Finalists for Lawrence’s next city manager to be announced this week; community meeting to follow
photo by: Mike Yoder
Final candidates for the position of city manager will be announced this week, and an event to allow residents to weigh in on the finalists will occur soon.
The Lawrence City Commission conducted the first round of in-person interviews for city manager with a pool of six candidates in closed session Saturday. Mayor Lisa Larsen said at the commission’s most recent meeting that the commission planned to select two or three finalists from the interview pool who will be publicly announced Wednesday.
Larsen said the finalists would be invited back to participate in additional in-person interviews and meetings with the community.
Specifically, Larsen said that as part of the second round of interviews, finalists are tentatively scheduled to hold community meetings on April 7. As part of the meetings, Larsen said each finalist would give a 30-minute presentation and then answer questions from the community for approximately 30 minutes. The event will be recorded on video, and Larsen said residents would be able to submit their thoughts about the candidates to the commission.
City Manager Tom Markus, who began his position in March 2016, announced in September that he planned to retire this year. Markus has since said he would leave his position around June. Earlier this month, the commission narrowed down a field of 24 candidates for the city manager position, selecting the six people to continue to the interview stage.
Following the community meeting April 7, each candidate will be given a driving tour of Lawrence. On April 8, city executive staff will interview each finalist in a closed session. Larsen did not provide a date for when the final hiring decision will be made, but said the final candidate would be publicly announced shortly after the candidate had officially accepted the position.
The city hired California-based search firm Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct a national search for Lawrence’s next city manager. Ralph Andersen & Associates previously held meetings with commissioners and community groups representing neighborhood associations, social services, businesses, development, education and city staff to gather input regarding what they would like to see in the next city manager.
The April 7 community meeting will be held at the Carnegie Building, 200 W. Ninth St. A time has not yet been announced, but Larsen said that information would be communicated once it was finalized.