Council discusses new manager

Published 10:46 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2015

City Council members have started the process of finding a new city manager, beginning with a presentation in their work session Wednesday and a closed session to discuss an interim city manager.

In the regular meeting, it unanimously appointed Deputy City Manager Patrick Roberts to the interim city manager position at a salary of $168,663.

Council members were upbeat about the prospect of Roberts serving the city in an elevated position.

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“Patrick’s going to do a super job for us,” Councilman Tim Johnson said during Wednesday night’s meeting, a sentiment that was echoed by all of his colleagues.

Meanwhile, the presentation marked the public kickoff of discussion about how to go about finding a permanent replacement for Selena Cuffee-Glenn, who announced last month she will take the same job in Richmond. Her last day in Suffolk is May 15.

“That gives us a basis to start thinking,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said after the presentation by Nancy Olivo, the city’s human resources director.

Olivo discussed the process by which the council could go about choosing a city manager, starting by creating a “candidate profile” with input from City Council members.

The profile “would identify, ‘What does a successful candidate look like?’” Olivo said.

Some communities, she noted, also choose to seek the input of groups like citizens and business owners, perhaps through surveys.

Once the profile is completed, marketing materials touting the city and the position and describing the ideal candidate would be distributed, Olivo said. Avenues for advertising the position might include the International City/County Management Association, the Virginia Municipal League,, the city’s own website and more.

Resumes received would be separated into groups by their qualifications, Olivo said. City Council, or a committee composed of certain members, would determine whom to interview.

Olivo said the city could hire a consulting firm to help, at an approximate cost of $30,000, or do it through the Human Resources Department, where the cost would essentially be limited to advertising fees, Olivo said.