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Planning stage for Polson city manager search begins

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POLSON – The City of Polson may return to an option for selecting a city manager that the commission rejected in November. 

Ruth Hodges, chair of the City Manager Search Committee, said the committee voted in favor of recommending the city hire an independent firm to conduct the hiring process. Members of the committee are in the process of selecting a company to recommend to the commission and will present their recommendations to the commission in the future.

Hodges said that “following much discussion,” the committee voted five to one in favor of hiring a company to conduct the recruiting process. 

At the commission’s Nov. 26 meeting, city staff recommended that the city hire recruiting firm Prothman to fill the vacant city manager position. Prothman facilitated the hire of former city manager Mark Shrives. 

At that meeting, commissioners expressed concern about the cost of Prothman’s services and dissatisfaction with the work the company had done to hire Shrives. The commission voted five to one not to hire Prothman. A City Manager Search Committee, comprised of residents and business owners, was formed to advise the commission on a course of action. 

At the commission’s Feb. 4 meeting, the group voted to make changes to the document that defines the search committee’s membership and duties. It added an allowance for one seat on the committee to be occupied by a person who is not a resident of the city of Polson but “practices professionally, owns property, or owns a business within the city.” The updated document also bars employees of the city from serving on the committee but allows an appointed city employee to advise the committee.

The committee currently consists of six voting members and city planner Kyle Roberts, a staff liaison and non-voting member. The commission will appoint the final member of the committee at its next meeting. City Manager Search Committee meetings are held each Thursday at 4 p.m. at City Hall.


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