By RICK NOLTE, Staff Writer
The Waycross City Commission has started interviews to hire a new city manager.
Mayor John Knox said Wednesday afternoon shortly before a special called meeting of the commission that the executive session included on the agenda was for the purpose of screening one of the applicants for the job. Commissioners also retired to executive session following adjournment of Tuesday’s bi-monthly meeting to interview the first candidate, Knox said.
The city is seeking a replacement for Raphel Maddox, who was fired Aug. 7 for “in-appropriate conduct in the workplace.” Public Works Director Wilton DeLoach has been serving as city manager on an interim basis since Maddox was dismissed.
“We’re a long way from finalizing things,” Knox said.
Knox said commissioners received “about 25” resumes from Human Resources Director Trinija Martin to screen for the vacancy. He said no person in that group was local.
Commissioners identified four from that collection to contact for interviews, Knox said. Of that four, one decided to withdraw their candidacy while another from out of state had a recent death in the family prompting that hopeful to be placed on the backburner.
“We might issue another invitation (to that person) at a later date depending on how commissioners feel about the search,” Knox said.
The mayor said depending on the progress of the search, commissioners could employ an executive search firm to supply other candidates or use the resources of the Georgia Municipal Association.
“(GMA staff) always have a good feel for people currently in management in a smaller situation or others ready to move into a manager’s role,” Knox said.
Should the commission select any applicant for a second interview, that person’s candidacy will be made public as required by Georgia law. He said the initial pool contained applicants with varied experience levels and impressive backgrounds.
“The quality (of candidates) is very good,” Knox said. “Some very well qualified people.”
The position is responsible for management of all the city’s departments and its 200 plus employees. The advertised salary for the job is between $90,000 and $125,000, Knox said.
“It’s a job with a lot of moving parts,” the mayor said. “It’s certainly not a 9-5 job. “It takes a solid leader to keep a handle on things and keep (the city) moving in the right direction.”
Knox said he believes the commission will find the right person for the post in time.
“It takes a unique individual to do this right,” he said. “There are plenty of people out there who have the qualities. It’s just a matter of us continuing to move forward with our search until the right person and the right timing match up.”