Panel to meet again in city manager search

A fourth closed session set for Tuesday evening


FORT MADISON - The Fort Madison City Council will be holding another closed session Tuesday evening in hopes of reaching a consensus on a city manager candidate.
Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld said Monday there were a couple issues the hiring committee wanted to revisit with one particular candidate.
“We will be holding another closed session Tuesday night with one of the candidates,” he said. “There were a couple of issues that the committee wanted to take a closer look at.”
Mohrfeld said there could be an open session following the meeting if the committee does reach a decision on a candidate.
“That would be the only possibility of an open session Tuesday night and it would be to extend an offer to one of the candidates,” he said.
Following a 70-minute closed session Tuesday night, the hiring committee including city department heads, the city’s attorney, the city council, and newly elected councilman Rick Thiele, Mohrfeld said the committee hadn’t come to an consensus on a preferred candidate.
Three candidates were brought into town last week for the city’s annual Wine & Beer Walk and were escorted by city officials downtown.
On the following Saturday, the committee met with the three candidates for about three hours in the morning and then went into a closed session to discuss the candidates and qualifications of all three.
No decision was made at that meeting, so another closed session was held Monday evening to reconvene discussions. Again, no decision was reached, so another closed session was set for Tuesday prior to the regular city council meeting.
The committee has met for close to four hours in closed session to try to reach a decision. Tuesday meeting will be the fourth session to try to reach a consensus.
City officials are looking to fill the vacancy after David Varley resigned from the post May 2. The city has been operating without a city manager for the past six months with department heads taking care of day-to-day operations.
The city will begin budget discussions in about 60 days and the city manager usually leads those discussions for the council.

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