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Fort Madison Winding Down City Manager Search

Jason Parrott

Fort Madison's search for a new city manager could conclude this week.

The city council has gradually narrowed the field of 26 applicants in the last few weeks, with three finalists coming to town on Thurs., Sept. 11 and Fri., Sept. 12.

Mayor Brad Randolph is optimistic the city council will reach a decision before the finalists leave town.

"The hope is that if we can come to a consensus after our round of meetings in the early afternoon, we would make an offer to one of those three by the end of the day on Friday."

The finalists are scheduled to meet with department heads, tour the city, and attend a small reception on Thursday, with formal interviews on Friday.

Randolph said the reception will include the finalists, members of the city council, and a few invited guests from the public.  He said this will replace the public forum, which was used by the city the last time it searched for a city manager, per the recommendation of the consultant helping the city with the search.

"We are hoping each council member will bring a couple people with them," said Randolph.  "It will be a smaller type of reception with 15-20 people that does not get too big and allows people to interact to see how the candidates interact with a small group like that."

The city has not released the finalists' names or any other information about them.

Randolph said he expects their identities to be revealed as soon as they arrive in town on Thursday, though the information might not come from the city.  He said it has been important to maintain privacy in this process.

"We want to protect the integrity of the person interviewing and not run into any concerns with their current employer if for some reason they were not to get the position, we would not want that to reflect poorly on them in the job they are in," said Randolph.

Former City Manager Byron Smith left last month to take a similar job on the West Coast.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.