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Plant City Observer Friday, Jul. 14, 2017 4 months ago

7.14.17 Search for City Manager Begins

The City Commission voted to hire a recruitment firm to begin the search for City Manager.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

The search for a new city manager has begun. The city commission unanimously voted in favor of hiring Strategic Government Resources, an executive recruitment firm, to assist in the process.

Interim City Manager Kim D. Leinbach was directed on June 26 to research firms to aid the city in its search. Two weeks later, he recommended SGR. The firm is no stranger to Plant City, as it was used in 2016 to find and hire Lynn Spivey, director of utilities.

“I know we used this firm for another position, one of our department heads, the utilities director, and I know we were very happy with them there,” Mayor Rick Lott said.

SGR has a 15-week process, which could be as short as 45 days, to find suitable candidates for the city.

“They do guarantee their results and will repeat the entire process if we’re not satisfied with the selection and if any candidates who are vetted by SGR, resigns or is terminated in the first 18 months of hire, they will repeat the process with no expense to the city,” Leinbach said.

SGR’s services will cost an estimated $23,000 based on its proposal, which will be charged to the General Fund Contingency account. Its two competitors, Slavin and Associates and Colin Baenziger and Associates, were proposing $22,500 and $26,500 as their respective fees.

Leinbach said SGR was selected because it offers a local representative that would be available whenever the city needed. He said the firm also has the most diverse outreach with 68,000 email subscribers and a targeted 4,200 city management officials list.

It goes beyond simply advertising and will actively recruit for candidates, though it does not recruit employees it has already placed in a position, a stipulation Leinbach said, reflected well on the company.

Former city manager Mike Herr announced on May 2 he was leaving to take a job as city manager in Winter Haven. On May 25, Kim Leinbach officially took the reins as interim city manager.

The next step in finding a permanent replacement for Herr now that the firm has been selected, is for SGR to meet with the commission to develop a profile for the candidate the city is looking for and to go over salary ranges for the candidate.

“They’ll come in and want to develop a profile, what your interests are in your next city manager, areas of strength that you’re looking for, that sort of thing, and develop the criteria jointly with you, they’ll lead you through that process,” Leinbach said.

Leinbach said the venture normally concludes with the firm presenting 10 to 15 candidates, which will then be narrowed down to three to five contenders by the city commission.

While the official date for the meeting between SGR and the commission has not yet been determined, Lott said he would like for it to take place as soon as possible.

Breanne Williams is a staff writer for the Plant City Times and Observer. She joined in 2017 and covers all things community related. In her free time, she enjoys spending the day at Disney and has a 20-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee in her left hand at all times....

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