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Columbia city leaders interview city manager recruiters

 The Columbia City Council will meet for a four-hour, closed-door session on Thursday to interview city manager recruiter firms.

Mayor Brian Treece said he prefers a firm with experience working in Missouri and in city manager search processes.

” I think ultimately the firm we choose has to have some Midwest sensibilities,” Treece said. “Some cultural competency to Columbia.”

He said there is no deadline to select a city manager but there is a sense of urgency.

The average cost of each firm is in the low to mid-$20,000 range.

The nine firms bidding for the job are:

CPS HR Consultants Management Partners The Novak Consulting Group Strategic Government Resources EFL Associates Serpico Talent Solutions Springsted/Waters Slavin Management Consultants GovHR USA

Council members said two of the firms would not be considered. Serpico Talent Solutions gave a “non-responsive” bid, and EFL Associates’ cost nearly triple the price of the other seven firms.

During a city council meeting on Dec. 17, several city council members said they had a few front-runners in mind, but choices varied.

Columbia’s finance director and police chief position open.

” All of those vacancies make Columbia a very attractive place I believe for a potential city manager candidate to really pick their own team,” Treece said.

He said he could see the city holding a couple town hall meetings to hear input from the community.

” We really ask the public what they want in the person that leads the city in day-to-day types of operations,” he said.

The city used a search firm in 2010 and 2011 to find a city manager, which ended in former City Manager Mike Matthes’ hiring. The search cost Columbia at least $20,000.

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