City of Lawrence to begin accepting applications for new city manager

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., is pictured on May 3, 2016.

The city of Lawrence will soon begin accepting applications for its new city manager.

In November, the city hired a professional firm to conduct a nationwide search to replace outgoing City Manager Tom Markus. California-based search firm Ralph Andersen & Associates held meetings with six stakeholder groups in December, and Vice Mayor Lisa Larsen said that input from those meetings was used to help determine desired characteristics for the city’s next top administrator.

“We put together several groups of community members to ask them questions regarding what they see as the best for Lawrence in a new city manager,” Larsen said. “What is their preference for leadership style?”

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.

Markus, 67, announced on Sept. 18 that he planned to retire in the spring of 2019. Following that announcement, the commission designated Larsen and Commissioner Jennifer Ananda, as they received the most votes in the most recent election, to take the lead in working with the search firm.

Larsen said that she helped recommend members for the stakeholder input groups, with six groups representing neighborhood associations, social services, businesses, development, education and city staff. The consultant also met with each member of the commission individually to get their feedback regarding what they would like to see in the next city manager.

The community and commission input was used to help draft the application brochure and other posting materials, Larsen said, and the position should be open to applicants within a week.

There is now a tentative schedule for the remainder of the process. Larsen said that the application will close around mid-February and that the search firm will then begin its review of the applications and resumes.

The week of March 11, the commission will hold a special meeting and as part of an executive session will narrow down the applicants to an interview pool. Interviews will be conducted in late March and early April, and finalists will be publicly announced after that. Markus has previously not given a date for his resignation, and said it could be flexible depending on the search process.


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