Lawrence City Commission to consider contract with search firm for city manager hire

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., Thursday, July 7, 2016

The city of Lawrence will consider hiring a professional firm to conduct a nationwide search to replace outgoing City Manager Tom Markus.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider approving a contract with California-based search firm Ralph Andersen & Associates for a base fee of $27,200, according to a city staff memo to the commission. Ralph Andersen & Associates is the same firm the city hired in 2015, which led to the hiring of Markus following the resignation of City Manager David Corliss.

Under the proposed contract, Ralph Andersen & Associates will begin with a position analysis, advertising campaign and candidate identification. The firm will then conduct resume reviews, preliminary interviews, reference checks and finalist interviews, and provide final interview assistance and follow-up. The contract includes background and reference checks for two candidates, with additional checks being extra. The city is responsible for travel and other expenses related to on-site interviews of candidates.

The contract fee also includes some consultant visits to Lawrence and meetings with community stakeholders. Specifically, the $27,200 includes the consultant making up to four trips to Lawrence and holding up to two days of stakeholder meetings, according to the agreement. If additional meetings or on-site consultant meetings are needed, the city would need to pay $1,500 per day plus travel expenses. If additional consultant services are needed, specific hourly rates would apply depending on the type of work needed.

Under the work plan, a consultant will meet in person with the City Commission and city staff to discuss the search, review the work plan and confirm timing and communication methods, according to the memo. The consultant will return to Lawrence to review the top candidates with the commission and again when the commission interviews the finalists.

If the newly hired city manager resigns or must be fired during the first year of employment, the firm will perform another city manager search and will not charge the $27,200 base fee.

Markus announced on Sept. 18 that he planned to resign in the spring of 2019. Following the announcement, the commission voted unanimously to direct city staff to prepare a request for proposals seeking a firm to do a nationwide search for the city’s next top administrator. The commission is in charge of selecting a city manager, and Vice Mayor Lisa Larsen and Commissioner Jennifer Ananda reviewed proposals with city staff and are recommending that the city contract with Ralph Andersen & Associates, according to the memo.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.

Related stories

Sept. 25 — Lawrence City Commission to hire professional firm to conduct nationwide city manager search

Sept. 20 — City leaders grateful for changes Markus made at City Hall, begin to consider next city manager

Sept. 18 — City Manager Tom Markus announces plans to resign in spring 2019


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