Citizens will help pick city manager

Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:56 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

As Ray Beck’s tenure comes to a close, the Columbia City Council is dusting off long-forgotten procedures for hiring the next city manager.

Karl Nollenberger, a consultant with Illinois-based recruitment firm The PAR Group, is charged with narrowing the pool of applicants and aiding in the hiring process. Since he was hired in August, Nollenberger has received nearly 200 inquiries about the city manager position.

Over the next three weeks, he will select five candidates, who will move on to the interview process.

In a work session Monday night, the City Council established tentative plans for the process. The five candidates will arrive in Columbia on Thursday, Nov. 10 and stay through Nov. 12 or Nov. 13.

Advertisements in the weeks preceding the interviews will solicit questions from residents that will be asked of the candidates during a public forum. Mayor Darwin Hindman said this system will encourage broader involvement than would a council made up of a small group of citizens, as was considered earlier.

The final selection of a candidate could be postponed until after the interview stage to allow time for the council to consider public comments, Hindman said.

Residents may e-mail or call their council member with comments. Contact information for the council is available at

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