Experience was the key in picking finalists, say Sandusky search committee members
There's one thing that all of the top six city manager candidates have in common: experience.
The Sandusky City Manager search committee said that city managing experience was No. 1 on their list when it came to selecting their interview candidates.
"We would have welcomed a local candidate if they'd had the experience," said Bryan Kasper, member of the search committee.
The search committee is made up of residents Al Nickles, Sandra Brown, Bryan Kasper, Vicki Kaszonyi and Vincent Rhodes along with city commissioners Dave Waddington and Dennis Murray.
"We looked at our city profile and spent a long time going over that and interpreting what we would need," said Kaszonyi, director of career, technical and adult education for Sandusky City Schools. "We all agree we're at a very critical point."
The committee came up with a list of the top six candidates on Aug. 20; they are Sy Murray of Cleveland, Evalin McClain of Overland Park, Kan., Richard Janus of Beaver Falls, Pa., Spencer Isom of Snowflake, Ariz., Stephen Gunty of Ellsworth, Maine, and Doug Elliott of Hudson, Ohio.
All six have been a city manager or assistant city manager at some point in their career.
"We also looked at people with experience in economic development," explained Kasper, of the Kasper Auto Group.
The committee reviewed a total of 45 resumes for the position.
"It was a tough call," said Vincent Rhodes, area manager at Delphi. "There were a lot of good candidates."
The real test of the candidates will be the upcoming interviews in September.
"Just looking at resumes is really only half the battle," Kasper said.
The committee is confident in the top six to be interviewed.
Each of the candidates will spend an entire day in the city, meeting with various city officials and leaders before being interviewed.
After interviewing all six candidates, the search committee will recommend four or five applicants to be interviewed by the Sandusky City Commission.
"I really think there's a city manager in that six for sure," Kasper said.