published Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Red Bank suspends city manager search

The Red Bank city manager position has been vacant a full three months now, but city commissioners say they are willing to suspend the search until they fill a newly vacant commission post.

"We're not going to panic or make any quick decisions. It's very important we have a fifth commissioner before we continue this process," said Mayor Monty Millard during Tuesday's meeting.

Former Vice Mayor Greg Jones moved to Alaska in December, opening up a position on the five member board.

During the meeting, the commission voted to appoint Commissioner John Roberts to the vice mayor position. Roberts, who was narrowly elected commissioner in 2010, said he was "grateful" for the appointment.

So far, no one has applied for the vacant commission post, though the city has posted ads.

Jones' replacement must be a resident of District 3 -- which extends from Newberry Street to Stringer's Ridge Tunnel and south of Martin Road.

Whomever the commission appoints will hold the position until the city's November elections. At that point, whomever is voted in will finish out the remaining two years of Jones' term.

The deadline to apply for commissioner is Jan. 13.

The commission has been forced to come up with a Plan B for its city manager selection since its top pick of 39 applicants -- Randall Hemann, of Salisbury, N.C. -- turned down the job offer at the end of December.

Director of Finance John Alexander has served as interim city manager since October, when former manager Chris Dorsey was ousted in a sudden 3-2 vote.

During Tuesday's meeting, Commissioner Ruth Jeno asked whether commissioners were going to choose from among its other finalists for the position, or open the application process back up.

"I can't go to the grocery store without people asking we what we are going to do," Jeno said.

"Tell them it's like a TV show," Roberts responded, "to be continued."

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