First there were 58, then there were seven. But when the Atherton City Council sat down to consider the qualifications of the top three city manager candidates chosen from the pool, they couldn't agree.
Although the original plan was to have a new manager in place by now, Mayor Bill Widmer announced on July 12, after several closed session meetings with his council colleagues, that "we will not make a decision just because the calendar says it is time."
The town has extended the timeline for the search, and is looking at several additional candidates, Mr. Widmer said. The candidates are "new ones that have come to light since we did our original recruitment," he told the Almanac.
"It is our hope that we fill this position sooner rather than later," he said, adding, "We need to get a good fit, and we need to have the support" of at least most of the council's five members.
Meanwhile, City Clerk Theresa Della Santa will continue serving as interim town manager.
"Theresa is doing a great job in running the town and this has provided us the flexibility to find the right candidate," the mayor said in a written announcement. "That being said, it is a high priority task for all of us to get this leadership position filled."
Before Ms. DellaSanta stepped in, the position was last held, also on an interim basis, by John Danielson, whose tenure ended in mid-January. Mayor Widmer, Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen, and Ms. DellaSanta served on an ad-hoc committee overseeing the search for candidates by Bob Murray & Associates.
The search firm narrowed the field of candidates to seven, and the ad-hoc committee chose three, who were interviewed by the full council.
"After these meetings, the full council was not in agreement that any candidate was acceptable," Mr. Widmer said in his written announcement. "While all candidates were well experienced, the council is focused on fit and knowledge of our community."