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Monroe manager pick still in limbo

MONROE The search for Monroe’s next city manager remains in limbo.

The often fractious City Council could not decide on a new manager after a brief closed session Tuesday, a continuation of two other closed sessions. The council had been looking at four finalists, including one in-house candidate, city spokesman Pete Hovanec said.

Mayor Bobby Kilgore said the board intends to interview additional applicants next week. They are among the dozen names on a short list that the city’s search consultant previously provided to the board, Councilman Freddie Gordon said.

When asked why the council is taking so long to choose, Councilwoman Dottie Nash said, “We just haven’t found the right candidate, I guess.”

It’s unclear whether the board will find the right candidate next week. “I’m reluctant to put a timeframe on it because every time we do, it doesn’t seem to work out,” Gordon said.

Councilwoman Margaret Desio said the board wants to be sure to make the right choice “and that it’s a good fit for them and for us.”

The city has been without a permanent manager since last July.

That’s when then-Manager Wayne Herron quit after a heated closed-door council debate over his decision not to give Chief Debra Duncan a performance bonus. Herron had been manager since 2009, and the city began to look for its fourth manager since late 2000.

Greg Demko, who had been an assistant city manager, was named interim manager after Herron’s departure.

The City Council commissioned a report to learn why its managers keep quitting.

The report, issued in February, described a city hall rife with nepotism and interference by bitterly divided council members, and also found credible evidence that the police chief had secretly tape recorded Herron without his consent.

Reforms suggested by that report were put on hold until after a new manager was brought on board.

Monroe hired a Florida search firm Colin Baenziger & Associates for $21,500 to help run the manager search.

Bell: 704-358-5696
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