City takes a step back in City Manager search

Council can reach a consensus among selected candidates


FORT MADISON – The search for the next Fort Madison City Manager has come to a reboot of sorts, according to Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld.
After three months of framing the search, which resulted in three candidates and three different closed sessions of the Fort Madison City Council, no consensus has been reached on who should be the next City Manager.
Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld said Wednesday the search isn’t going to back to square one per se, but going back to the pool of candidates that was generated from the search isn’t out of the question.
“We’re not going back to square one, but we will be taking another look at the candidates we have, and we may bring another two or three to consider,” he said.
Mohrfeld said he couldn’t violate the privacy of the closed session meetings, which included department heads, select community members, the city council, search firm members, and the city attorney.
Because a decision has not been made, and, according to city closed session agendas, the candidates requested the meetings be held in closed session per Iowa Code Chapter 21.5 (i), the names of the candidates were not made public.
Three candidates were brought into town on Friday and escorted through the Wine & Beer Walk Friday night, and then were involved in morning interview sessions with all the members of listed above in a rotating format.
The council then held a closed session Saturday following the interviews to consider the candidates. That process spilled over to another closed session on Monday, which carried over to another hour-long closed session on Tuesday.
After Tuesday’s session, the council came back into a public format with no consensus reached on the candidates.
“We are in the process of tyring to hire a city manager. At this time we did not reach a conclusion and we are not extending an offer to a candidate at this time. We will continue to search,” Mohrfeld said during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
He said the additional search will likely come with a slightly higher price tag based on the city’s contract with Hinson Consulting Inc. of Mason City, but he didn’t anticipate a substantial increase in cost to the city.
The city has been working with Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Executive Director Mike Norris and the Hinson group throughout the search process. They are replacing former City manager David Varley, who resigned from his position in May.

Fort Madison, City Council, candidates, City Manager, search, closed session, process, standstill, consensus, news, Pen City Current.


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