After an hour-long private meeting on Monday, all seven city commissioners agreed upon interviewing Sandusky chief planner Rebecca Corrigan for the government’s top position.
“I want the job because I feel with my experience in local government that I can offer effective solutions for the city’s economic sustainability,” Corrigan said. “I feel that Sandusky really needs to have someone to care about it, and I feel that can be me because I have the skill set and education to make things happen”
If appointed to city manager, Corrigan said she would prioritize economic development and neighborhood revitalization.
Her nearly 20-year employment history’s packed with development-related jobs in the public sector, including serving as a specialist for the Cuyahoga County commissioners from 1997 to 2001.
Corrigan, a Cleveland resident, also contended she’d remain in Sandusky, no matter if she won or lost her bid to become city manager.
“I am committed to the city of Sandusky,” Corrigan said. “In my tenure here, I have had other opportunities to leave, but I have decided to stay. There is just something (special) about Sandusky. I don’t want to go anywhere. I will work tirelessly to make things happen”
Her background and positive attitude motivated commissioners to select her as a finalist.
“I think she is a wonderful city planner,” Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. said. “I take it for face value that she is serious and believes that Sandusky is a great city and wants to continue working here but in a different capacity”
Going forward, and by next week, commissioners plan to schedule and conduct in-person interviews with each candidate.
They’ll then select the most qualified candidate sometime later this month. An opening for the position occurred after city commissioners voted to fire Nicole Ard in early March for failing to perform her job duties.
Commissioners hired Ard in fall 2011 with the approval from a consulting firm paid more than $20,000 in city funds. Ard obtained about $129,000 a year. Commissioners opted against using a search firm and decided to perform the ongoing search process themselves.
It’s not known how much the next city manager could receive, since commissioners plan to create an incentive-laden contract, in which the person could obtain more money based on accomplishing certain tasks.
Five finalists for Sandusky’s city manager position
•Resides in: Eastlake
•Current job: Eastlake mayor and safety director since 2004
•Education: bachelor’s degree in business management from University of Buffalo (1975); master’s degree in business administration from John Carroll University (1981).
•Experience: worked in various management and marketing positions with several companies, including AT&T, Sherwin-Williams and Medical Mutual of Ohio in Cleveland area (1980 to 1998); KeyBank branch manager in Cleveland (1998 to 2004).
•Resides in: Cleveland
•Current job: Sandusky chief planner since November 2013
•Education: bachelor’s degree in public administration from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania (1993); master’s degree in public administration from the University of Akron (1997).
•Experience: development specialist and community affairs liaison for Cuyahoga County commissioners in Cleveland (1997 to 2001); adjunct profession for Cleveland State University (2006); economic development and community planning director for Bedford (2001 to 2008); executive director for Berea Community Development Corp. (2008 to 2013).
•Resides in: Newton Falls, near Youngstown
•Current job: Newton Falls city manager since 2007
•Education: bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University (1979); master’s degree in public administration from University of Delaware (1983).
•Experience: administrative services manager for Lorain County commissioners (1984 to 1989); village administrator for New Concord, Ohio (1989 to 1991); village administrator and treasurer for Thiensville, Wis. (1991 to 1993); city manager and assistant city manager for Beavercreek, Ohio (1999 to 2006).
•Resides in: Seven Hills, south of Cleveland
•Current job: attorney since 1988
•Education: none listed
•Experience: law director for Mayfield Village (1988 to 1991); Independence vice mayor and council member (1984 to 1993, 1996 to 1999); Independence mayor (2000 to 2007).
•Resides in: Cleveland
•Current job: Ohio City Inc. executive director since 2009
•Education: bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio University (2002); juris doctor from University of Michigan Law School (2005).
•Experience: AmeriCorps member in Cleveland (2001 to 2002); University of Michigan office of the general counsel law clerk (2003 to 2004); special projects manager for mayor of Cleveland (2006 to 2009).