Keller search firm expected to lead Tyler city manager search

Published on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 12:55 - Written by

BY KELLY GOOCH,kgooch@tylerpaper.com

The city of Tyler will pursue a contract with Keller-based Strategic Government Resources to help conduct a search for the next city manager.

On Aug. 1, City Manager Mark McDaniel announced that he was resigning and taking an assistant city manager position with the city of Dallas.

Then on Aug. 13, the same day that Assistant City Manager and Communications Director Susan Guthrie was named interim city manager, the council directed staff to initiate a search to engage an executive search firm to assist with the recruitment of a permanent city manager, Human Resources Director ReNissa Wade said.

She said an evaluation committee consisting of Mayor Martin Heines, Councilman Darryl Bowdre and Councilman Mark Whatley was  formed, and members reviewed various firms before interviewing four.

Bowdre said the firms that were interviewed were diversified in size, but the committee was able to get a good look at what services they offer.

“I appreciate being involved in that process and knowing what all they will do for us, and I think that we cooperatively have decided on a good company to make a recommendation to the council,” he said this morning.

Of the four firms interviewed, SGR stood out, Martin said.

He said the firm has a history with the city, and the firm’s CEO has expressed interest in being the case manager for this project. He said Tyler would be one of two searches that the CEO would personally handle.

“He is very excited about the opportunity of working with the city of Tyler, and we share that excitement with him,” Heines said.

He said cost will be negotiated with city staff, but the firms that were interviewed offer around $18,000 to $20,000 for the core cost and then expenses after that range from $5,000 to $6,000.

He said because the firms were all similar in cost, the most important thing was that the firm have the right fit for the community.

He said firms have indicated that after 30 days of advertising the city manager position, there will likely be 80 to 100 people apply for the job in the beginning.

Whatley said it has been determined that Tyler will have a large pool of well-qualified candidates and is going to be able to get a very good city manager out of this process.

As far as timing, Heines said firms have estimated that the search process will take about four months.

However, the city doesn’t want to be too specific with timelines, and he wants the process to be thorough and as methodical as possible, Heines said.

“I’m going to do the very best I can to make sure I’m communicating to the public what we’re doing,” he said.