News

City manager finalists narrowed to top five

By PHILIP PALERMO

The Mirror

The appointment of Federal Way’s next city manager draws closer as the top five candidates get set for a final, two-day interview session.

City Councilman Dean McColgan, part of a three-member committee involved in the search, said each of the candidates will be available to speak with residents June 16.

The city is working with Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment in its search.

Interim City Manager Derek Matheson, himself an applicant for the position, has been overseeing the day-to-day operations since David Moseley resigned at the end of 2005.

During the public forum, each of the candidates will be asked a set of questions, McColgan said. After those questions are asked, the forum will be opened up to public questions.

“This is a similar process as we did the last time,” McColgan said. “They’ll get to meet all the candidates.”

The public forum will be just one part of the two-day final interviews.

At the June 6 council meeting, McColgan said each of the candidates will also attend presentations by various city departments and tour several sites throughout the city.

Each of the finalists will return June 17 for a full day of interviews.

Four panels have been set up, McColgan said, with two of the panels including several community and business members. Another panel will include city staff while the final panel will consist of city council members.

The two public participant panels, he said, will include about 14 to 16 people with members of the business community, police and fire departments, and private residents.

“It is a cross-section,” he said. “It’s a pretty comprehensive list.”

While their names were not released by press time, McColgan said the five candidates each share extensive experience as city managers, adding each has at least seven years experience.

When it comes down to the finalists, McColgan said, panelists will be looking at “what have they done for the cities they have managed.”

“This is a very, very thorough process that’s a very important decision for the city,” he said.

Each candidate will meet with each panel. After the interviews, the city council will debrief with the other panels and deliberate.

Even after the deliberations, McColgan said a clear-cut winner may not be a sure thing.

“We’ll figure out where we’re at, at that point,” he said, adding there could be a situation where two candidates are so close that more interviews may be warranted.

“It may be another week before we know who the person’s going to be,” he said.

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