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Cape holds city manager candidates to six

By Staff | Mar 20, 2012

Conspicuous by its absence during much of Monday night’s City Council workshop at city hall was the mention of the search for a new city manager.

Any discussion of what had suddenly become a controversial subject didn’t come until the end of the meeting, when Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz communicated his dissatisfaction over the events of the past several days.

The discussion lasted for all of five minutes before the meeting was adjourned.

As a result, the selection process for new city manager will remain as is, with five candidates and one alternate.

And even if there had been more discussion Monday, the chances of adding more candidates probably wouldn’t have gotten far.

What was seen a few days ago as Councilmember John Carioscia seeking to add more candidates to the city manager field became of his curiosity over those who just missed the cut.

Leetz confronted Carioscia, and was joined by other council members.

“I was concerned we were breaking our contract. I found that very disconcerting,” Leetz said. “I don’t want to see additional candidates.”

Rana Erbrick theorized that Carioscia simply wanted to see who was next in line.

“I spoke with Baenziger and he just sent the next three candidates with him. He just wanted to know who they were,” Erbrick said.

Carioscia said nothing to the councilmembers and had no comment after the meeting.

Any request to add three more candidates would most likely have flown like a lead balloon.

In talking to Mayor John Sullivan on Friday, when the story still had some heat, he said Carioscia was just one vote out of eight.

“It’s not up to an individual council member. Council as a whole needs to make that decision,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan learned the hard way what can happen by changing the rules when he suggested the council look at all 75 candidates who submitted resumes for the position.

“I thought it would be a good idea. The council voted it down,” Sullivan said. “It didn’t even come to a vote. The tenor of the meeting suggested the rest wouldn’t go for it.”

Councilmember Kevin McGrail said Carioscia’s possible misgivings were understandable, but there needed to be faith in the system.

“The questions as you get close come to a head, but the process hasn’t played itself out,” McGrail said. “Expanding the field is premature.”

The city will host the five finalists beginning Thursday morning with a city tour and interviews before a reception later in the day.

On Friday, the council will hold individual and group interviews before a decision will come in a special city council meeting Monday.