TANEYTOWN — Residents may know by the end of the month who their new city manager will be, but officials are mum on details about the new group of candidates interviewed behind closed doors the last two months.
CityAttorney Thomas Stansfield said people answering the ad this time are more qualified than last summer's first group.
The city almost had a new manager last September to replace the retiring Neal W. Powell. But James White, the Montgomery County business consultant offered the job, declined for family reasons shortly after accepting.
So it was back to the drawing board for the council, and back to the office for Powell, who has agreed to stay on until a new manager is hired.
Stansfield and the City Council interviewed four more candidates Monday night. About 10 men and women have beeninterviewed from a field of some 40 applicants.
"I think we're finished," Stansfield said of the interviewing stage. "I hope by the end of the month we'll have somebody negotiated.
"The sooner, the better. Mr. Powell wants to play golf."
The full-time job pays $40,000 a year in Taneytown, the county's third-most populous community with 3,526 residents.
For this second round of the search, the city placed ads in municipal journals to attract candidates with more public administration experience, Stansfield said.
The last round included more private business people, but also a two-star general, teachers and a school superintendent.
"I'm very pleased with the secondround," he said. "All of the people are much more qualified."
Applicants in the first, he said, had less broad experience in managing a city. Candidates include a few from Carroll County, some from within Maryland and a few out-of-state people looking to move to this area, he said.
He declined to describe them further to protect their privacy and status in current jobs, he said.
The council members, along with Mayor Henry Reindollar and Stansfield, have met over three evenings to interview two to four people each time, Stansfield said.
The interviews have been difficult to schedule because of the holidays and the logistics of getting all the parties together for evening meetings, Stansfield said.
The council began its search in late June, after Powell announced he would retire. The 70-year-old Kansas native had hoped to retire July 1. He has been manager since 1978.
Stansfield said that although he hoped to have a new manager hired by the end of January, the person may not be able to start until a month or so later.