The City of Bishop’s attempts to hire a new city administrator have run into delays during the contract negotiation phase.
When the July 14 City Council meeting agenda item came up for consideration – calling for approval of an employment agreement for a new city administrator/city clerk – City Attorney Ryan Jones asked the council to table the item. The council agreed.
Jones gave no reason for the request, and he didn’t have to, City Administrator Keith Caldwell said.
With Caldwell retiring effective Sept. 30, the council began a local search for his replacement in March, followed by a nationwide search in April in hopes of completing the hiring process by the end of June, according to Caldwell. In June, the council conducted closed-session interviews of two candidates who had risen to the top of a pool of 32 applicants – 12 local and 20 from outside of the area.
One of the top two contenders was a local resident.
Mayor Jim Ellis, Mayor Pro Tem Pat Gardener and Council members Keith Glidewell, Laura Smith and Dave Stotlemyre had narrowed the list to 12, then six and finally four candidates who made the second-interview cut. After holding second interviews on June 9, Caldwell said, the council made its final selection of the two and initiated the background check process. Both candidates underwent the national FBI background check, which was completed in about three days, by June 13, he added.
During its selection process, the City Council focused on “education and management experience in a municipal setting (while looking for) strong leadership and excellent public relations and conflict resolution skills with an open communication style,” the ability to resolve issues early and community involvement, Caldwell explained.
However, now that a final selection has been made, the process has been delayed and the city said it is unable to divulge the reason for the delay. Earlier this week, Ellis said, “It is a personnel issue taken in closed session and the council has nothing to report at this time.” He did say the City Council hopes to place the employment agreement on its Monday, July 28 meeting agenda.
During his 2007-14 tenure with the city, Caldwell rose from the initial position as community services director to his current position of many hats: city administrator, city clerk, community services director, finance director and human resources and risk manager.