CORINTH — The Corinth City Council began interviewing candidates for city manager this week, and officials are hoping to make a decision in the coming days.
No definite hiring date has been set, but officials have said they want to ensure a smooth transition between the hiring of the new city manager and interim City Manager Jim Berzina’s retirement.
Officials have already interviewed six candidates, but Berzina said information about the candidates won’t be released until the council selects a finalist. Berzina did say, however, that the city received several applications from highly qualified individuals.
“I look forward to the discussions that the council and I will have,” he said. “We’re looking for someone who will move the city forward, not backward.”
According to the job posting released by the city, officials sought applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration or a related field and had at least seven years of municipal government management experience.
Although no timeline has been set, Berzina said he expects to step down in about three weeks. And during a recent meeting, council members expressed a desire to have someone in Berzina’s place before or shortly after he retires.
Berzina announced his plans to retire in early August after serving as interim city manager since 2009.
He told council members that it’s time to find a replacement.
Council members have praised Berzina’s performance over the years, and though he’s only served as interim manager, Berzina has been the most consistent city manager in recent years.
Mayor Paul Ruggiere said there once was a lot of turnover in the city manager position and it hindered the city’s performance in several ways. The revolving door of city managers damaged city staff morale and stalled project development, he said. But under Berzina’s leadership, the city benefited.
“The city was broken, and there were things that were not working correctly and part of that really was our whole city manager/council relationship. We had been through 10 city managers in 10 years,” he said.
Now that things are back on track, Berzina said the time is perfect to hire a new city manager.
“We need to make sure the next person — whoever the council decides to hire — will build on everything we’ve done.”
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @Jdharden.