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Chairman says process is going slow

PARK HILLS — The process of selecting a new city administrator is going slow, the chairman of the committee screening applicants conceded Monday, but he said that is necessary to perform the task properly.

Councilman John Kennedy said it is taking a lot of time to get background checks back and check references of those still under consideration. This part of the process must be completed before the field is trimmed to a group of finalists.

The committee is reviewing the references and results of background checks as they come in, Kennedy indicated. At this point, he declined to say how many applicants are still under consideration but did say at one point the field had been narrowed to eight applicants.

“It just takes a while to get through the process,” Kennedy said. “We are going to be thorough in order to get the best qualified person we can.”

It is likely, Kennedy added, there will be a report made to the full City Council tonight during its executive session. During the discussion, the committee may get some input as to the direction it is going.

There are seven members on the committee. The three representing the council are Kennedy, David Easter and Charlotte House. Interim city administrator Norman Lucas, City Clerk Carla Johnson and Community Development Director Dale Thomure represent the department heads on the panel.

Rounding out the committee is Mayor John Clark. He had hoped the selection process would go much faster, having indicated several months ago he would liked to have had a selection made by January. He agreed, however, the process should be done right and applicants thoroughly screened.

All of the members have been very diligent about participation in the screening process, Kennedy said. Only one member has missed a meeting and that was for a very good reason. There have been several meetings since the panel started this latest search for an administrator.

Kennedy said at this point no interviews have been conducted with applicants, nor are any currently scheduled. The committee has not set any schedule for completing the process.

Lucas has served as interim city administrator since September of 2001 when Robb McClary resigned. He was McClary’s assistant administrator and has indicated he is not seeking the appointment to succeed McClary.

The city waited nearly six months to begin its first search for McClary’s successor. Not satisfied with its results, the second search was started last fall. More than 30 people indicated interest in the position.

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