Fort Worth to announce city manager finalists Thursday

04/29/2014 5:35 PM

04/29/2014 5:36 PM

The City Council has selected its second round of finalists for the open city manager spot and plans to announce the three finalists Thursday.

The council nixed all four of the original finalists in February and started the search over by re-advertising for the job and bringing in new candidates.

Council members spent most of Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. to almost 5 p.m. with a break in the afternoon, interviewing five candidates for the spot, Mayor Betsy Price said.

Price said they culled the five candidates who interviewed Tuesday from an original list of about 18. Another candidate was offered an interview but withdrew from the process before Tuesday, Price said.

The mayor has said the council conducted a national search to find someone who is fiscally responsible, has industry experience combined with city government experience, is a visionary and is an innovator who is tech-savvy.

“We are pretty much looking for the same things — somebody who can take Fort Worth, build on what is here and take it to the next level; somebody who is committed to working with the community and understands how Fort Worth does business,” Price said.

The city started the first search after City Manager Tom Higgins, who has been with the city for nearly 30 years, announced his retirement in October. Higgins, who makes $233,400 a year, agreed to stay on until a successor is chosen.

The city hired the Whitney Smith Co., a human resources consulting and executive search firm, for the national search. The past several city managers were selected from internal candidates, and the most recent external candidate left Fort Worth in August 2004.

The city received applications from internal candidates during the first round of applications, but Price would not say who submitted them or how many applied.

An internal candidate was not among the original finalists, and Price said none of this round’s finalists are internal candidates.

The original finalists were Milton R. Dohoney Jr., former city manager in Cincinnati; Mark McDaniel, city manager in Tyler; Craig Malin, city administrator in Davenport, Iowa; and Joyce Wilson, city manager in El Paso.

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