City manager applications are examined

Search panel reviews 9 resumes

By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Posted 4/2/16

Applications are coming in for the Cleveland city manager position.

The search committee appointed by the Cleveland City Council, which is made up of community members and liaison Larry Wallace, …

This item is available in full to subscribers

City manager applications are examined

Search panel reviews 9 resumes


Applications are coming in for the Cleveland city manager position.

The search committee appointed by the Cleveland City Council, which is made up of community members and liaison Larry Wallace, reviewed the first nine resumes Friday.

There was one local applicant. The application deadline is April 20.

The search committee members will score each of the applicants individually. The committee approved a scoring rubric during Friday’s meeting.

More resumes are expected each week. Committee members will meet each Friday this month at 1:30 p.m. On April 22, the committee will narrow the list to a maximum of 10.

Honna Rogers of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, who helped develop the scoring sheets and category descriptions, said she anticipates the position will receive more than 50 applicants.

The local search committee will meet with search consultant James Mercer of The Mercer Group on April 26 to compare lists. From this list the search committee will select semi-finalists to participate in interviews via video conferencing. These interviews will be conducted April 29.

The committee will determine its final recommendation for candidates on this day. The objective is to get the number to five or so.

City manager Janice Casteel will retire May 31.

The applicants so far include:

Warren Brown

of Clyde, Ohio

Brown is the director of human resources and risk management of Huron County, Ohio. Prior to that he was the township manager for the Oakland Charter Township of Rochester, Mich.

He has also been the county administrator and clerk of courts for Fremont, Ohio

“From what I have reviewed the city is in need of a strong but approachable leader. The city’s past has been riddled with unfortunate circumstances, but those can and should be viewed as opportunities for learning and the rectifying of the problem areas,” Brown said in his cover letter.

“I am not afraid to tackle the hardest job or fear wearing many hats. I have served in numerous government capacities over the years ranging from entry-level law enforcement, to an elected position and to being a county administrator. In most of the positions, I have held I assumed the lion’s share of the work.”

Brown holds a bachelor of arts degree in education from Asbury College.

George Ducas

of Irving, Texas

Ducas is an architect, who has worked on projects in several countries, Texas and Arizona. His last position was in 2015 with GJD Designs.

“I am ready for career development and to match my skill set to an appropriate position. My career goal is to be an executive level manager in the construction industry,” Ducas wrote in his cover letter.

He holds two master degrees in architecture, one from California Polytechnic State University and the other from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The resume and cover letter did not reference the Cleveland city manager position.

The city search committee voted Friday not to consider this applicant, because they did not met the qualifications.

John-Mark Echols

of Midland, Texas

Echols is an independent land and regulatory consultant. Prior to that he worked as a land and regulatory manager for Captra Fluid Systems. He has also been a land manager and a fluids development project coordinator. He did not include a cover letter.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in commerce and business administration.

Dr. Lindsay Hathcock Jr.

of Cleveland

Hathcock described himself as a “ dynamic management professional with more than 20 years of achievement spanning organizational management, strategic planning and program management, holding particular specialization in government and healthcare fields.”

He is the assistant to the Bradley County mayor and serves as the public information officer and departmental program manager. Prior to that he was a health and nutrition specialist and program manager with the Family Resource Agency. He has also been a chiropractor and an adjunct professor.

David Holmes

of Lexington, Ky.

“I am an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM) with over 15 years of city managerial experience,” Holmes wrote in his cover letter.

He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Kentucky School of Law and a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

He is senior attorney for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Prior to that he served as commissioner of environmental quality and public works for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. He has also served as the assistant city manager of Cincinnati, Ohio. He has held various positions in his law career.

Mark Kutney

of Wellington, Fla.

Kutney has 35 years of management experience in local governments. He holds two masters degrees, one in public administration from Florida Atlantic University and the other in regional planning from Pennsylvania State University.

“I am an ICMA Credentialed Manager who is a good listener, solid communicator, an effective delegator and someone who has a vision for the future. I have the ability to deal effectively with various agencies and present complex issues to the City Council and the community. In short, my experience, knowledge, background, skills, and abilities make me a solid fit for this opportunity,” he wrote in his cover letter.

“I believe my experience and knowledge has prepared me to deal with the challenges confronting Cleveland.”

He was the town manager for Loxahatchee Groves in Florida from 2011 to 2014. He received the awards of Financial Reporting Achievement by the Government and Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports three consecutive years.

Prior to that, he served as the deputy city manager for Belle Glade, Fla. He also has been the acting city manager for Belle Glade and development services director for Davie, Fla., and director of growth management for Hallandale, Fla.

He has also worked in planning and development roles.

Robert Pugh

Poland, Ohio

“I am a registered professional engineer in Kansas and four other states, with over 25 years of management and engineering experience. 
In my most recent position, I was vice president of operations, Aqua Ohio, managed five division managers, environmental compliance manager, and regional safety specialist, staff of 150, and $100 million budget, serving 150,000 connections and 500,000 customers,” Pugh wrote in his cover letter.

He holds a master of business administration from Bellevue University.

He was the vice president of operations for Aqua Ohio until this month. Prior to that he was the director of Utilities Division for Manhattan, Kansas. He worked with the city commission in this role. He has also been the district manager (GM) for the five-state water services operation for the Layne-Christensen Company, a regional sales manager for Valmont Industries, Inc. in Valley, Neb. and Traffic Structures and Fabrication Group Manager Illinois Department of Transportation.

Randy Robertson

of Cordova, Alaska

“My portfolio reflects a rock-solid record of advancing organizations. Examples include recognition as the number one municipal award winner in 60 community region of middle Tennessee; orchestrating Vestavia Hills largest state transportation grant ever awarded; securing millions in capital to finish Cordova’s decade old municipal complex effort, the pride of the community and Southeastern Alaska; and transforming automation and communication training in the European theater to support wartime logistical and operational activities,” wrote in his cover letter.

“Having spent several successful years in Mt. Juliet, I am well versed with city management in Tennessee and, if selected, would be immediately positioned to bring my knowledge and abilities to bear for Cleveland.”

Robertson is the city manager of Cordova, Alaska. He has also served as city manager in Vestavia Hills, Alabama (2012-2013); Mt. Juliet (2007-2011) and Ashland, Kentucky (2006-2007).

He also served as U.S. Army chief of staff (GS-15) — White Sands Missile Range and U.S. Army Brigade executive/chief of staff (GS-15) in Europe.

He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for seven different colleges.

He holds two master’s degrees, one in public administration from Western Kentucky University and the other in urban planning from Johns Hopkins University.

He also received a master’s degree in strategic planning from the U.S. Army War College and has participated in the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellowship.

Robert Rokovitz

of Canton, Ga.

Rokovitz served as city manager of Hiram, Ga.

“I recently chose to resign from my last city management position to seek an opportunity where people and service take center stage with progressive leadership being paramount … Knowing I was in transition, I was recruited to serve as a financial analyst for the city of Woodstock which has a budget over $44 million and a population of approximately 24,000,” Rokovitz wrote in his cover letter.

“I pride myself on the ability to cultivate relationships across all spectrums of local government operations, internally and externally. Professional, customer-oriented services and consensus building have been at the core of my responsibilities which I have refined with business, educational, non-profit, legislative and private constituents … Please know that I am now more than ever prepared to relocate to Cleveland as my daughter will be starting Georgia Southern University in June. It would be an honor to serve Cleveland as a long-term city manager.”

Prior to serving in Hiram, he was the city manager of Cedartown, Ga. He has been the city manager of Holly Springs, Ga.; and assistant city administrator of Alpharetta, Ga. He has also served in law enforcement and as an adjunct professor at Lanier Technical College. He holds a master of public administration from Kennesaw State University.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment


Print subscribers have FREE access to by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE