City Manager candidates partaking in interview process

By Frank Lewis

September 11, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

The three finalists for the job of Portsmouth City Manager have had a whirlwind couple of days. Derek Allen, village administrator in Delta, Ohio, Patti Bates, village administrator in Williamsburg, Ohio and Steve Golnar, former city manager in Rawlins, Wyo., arrived in town Monday and spent the day touring the city.

At a reception Monday evening at the Holiday Inn, all three said they were impressed with the city, and said they were looking forward to meeting the people. Some 75 people attended the reception, and were given the opportunity to mingle with the candidates and learn about them.

Golnar traveled the farthest to get to Portsmouth, coming from Wyoming, but said it was not a culture shock for him.

“My wife is from Cleveland, so I’m familiar with the state,” Golnar told the Daily Times.

Bates attended the reception, then quickly returned to Williamsburg to attend an important meeting.

“It’s only about an-hour-and-a-half away,” Bates said. “So I’m going to the meeting and will return tonight (Monday).”

Allen and Golnar attended Monday’s Portsmouth City Council meeting. All three were back in meetings with city department heads Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, then again with City Council at 9 a.m. at The Loft’s Conference Center. President Steve Sturgill gaveled the meeting open, and after a silent invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, immediately went into executive session for the purpose of interviewing the candidates. Catherine Parrish of Novak Consulting was also in attendance at all events involving the candidates. She told the Daily Times all candidates were vetted, but the company is still awaiting some information.

“We had three very good conversations with three good candidates who are interested in becoming our city manager,” President of Portsmouth City Council Steve Sturgill said, following Monday’s executive session. “We had the opportunity, even after the interviews, to sit and talk about each one, and we’re going to continue our process tomorrow (today).”

That process is scheduled to continue today at 8 a.m. at the same location.

Sturgill was asked if it is Council’s plan to bring a single name to the next Portsmouth City Council meeting.

“We’re not that close yet,” Sturgill said. “But we hope to be able to get there tomorrow (today), and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon, I will be able to give the (Daily) Times a little more specific information about exactly where we we are.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT