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Posted on: June 10, 2016

City Manager Interviews

4 City Manager Finalists.jpg

Cleveland City Council members have completed their interviews with the four finalists seeking to become Cleveland's next city manager.

Two candidates, Seth Sumner and Joe Fivas, were interviewed for the job on Monday afternoon. Sumner, who grew up in Riceville, is currently assistant city manager in Savannah, Tenn. Fivas lives in Matthews, North Carolina and was town manager in Indian Trail, N.C. from 2010 to 2015.

Two more candidates, Angie Carrier and Mark Reeter, were interviewed Tuesday afternoon. Carrier is development services director in Johnson City, Tenn. Reeter, who now lives in Bristol, Tenn., was county administrator in Bedford County, Va. from 2013 to 2015.

The interviews were open to the public.

Council members and Mayor Tom Rowland took turns questioning each candidate. They spent an hour with each of the four now being considered for the city's top administrative job.

Questions ranged from leadership style to budget and finance experience. The candidates were queried on their views about the relationship between themselves as a city manager and elected officials.

Council members presented hypothetical personnel situations and asked the candidates how they would approach and resolve those situations. Council questions also focused on the candidates' communication skills with the public, department heads, city employees and elected officials.

Other questions focused on the city's industrial and retail base and how the candidates would continue growing that base. Candidates fielded many economic development questions. They were asked their views on downtown development and redevelopment. And they were questioned on public safety issues.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to make an opening and closing statement.

The council will meet again on June 16 at 3 p.m. to discuss the interviews.

Earlier this year the City Council appointed a citizens committee to review the initial field of 63 applicants along with The Mercer Group. Technical assistance was provided by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service of the University of Tennessee. The search was coordinated by consultant Larry Wallace.

The field of candidates was narrowed to five last month. One of those withdrew from consideration.

Whoever is chosen to be the next city manager will succeed Janice Casteel who retired May 31. Assistant City Manager Melinda Carroll is currently the interim city manager.

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