Oberlin city manager search grinds on

By Evan Goodenow - egoodenow@civitasmedia.com

The search for a new city manager is progressing.

Recruiter Heidi Voorhees will meet behind closed doors with city council members at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 to discuss candidates, said council vice-chairwoman Linda Slocum.

Slocum said after the discussion, interviews will be scheduled with the candidates. How many candidates will be interviewed hasn’t been decided.

Slocum said the process will include at least one forum where the public will meet the candidates before a decision is made. She’s hopeful a new city manager will be hired by November or December.

“I’m looking forward to finding a city manager for the city,” Slocum said, “one that’s a good fit for us.”

Council re-opened the search Aug. 15 after being unable to decide between Lowell Crow, city administrator in Monmouth, Ill., and Oberlin finance director and acting city manager Sal Talarico.

Sources said council president Ron Rimbert and council members Scott Broadwell, Kelley Singleton, and Sharon Soucy supported Talarico. Council members Bryan Burgess, Sharon Pearson, and Slocum wanted Crow. The divide is part of a pattern on council in which Burgess, Pearson, and Slocum are often in the minority on contentious issues.

Oberlin has lacked a regular city manager since Eric Norenberg — who earned $115,762 annually — took a similar job in Delaware in December. Norenberg, hired in 2007, left less than a year after being asked to resign in a letter signed by a majority of council members.

Forty-three candidates applied for the position in a national search that began in May. The process included multiple interviews with council and a public reception Aug. 9.

Voorhees said 18 candidates have applied since the search re-opened. She said at least two would be discussed Oct. 12.

Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.

By Evan Goodenow