OLIVER SPRINGS — The self-imposed deadline to hire a new city manager has already passed, and the Oliver Springs Town Council agreed Thursday to wait another two weeks so they can interview a third candidate who didn’t respond to an earlier interview offer.
The candidate, John Hannah of Waynesville, N.C., now says he is very interested in the job, Oliver Springs Mayor Chris Hepler told Council members. But Hannah hasn’t explained why he didn’t respond to an earlier interview offer, Hepler said.
Hannah, a civil engineer who has been an adjunct professor and project manager, had been one of eight finalists for the position, which has been open since former City Manager David Bolling resigned in February to take a job in Newcastle, Maine.
Before Thursday’s decision, the Oliver Springs search had been narrowed down to two finalists: Tina Treece, a former city recorder and interim city manager in Spring City, and Joe Abbott, a Lake City resident who is also a sales manager for East Tennessee Equipment-Kubota of Knoxville.
Council members plan to interview Hannah in one-on-one sessions starting Tuesday afternoon. They then expect to appoint a new city manager May 17.
On Thursday, they said Hannah’s previous failure to respond to the mayor was not a good sign, and they would ask about it during the interviews.
“I don’t really like the fact that he didn’t return my call, but stuff happens,” Hepler said after the meeting. “I don’t want to discount a really good candidate just to make an appointment two weeks earlier.”
Council had originally planned to hire a new city manager in March, but Hepler said that schedule was aggressive. There have been delays, including time spent scheduling one-on-one interviews between Council members and the finalists.
Treece and Abbott have already been interviewed.
Fifty candidates applied for the city manager job, which has a salary range between $37,500 and $40,000 plus benefits.
The Oliver Springs city manager supervises about 26 employees but not the police department. Oliver Springs has a population of about 3,300 people.
See previous story on the Oliver Springs city manager search here.
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