By waiting another month, the City of Verona got three more candidates for its vacant administrator position.
The Common Council interviewed the three candidates and one other from the first group Saturday and then spent an hour discussing them with recruiter Steve Hintz in closed session Monday. No action was taken in or out of closed session, Mayor Jon Hochkammer told the Press on Tuesday morning.
Two of the three new candidates are from out of state, and the other had applied previously and withdrew midway through the process. All are currently employed elsewhere.
Hochkammer told the Press last week that three of the original four finalists who interviewed May 20-21 have been informed they are no longer being considered for the job, which has been vacant since April, when Bill Burns left. Only David Nord, former administrator for the City of Dixon, Ill., remains from that group.
Nord joined the others in what Hochkammer called an “abbreviated” interview Saturday – basically to meet the two alders who were not present for the initial set of interviews, Hochkammer said. The three new candidates met with city department heads Friday and interviewed Saturday morning with the Common Council, following the city’s usual pattern.
The new candidates are Robert Duffy, economic development director for the City of Oconomowoc; Robert Joseph, assistant city manager and director of the newly created office of business and tourism in Montrose, Colo.; and Jeffrey Mikorski, city manager at Morgantown, W. Va.
The new group is more eclectic than the previous list.
Joseph’s LinkedIn profile states he was born in London, ran a computer consulting business, was involved in real estate and taught college. He has been with Montrose since 2012.
Duffy’s states that he has been a planner with the Menomonee Nation, has a real-estate license and was a village administrator for Hortonville. He worked with Verona planning director Adam Sayre for six years in Oconomowoc.
Mikorski has a psychology degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he’s been with Morgantown as city manager or assistant city manager since 2000.
Nord, who interviewed in May but did not meet Touchett or new Ald. Scott Stewart (D-2), left Cherry Valley, Ill., after 15 years as village administrator to become Dixon’s first city administrator in the wake of an embezzlement scandal. After Dixon changed its entire government structure last year, Nord was not chosen for its new city manager position.
Hochkammer said last week he hoped the council would come to a consensus Saturday after the interviews. But three alders were not present Saturday, complicating matters.
Council President Elizabeth Doyle is on a leave of absence for an internship, and Alds. Evan Touchett (Dist. 4) and Jack Linder (Dist. 2) were also absent, meaning there was no quorum. Linder arrived late Monday night but in time to join the full group, minus Doyle, for the administrator discussion.
Whenever a decision is reached, an announcement likely would be made after an agreement on a contract, which is often after the following meeting.
However, with no decision yet, Hochkammer said the continuing item will be on the next Common Council meeting agenda. Unless a special meeting is called, that is scheduled for July 11.
In the interim, Hochkammer is taking on extra duties normally performed by the administrator. While he has said he hopes not to have to do that for nine months, as he did in 2009-10, he previously told the Press it’s worth the wait to make sure the city has the right person.