Council begins search for new city manager

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The search is on for a new Williams city manager with the departure of current city manager Brandon Buchanan Feb. 18.

City council and staff have decided to advertise and recruit on their own as they have done in the past and not hire a headhunter.

"I am happy to do it again, I think it worked out pretty well the first time," said Councilmember Don Dent.

"I've gone through the process with a headhunter and I've been underwhelmed with the results and effectiveness of those outfits," added Councilmember Jim Wurgler.

The city council and staff worked together to outline a tentative recruitment plan and timeline for the hiring process.

Recruitment documents such as a position profile, supplemental questions, and advertisements have already been approved. Advertisements will be placed with the International City/Council Management Association (ICMA) and the Arizona League of Cities Feb. 17.

Buchanan was hired after a 19-month absence of a permanent city manager. Dennis Wells was the city manager until 2009 and former Williams Finance Director Joe Duffyserved as interim city manager until Buchanan was hired in 2011.

Applications will be accepted through March 25 and must include a cover letter, reference sheet, resume and essay responses to be considered.

The city manager supervises the administration, business and employment affairs of the city and coordinates operations of the various departments. The manager also represents the city in community and regional matters. The position pays between $90,000 - $110,000 and includes benefits.

The city of Williams uses a Council-Manager form of government. The city is governed by a directly elected mayor and six city council members. The council sets policy and directly appoints several staff positions such as the city manager, police chief, finance director and city clerk.

The city employs approximately 65 full-time employees and 15 seasonal employees. The total annual city budget is approximately $21,000,000 with about $7,000,000 of that amount in the General Fund.

The council will review the applications between March 28 and April 1. On April 1 they will meet to narrow down 10 semifinalists and arrange Skype interviews.

On April 14 the council will meet in executive session to select three or four finalists to bring in for in-person interviews and conduct background and reference checks.

The top candidates will be invited to a public meet and greet reception March 25 and then will convene in executive session for a private reception with all of the candidates. Council will have a public meeting following the private reception and invite the public to meet the candidates who will briefly introduce themselves and take questions.

Council is hoping to offer a contract to the best candidate around April 28 with the person entering on duty June 1 or earlier if possible.

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