City Commission to interview 8 city manager applicants

The Lawrence City Commission will interview eight applicants in coming weeks for the city manager position — a vacancy that’s on track to be filled this year.

Fifty-four people applied for the position, and 32 met the necessary qualifications, said Greg Nelson, a consultant with Ralph Andersen & Associates, the firm hired to search for the next city manager.

After a two-hour executive session Tuesday, commissioners directed Nelson to schedule interviews with eight applicants.

Those interviews will be conducted in closed executive sessions.

“In a lot of ways, Lawrence is seen as the Holy Grail of city manager posts in the United States,” Nelson said. “It’s a very prestigious and sought-after position because of KU’s prominence.”

Nelson said candidates had an average of 19 years of experience as chief executives. Most hold master’s degrees in public administration and are credentialed managers through the International City/County Management Association.

After the first round of interviews, a smaller group will be invited back to receive a tour of city facilities and meet members of the public during an open house.

During that visit, the group will again be interviewed by city commissioners in an executive session, Nelson said.

The person selected will replace former City Manager David Corliss, who resigned earlier this year to become the town manager of Castle Rock, Colo.