Manteo accelerates manager search

The Manteo Board of Commissioners approved an accelerated timeline to replace their retiring town manager. Kermit Skinner, who extended his departure from the town, is scheduled to leave his position in December. The new timeline could see his replacement in place by late January.

The timeline approval was adopted after Ellis Hankins of the Mercer Group, a consulting firm that will help the board in the manager search, told them a normal search would take 120 days, but – mindful of the announced retirement date of the current Manteo town manager – they have revised the timeline.

Hankins held individual meetings with the town’s commissioners and staff on Wednesday and attended the Manteo Board of Commissioners meeting, which included a public comment session. Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens has said he wanted the hiring process to be a community process. The interviews and public comments will help determine what qualities the town wants in a successful manager candidate.

Three citizens spoke during the comment time. Although each outlined differences in what an ideal town manager would look like, they also voiced common qualities. The speakers recognized the town was evolving and an ideal candidate would need to bring fresh ideas to help guide that change. However, the speakers also wanted the candidates to be able to recognize and guard the culture, history and unique qualities of the small town.

Hankins and the Mercer Group will use the information to develop a recruitment brochure and advertising plan to attract applicants. With the involvement of commissioners, the applicant list will be pared down to between five to 12 candidates for consideration. Hankins told the board the process should be confidential. He said it was vital the board keep an open mind and that in the end it would be the commissioners that interview candidates and choose the new manager.

Hankins said after 30 years with the town “Skinner would be a tough act to follow,” but noted the position was attractive. He thought it was possible the town would receive 200 applications.

Once the list is culled and interviews have been conducted, the Mercer Group would help the town negotiate a contract for the new manager.

 

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