Cannon Beach is one step closer to finding a new city manager.
The hiring process began after former city manager Brant Kucera left in June to take another city manager position in Sisters. Since then, city councilors and the recruitment firm, Jensen Strategies, have narrowed down the search to eight semi-finalists.
The semi-finalists were funneled down from a pool of 29 applications, city attorney Tammy Herdener said.
At this point, not much can be said about these candidates for confidentiality purposes, other than the fact candidates applied from all over the country. City councilors will be interviewing each candidate via video chat next week during two executive sessions. From there, the plan is to narrow the pool to three to five finalists, whose names will be publicly announced at the Oct. 17 special meeting, Erik Jensen from Jensen Strategies said.
So far, the process is running on schedule, but will be nudging up against the city’s deadline to hire someone by the first week of November. The city must select a preferred candidate by this time to avoid violating the city charter, which mandates an interim city manager can only serve for four months until the position is filled.
The new city manager will be expected to facilitate policy priorities like keeping community character by limiting expansion, developing the South Wind property, affordable housing and addressing emergency management and aging infrastructure needs.
Once finalists are chosen, city staff and Jensen Strategies will work on forming community and local government administrator panels to evaluate finalists. City staff will choose representatives from the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, the hospitality industry, arts community, environmental groups and other locals to offer input, interim city manager Jason Schermerhorn said.
“We want to include people who have key relationships with the city from a variety of perspectives,” Schermerhorn said. “We want a variety of different points of view and interests. People in this town are so involved I think it will be easy to form a panel, and their voices will be helpful in finding a good city manager.”
The other panel will be made up of three other city managers and one special district manager, Jensen said, though who exactly this will be has yet to be determined.
Those interested in meeting the finalists are invited to a community forum Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at city hall. Citizens will be able to ask questions and mingle with the finalists, and whatever discourse happens in this forum will be considered when choosing a candidate.
“It would be interesting to see how our candidates interact with the public. I think that’s important to see,” City Councilor Nancy McCarthy said.