Seven city manager hopefuls selected

Video-conferencing interviews scheduled Friday

JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Posted 4/27/16

The Cleveland City Manager Search Committee has selected seven applicants for video-conferencing interviews to be conducted Friday. The committee ranked several of the applicants close together …

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Seven city manager hopefuls selected

Video-conferencing interviews scheduled Friday

Posted

The Cleveland City Manager Search Committee has selected seven applicants for video-conferencing interviews to be conducted Friday. The committee ranked several of the applicants close together with four of the names matching The Mercer Group’s recommended top 10.

After deliberation, the committee selected Angie Carrie, Jeff Emory, Gary Palmer, Mark Reeter, Dave Strahl, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood.

Committee member Joe Cate asked James Mercer of the Mercer Group if it was typical to get the high number of qualified applicants they had received.

Mercer said it was not.

“I’m kind of blown away,” Mercer said.

He said this spoke well of the city of Cleveland.

The search committee plans on limiting each of these preliminary interviews to 30 minutes.

The committee hopes to narrow the list to five names, and then make a recommendation to the Cleveland City Council. The Council, however, is not obligated to choose from this list and could decide to interview other applicants.

Those chosen to participate in the video-conference interviews are mostly from the Southeast, with the majority having experience in Tennessee.

Carrier lives in Johnson City.

“I am very passionate about developing and implementing new philosophies to prepare a community for growth and encourage economic development,” Carrier said in her cover letter.

She holds a master of city management from East Tennessee State University.

She is the development services director for Johnson City. Prior to that, she was the city administrator of White House. She has also the town administrator for Danridge. She was the 2004 Tennessee City Management Association City Manager of the year.

Reeter lives in Bristol.

He was the county administrator for Bedford County, Va., from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, he was the county administrator for Washington County, Va. He has also worked as a assistant county administrator, town manager and a community development director.

He holds a master of public administration form the University of Tennessee.

Sumner lives in Savannah, Tenn.

Sumner grew up in Riceville and attended Cleveland State Community College to begin his college career. He now holds a master of public administration.

“Local government is, and long has been, a passion for me personally. I pour heart and soul into my work as a local government manager… I understand the importance of connecting as completely as practicable with the community,” Sumner said.

He is the assistant city manager for Savannah, Tenn. Before that he was the city manager for Clifton. He has also worked for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service as a research assistant and been an adjunct professor. He has serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee City Management Association.

Emory lives in Lincolnton, N.C.

“I know Cleveland is a growing, thriving city with a great reputation for sound progressive management. Not only would I very much enjoy being a part of your management team, my wife and I would love to become active members of the community,” Emory wrote in his cover letter.

Emory is an ICMA credentialed manager. He holds a bachelor degree in political science from Appalachian State University.

He served as city manager of Lincolnton, N.C., until January of this year. Prior to that, he was the city manager of Whiteville, N.C. he has also been the town manager of Wallace, N.C.

Palmer lives in Farragut, Tenn.

He is the assistant town manager for Farragut. He was the acting town manager for Farragut from February 2009 to February 2010. He has also worked as the director of community development for Garden City, Mich.

He served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps for 10 years.

“I consider myself a generalist-leader as I have worked across the local government spectrum. I have in-depth experience in performance based strategic planning and comprehensive land use planning,” Palmer wrote in his cover letter.

He holds a master of public administration from the University of Toledo, and is an ICMA accredited manager.

Strahl lives in Arlington Heights, Ill.

“My nearly 30 years of municipal experience devoted to local government management puts me in a strong position to lead the Cleveland organization to the next level,” Strahl said.

He is the assistant village manager for Mount Prospect, Ill., a position he has held since 1993. Prior to that he was the administrative coordinator for the city of St. Charles, Ill. He holds a master of public administration in urban management.

Underwood lives in Cupertino, Calif.

She is the assistant city manager for Daly City, Calif.

Before that, she was the city manager for Shoreline, Wash., after serving as assistant city manager for that city. She has also been the assistant to the city manager of Rockville, Md.

She is an ICMA credentialed manager and holds a master of public administration and policy from Virginia Tech.

In the event that any of these candidates decide to withdraw their application, the committee has selected three alternates who would be contacted. These include, in the ranked order of their selection, Joe Fivas, Robert Rokovitz and J.D. Cox.

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