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Lewis County receives seven more county manager applications


LOWVILLE — Lewis County officials have received seven additional applications for their vacant county manager post and hope to schedule a new batch of interviews within the next week.

“We haven’t ruled out the first round of applicants either,” said Board of Legislators Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan. “I’m optimistic that by interviewing the new applicants and potentially reinterviewing some of the old candidates, we’ll find a county manager out of the group.”

The county received 10 applications during the initial job posting, and lawmakers interviewed four candidates in late April. However, late last month, they decided to readvertise for the post after failing to land a consensus candidate.

Mr. Tabolt said he is again asking his fellow legislators to review resumes from the 17 candidates, including the most recent ones submitted prior to Monday’s deadline, and come up with a list of those they would like to interview or reinterview.

Former County Manager David H. Pendergast retired April 30 after five years at the $84,000-per-year post.

Mr. Tabolt, who has been serving as acting manager since then, said lawmakers would still like to have a new manager in place by late summer to oversee budget development this fall.

However, he didn’t rule out the notion of continuing to operate without a manager through the end of the year if legislators are again unable to come up with a consensus favorite pick.

“To me, the sense of urgency is gone,” Mr. Tabolt said. “We’ll hire somebody when we find the right person.”

Without a full-time manager in place, some extra help would likely need to be brought in to handle budget considerations and other matters in the interim, he said.

One potential drawback to the job is the county manager appointment runs with the 10 legislators’ terms, which all expire at the end of the year. That means whoever is chosen might be appointed only through Dec. 31, then hope to be reappointed by the new board — which is expected to have at least five new members — in early January for two more years.

Waiting until the new board is in place to hire a manager could help alleviate that issue, potentially creating additional interest in the post.

Responsibilities for the county manager position include strategic planning, developing quality initiatives, implementing programs and policies, submitting reports and recommendations to the legislators, managing contracts, overseeing department managers and serving as the county budget officer.

Legislators are seeking an applicant who would work well with department heads and have accountability, Mr. Tabolt has said.

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