CH City Council selects city manager search firm; interim city manager to seek position
At the Oct. 3 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting, council members voted to authorize an agreement with the Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, for the purpose of assisting with the search for a new city manager.
Mayor Kelley said, “We fully expect the Novak Group to work with us and get this done somewhere between three to five months [from now]. The reason I say three to five months, as opposed to three months, is the fact that we’re going to be running into a lot of holidays. We’d love to get this done before the end of the year but my guess is . . . it will probably be done sometime early next year.”
Kelley noted, “Our interim city manager, Susanna Niermann O’Neil, will be seeking this position. I want it to be known that [she] did not participate in any part of the process of hiring this group. She doesn’t know who the Novak group is, didn’t see the proposals, has had no conversations with anyone associated with Novak. This has been a clear, open process.”
CH City Council appointed O’Neil acting city manager in April, when Bob Downey resigned as city manager after learning his contract would not be renewed. At the time of her appointment, Mayor Kelley stated that a national search would be conducted for a permanent city manager.
The resolution passed by council authorized an agreement with the Novak Consulting Group for executive search services, for the purpose of assisting city council with the search for a new city manager. The resolution states that services shall include, but not be limited to:
- developing a recruitment plan
- preparing a position profile for the position
- development of organizational goals for choosing a successful candidate
- conducting a national search
- supporting city council in negotiating and choosing a candidate
- preparing an employment agreement and monitoring the process of the sum of the $16,900 plus reimbursement for the expenses not the exceed the sum of $1,500 without written permission from the city
“We look forward to moving through this process and sometime early next year having a full-time appointed city manager on our staff.” Kelley said. “We look forward to the process. It will be interesting, it will be time-consuming. But we will get the best person to move this city forward.”
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer. She lives in the Shaker Farm Historic District in Cleveland Heights.