City manager candidates list is narrowed to seven
What a lucky seven.
A search committee has narrowed its list of candidates for the next city manager of Port Aransas to seven people, Interim City Manager Dave Parsons told the city council on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Some 114 people applied for the position, said Pat Garrett, who is executive assistant to the city manager and a member of the search committee. Fifty-nine of the applicants had backgrounds that met the basic criteria for the office, Garrett said.
Each member of the search committee created his or her own list of a best 10- or-so candidates.
Besides Garrett, the search committee is made up of Parsons, Finance Director Darla Honea, City Secretary Esther Ar- zola and Parks, Recreation Department Director Gary Mysorski and Mayor Pro Tem Keith McMullin, who is the city council-appointed representative to the committee.
No one on the committee has applied for the position.
Four of the five committee members are city staffers, tasked with doing much of the work involved in hiring the person who will end up being their own boss.
“The reality is, everyone (on the committee) is very professional,” McMullin said. “The focus has been experience, experience, experience. … They’re looking for the best fit for our city, not the best fit as a boss,” McMullin said.
Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18, the committee members compared notes and found they had a good number of common choices, Parsons said. That made it easy to compile a top-seven list agreed upon by all, he said.
“On paper, there are some very talented people there,” McMullin told fellow council members.
Committee members have been glad to see some of the candidates have experience in coastal communities where tourism and hurricane preparedness is important, McMullin said. But not all seven are from the coast, and it’s not imperative that they have coastal experience, he said.
What’s important, McMullin said, is that all have “proven track records as city managers and results.”
After the top-seven list was compiled, city staff contacted all seven candidates to make sure they still were interested and found that they indeed remained interested.
Michael Kovacs resigned last year as Port Aransas city manager to take a position as assistant city manager in Park City, Utah. His last day on the job in Port Aransas was Dec. 4.
Parsons said the next step is for the committee to do background checks and brief phone interviews and whittle the list down to a top five.
Next, the committee will conduct in-person interviews with the top five candidates. That process will reduce the list to three. Then the city will hold an event at which the public may meet the top three candidates in a social setting, Parsons said. No date or location has been set yet for such an event.
The goal, Parsons said, is for the city council to choose a top candidate at a meeting scheduled for April 15. If that happens, Port Aransas could have a new city manager in office by mid-May to early June.