Status check on Meck Co.'s search for a new manager - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Status check on Meck Co.'s search for a new manager

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mecklenburg County Commissioners fired their long time county manager back in May. In June, they hired an executive search firm to recruit candidates. So, how is the search for a county manager going?

"Most searches of this magnitude take four to six months" says Shana Plott, of Coleman Lew + Associates. "It's in all of our best interests to move as quickly as possible but we will always tell you our firm will never sacrifice quality for speed."

The county commissioners held a special meeting so the outside company could provide an update on the search.

Executive recruiters say they've identified the top two managers of cities and counties across the country with populations greater than 250,000 people. They say the county manager job has been posted on several web sites. The search firm says they've begun interviews and hope to have an initial list of candidates to the county commissioners' search committee on October 17th.

Commissioners wanted to know how many candidates they found.

Recruiters say the list is "fluid" and that most people don't want it publicly known that they've expressed an interest in the job.

But, giving an estimate, Plott - the executive recruiter -said "I would tell you that this far we have more than 5 folks who we've extensively interviewed who we want to talk to the search committee about, with several others interviews that are scheduled."

The staff from Coleman Lew + Associates told county commissioners they've reached out to about 350 people - including candidates, and sources who can lead them to candidates.

Commissioner Vilma Leake asked if there have been any problems with recruiting.

Leake told WBTV "there was some concern about the statement that was made white males would not be considered in this process."

Earlier this summer - during an interview about the search for a county manager - Commissioner Kim Ratliff told WBTV the next county manager should not be a white male. She said she's not against a white man getting the job, but would like to see more women apply for the position.

Leake said she wanted to know if the comment was affecting recruiting.

Recruiter Janet DeLoache said "there have been a couple of candidates that I think are reluctant. They're concerned that are they - will they be seriously considered in the process? Has the search committee wrapped their minds around who they want?"

Recruiters say they've assured candidates that the process is open to everyone.

Commissioner Leake said "we cannot deny anyone to participate in this process - even if they're in house candidates. We must be fair."

Some commissioners pushed for the public to have a say in the search process.

The Board agreed to hold a public forum about the county manager search during one of the upcoming county commissioners meeting.

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