City manager search narrowed to three

Candidates will be in town for Beer & Wine Walk.


FORT MADISON – City staff will be welcoming three candidates for its vacant city manager spot just in time for the downtown Beer and Wine Walk.
Hinson Consulting of Mason City was hired by the Fort Madison City Council in August to conduct a search for the city’s next city manager, with an assist from Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.
On Monday night, a representative from Hinson told the City Council during an update that the city got 14 potential candidates to submit credentials for the position. City staff, in conjunction with Hinson and Southeast Iowa Regional Planning winnowed the field down to three that will be in town on Nov. 17.
The representative said the firm is making good progress on the search.
He said the search committee looked over all the applications and narrowed that down to six that were contacted for online interviews.
“Ultimately based on those Zoom interviews there were three that were invited to come to Fort Madison. We’re planning on doing that Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th,” he said.
“We’re looking at an aspect of the candidates coming to town and doing tours in the afternoon and then have a chance to come to the wine walk and just be available on a drop-in basis for the public. Then they would be free to participate in the event.”
The Wine Walk would give the candidates a chance to meet the public while he city can showcase the community and then turn around on Saturday for the council to conduct interviews.
Those interviews will start around 9 a.m. and wrap up around noon. Then the council will engage in some discussions around the input from the staff and council that weren’t part of the steering committee.
The council would then deliberate and determine forward direction with the candidates and the search firm.
Backgrounds checks and reference checks have been completed and good feedback was provided for all three candidates. The criminal, credit and educational verification checks are now in progress.
Mayor Matt Mohrfeld said the Saturday events would involve three separate rooms with a round-robin format where all the candidates get in front of everyone in a rotation. The candidates would get different questions for each candidate in each room.
Mohrfeld said he was looking for suggestions for about six people from the community to sit in on the city manager candidate interviews.
In other action, the council:
• heard an update from Fort Madison YMCA Director Ryan Wilson on the success of this summer’s city pool operations.
• approved a third reading of an ordinance change to rezone the property where the new PAW Animal Shelter is being erected to I-2 General Industrial from R-1 Single family.

Fort Madison, City Council, city manager, search, Wine and Beer Walk, Matt Mohrfeld, news, pen City Current,


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