Council schedules dates for potential city manager’s visit

Joshua Hudson

Kent City Council announced when the final three city manager candidates will be interviewed at last night’s meeting.

Councilman Wayne Wilson received a letter from Tom Dority, from the Mercer Group, which said weekend dates in April would be the best time. The council approved the weekend of April 1, 2 and 3 for the interviews of the three candidates.

The council voted to use money from the council budget to host the three candidates during the weekend.

They also approved the weekend of April 15, 16 and 17 as an alternate date in case a candidate needs to reschedule. The candidates will be introduced to different committees and attend a reception to meet the public April 1. Council will interview them April 2, and they will be able to return home April 3.

The council approved the list of the final three candidates and two alternates at last week’s meeting. Wilson said the final three candidates will not be known by name until their biographies are given to the council members tomorrow. The biographies will then be made available to the public as early as Monday.

“I think it is good that we get a chance to take a look at the bios before the public and the media can see them,” Wilson said.

The city has been hunting for a new city manager since September when Lew Steinbrecher resigned. Steinbrecher accepted a similar job in Moline, Ill. William Lillich was appointed the interim city manager in October and has been filling in ever since.

Councilman-at-large Richard Hawksley thanked the efforts of Lillich and his staff for helping the city get through a difficult transition time.

“Nobody would ever know that we are even looking for another city manager, so that is to be commended,” he said.

But Lillich’s duties aren’t quite done yet.

He led the discussion on options dealing with flooding that his office came up with. The main disagreement with members on council was who would be responsible for retribution after a flood: the owner of the home, the insurance company or the city itself.

Councilman Ed Bargerstock said insurance companies are trying to get away from having to deal with water claims. He said that once an insurance policy pays on a claim, they are going to try and create a new one or they might not issue the same policy.

Councilman-at-large William Schultz said this type of problem has been going on for more than 200 years in communities all across the nation.

“The developer and buyer have to take some of the responsibility,” he said. “We have to go beyond our current policy and provide benefits for people that other communities don’t provide.”

Council also voted to not have a committee meeting next week since Lillich and Clerk of Council Linda Copley will not be able to attend. Anything that was on the agenda for next week will be pushed back to the next council meeting March 16.

Contact public affairs reporter Joshua Hudson at [email protected].