusion of February or commencement of March.
“I believe if citizens get to talking with candidates that will also give those finalist an idea of who the people of Fairborn are, and what they find to be important to our community,” Lewallen said.
Council opted to hire Colin Baenziger and Associates in November 2016 to lead the search. The city has since hosted forums to gather citizen and business owner opinions concerning what they would like to see in their next leader, which was laid out on the Colin Baenziger and Associates website where the candidates applied for the position.
The new city manager will be paid $120,000 to $160,000 per year based on experience and will be included into the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System.
“It’s their (citizens) opportunity to meet each of the candidates, chat with them, ask questions and leave comments about each of the candidates that will be read by council and the mayor — which could potentially alter the hiring decision,” Fairborn Human Relations Specialist Robin McClure said of the reception in an email interview.
Herald News Report compiled by Whitney Vickers.