Despite all the turmoil surrounding its previous city manager, Monroe officials say they hope to have a new one in two months.
What the person will inherit was laid out in a blistering 29-page report the city council commissioned from lawyers with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein to learn why city managers keep quitting. The city council recently approved a schedule for the search for its fourth manager since late 2000.
The report, which was released in February, detailed a dysfunctional city hall where workers feared invasion of privacy through secret tape recordings and sometimes strong interference from a sharply divided city council. The report also detailed what it said was nepotism in city hirings, as well as a city council that often is reluctant to cede power to the manager.
Former Manager Wayne Herron suddenly quit last July following a heated closed-door city council debate over his decision not to give Police Chief Debra Duncan a performance bonus. An anonymous call by a woman threatening the chief was traced to Herron’s home.
Herron had served as manager since 2009. After he resigned, the council named Greg Demko as interim city manager.
Last year, the city hired the Florida-based search firm Colin Baenziger & Associates for $21,500 to help run the search for Herron’s successor.
The position was advertised this month, with applications due March 29. On April 3, Colin Baenziger will update the City Council on the applicant search; he will forward them information about the semifinalists at the end of the month.
Finalists should be selected May 6. After additional interviews, the new manager is scheduled to be named on May 20.
And even as council members proceed with the search, they are expected to take up some recommendations from the Parker Poe report before the new manager is hired. The board will likely address some policy changes regarding nepotism and codes of conduct in April, city officials have said.
A final bill for the Parker Poe report has not been received yet. The city council had authorized spending up to $50,000 on it.