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Council to consider Sacramento-based firm for city manager search

The Columbia City Council will consider a Sacramento-based human resources company to lead the search for the next city manager.

CPS HR Consulting could win the bid on Tuesday night with a contract that could cost as much as $27,500. The city would pay $17,000 for the firm’s service, with an expense fund for the company of up to $7,000. The city could also pay an additional $3,500 for a recruitment video that would help CPS HR attract more candidates.

The city council decided to hire a search firm following Mike Matthes’ resignation on Nov. 21. The firm will help develop a job profile for the city manager position, vet candidates that apply for the job and interview finalists. The work could take between 14 and 16 weeks, according to the company’s bid.

Most of the company’s recent work has taken place on the West Coast, and includes numerous city manager placements in California and Colorado. Geralyn Gorshing, director of marketing for CPS HR, said the firm’s process would stay about the same.

“We have not done as many recruitments, honestly, in this part of the country, but the recruitment process is the same,” Gorshing told ABC 17 News. “We do sit down and try to get a good understanding of what the city’s needs are. Every city has different needs and different challenges, and we meet with the city to help you identify a strategy to find the best candidate.”

Council members told ABC 17 News that they liked the company for its engagement process early on in developing the profile for the job. Fourth Ward councilman Ian Thomas said the company would host several meetings with business, nonprofit and social justice groups to get a sense of what skills the city’s top executive should have.

Pam Derby, a recruiter for CPS HR, said the engagement process could also come in the form of an online survey or several town hall-style meetings that residents could attend.

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