Eleven have applied to be Frankfort’s interim city manager, and interviews may begin by the end of the week, a city official says.
Human Resource Director Randy Donahue named the applicants in a closed session of the City Commission and gave a brief update on the city’s search for a new manager at a work session Monday. City Manager Fred Goins is retiring Aug. 28.
Donahue told The State Journal the commission will decide who to interview for the interim opening and may bring in finalists by late this week or early next week.
Names of those interested in the job haven’t been made available by the city, but Fontaine Banks, a former chief of staff for governors Bert Combs and Ned Breathitt, has confirmed he applied.
While the city is taking steps to fill the interim opening, it’s also moving forward with the search for a permanent replacement.
Five search firms submitted bids during the most recent city manager opening in 2010, but none was hired after the city hired Goins full-time. Donahue said the top three firms from that group – The Mercer Group, Colin Baenzinger and Associates, and Bob Murray and Associates – have been invited to make presentations and provide updated cost information at a Sept. 10 work session.
The Mercer Group, of Atlanta, submitted the lowest bid at $18,025. Bob Murray and Associates, of Tallahassee, Fla., quoted a price of $21,000, and Colin Baenzinger and Associates, of Wellington, Fla., priced its services at $21,500.
Commissioner Katie Hedden suggested not hiring a search firm until after the Nov. 5 election and “depending on how the election goes, let the next commission decide what to do with their city manager.”
That’s similar to the situation Hedden and Commissioner Michael Turner found themselves in after their election two years ago when former City Manager Tony Massey was fired without cause.
“I just think it would be a wise decision to hold off trying to get a firm at this time,” Hedden said. “... Hopefully we find someone in those 11 candidates to step in and after the election allow the city to spend the money then on finding a firm, if needed.
“We might get lucky with another Fred.”