The city of Eureka is zeroing in on its next city manager.
The City Council will meet in special session at 8:30 a.m. Monday to interview six candidates, according to Mayor Frank Jager, with the hopes of naming a finalist or two by the end of the day.
While the city isn’t releasing it’s list of finalists, Jager said it includes two local candidates, three from elsewhere in California and one from out of state. The city’s search firm, Peckham and McKenney, put forward nine candidates for the position, Jager said, and the council has identified its six favorites to be interviewed Monday.
The city has been searching for a city manager since Bill Panos abruptly resigned his post in September to take a job in the Wyoming governor’s office after a nine-month stint in Eureka. Assistant City Manager Mike Knight has stepped into the city manager’s role on an interim basis, and former City Manager David Tyson has been brought on part-time to help out.
Because some folks expressed some dissatisfaction with Peckham and McKenney’s background checks during the process that led to Panos’ hiring — see the Times-Standard’s coverage here — Jager said the city plans to do some of its own vetting this time, which could slow the process.
“I think we’re going to do a much more thorough, in-depth background check,” Jager said.
The plan, according to the mayor, is for the council to settle on a top candidate or two Monday, then launch the background investigations, which will likely extend into March. Jager said he’s hopeful to have someone in place this spring.
While Monday’s council meeting will be held in closed session, there will be an opportunity for public comment before the interviews begin.