2 candidates withdraw from city manager race

Michelle Park

Two Kent city manager candidates have withdrawn from the competition.

Kent City Council will not interview candidate Bruce Walden of Urbana, Ill., or the first alternate candidate, whose name has not been released. Council was informed of the candidates’ withdrawals yesterday after they were announced to the Mercer Group Inc., which is working with the council during the hiring process.

The first alternate withdrew because he will marry soon and did not want to move to Kent shortly after sharing vows, said Councilman Wayne Wilson. Wilson said he did not know Walden’s reasons for withdrawing.

City Council will interview the remaining three candidates on April 2. Two candidates, whose names were previously released, are Jerome Kisscorni, assistant city manager in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Patrick Titterington, city manager in Trenton, Ohio.

The third candidate is the council’s second alternate candidate, Dave Ruller.

Ruller currently works as assistant city manager of Public Works and Utilities in Kingsport, Tenn. Formerly, he served as deputy director of Transportation and Environmental Services in Alexandria, Va.

Kent City Council expects to welcome the candidates to Kent on April 1. Both Mayor John Fender and Wilson will take each of them on a separate tour of the city, showing the candidates Kent State, schools, parks and housing within city limits.

After the tours, the public is invited to meet the candidates during a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the council’s chambers located on East Summit Street.

On April 2, Council will go into executive session as it conducts its interviews, each of which are expected to last an hour and a half. The process will occur during executive session in the interest of privacy, Wilson said.

Council may not make its final decision until its next public meeting on April 6. That meeting, like all council meetings, will be open to the public.

Wilson said he is not sure how easily Council will make that decision.

“I think all three of them are good,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a very difficult decision to make.”

The city manager position that Council is working to fill has been vacant since September when Lew Steinbrecher resigned to accept a job in Moline, Ill. William Lillich has been acting as the interim city manager since Steinbrecher left.

Contact public affairs reporter Michelle Park at [email protected].