SYRACUSE — The appointment of a new city manager in this community could lead to another divisive process.
Early indications suggest city officials may be at a stalemate in their bid to fill the city manager vacancy created by the departure of Robert Rice in July.
Mayor Jamie Nagle and members of the city council spent time in closed session at the council’s last meeting in August to interview two finalists for the position. Those candidates include interim City Manager Stephen Marshall and Weber County native Brody Bovero, who is the manager for the Thornbury Township in Pennsylvania.
The council formally opened its meeting at 6 p.m. and immediately convened to executive session and spent until almost 7:30 p.m. in the closed meeting talking to both candidates and then coming back into general session. Following the general session, the council again convened into executive session to discuss personnel matters.
Discussions in executive session are protected and any decisions reached in those meetings must be approved in public by vote.
After the meeting, Nagle said a new manager could be appointed within two weeks or perhaps not happen at all.
The mayor has a vote in executive session so a 3-3 deadlock behind closed doors would mean the decision would be delayed.
State law dictates if the appointment were not made before the Nov. 5 election, the matter would be delayed until the installation of a new mayor and city council in 2014.
Nagle and Councilman Larry Shingleton aren’t running for reelection and will be replaced in the coming year.
Appointments have been a hot potato for the past 18 months, beginning in January of 2012 when Eric Froerer was installed as fire chief.
The appointment of Garret Atkin as police chief also initiated debate when several councilmembers balked at not being included electronically in the review of candidates.
Even smaller appointments have caused sparks.
Earlier this summer, the appointment of a new planning commissioner and an alternate turned into a verbal sparring match between Nagle and councilmembers Karianne Lisonbee and Brian Duncan.
In the past, Nagle has publicly expressed disappointment that the appointment process has been so vicious.
She said the appointments have been all about the fight, and not about making the appointments feel welcome.