Manager search moves ahead

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2015

More than 300 people have looked at the job posting for Suffolk’s city manager position, but a much smaller number have applied, the city’s human resources director reported during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

“I can tell by the number of hits that we are reaching a very broad audience,” Nancy Olivo said. She did not specify the number of applications that have already been received.

The job is posted on the websites of Virginia Municipal League, the International City/County Management Association, and the city’s own website, Olivo said. More than 362 people have looked at the job listing on those sites, she added.

Email newsletter signup

Olivo also outlined her recommended process to begin once the listing closes at 1 p.m. Sept. 10.

She recommended a two-person committee be appointed from council to review resumes, identify candidates to interview, do interviews and recommend one or two finalists to the full council.

“Some people want to look at all the resumes,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said during the meeting.

Olivo said she will make the resumes available to any member of council who wishes to see them. At least two have already told her they want to review all of them.

Councilman Mike Duman asked if she would eliminate candidates who are clearly not qualified before providing resumes to the committee. Olivo responded that she could separate them into piles. There are some resumes from people “that have absolutely no local government experience” at the administrative level, she said. The job posting describes a minimum of six years of executive management experience as a city or county manager or assistant city or county manager as a “typical qualification.”

“It seems like that would be the prudent thing to do, streamline it,” Duman said.

Duman also asked what the process would be for a council member who is not on the committee to recommend a candidate who has not been selected as a finalist.

City Attorney Helivi Holland recommended telling Olivo that rather than communicating with the two committee members. She also cautioned the council against having any group communication, in person or by email, that would constitute a meeting and therefore violate the Freedom of Information Act, unless the council advertises that it will hold a meeting and then closes the meeting lawfully.