Kettering city manager job applicants set for review; mayor wants interviews next month

KETTERING — Applicants for Kettering’s city manager job are set to be reviewed Monday as the search for Mark Schwieterman’s successor enters a new phase.

Nine candidates had applied as of Thursday for the job Schwieterman, 57, is leaving in late-December after 16 years, said David Krings, a contractor and Midwest regional manager for Slavin Management Consultants.

Krings said he and Robert Slavin, president of the Georgia-based business hired by Kettering to guide the search, will examine the applicants’ qualifications.

“We’ll have to see how closely they match up with profile that we did, which describes what the council wants,” Krings said. “Then we’ll work with the council to get that down to a more reasonable number.”

The majority of applicants appears to be from Ohio, he said.

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The Cincinnati-based Krings said he will prepare recommendations with plans to meet with Kettering City Council later this month.

“I don’t think it’s likely,” he said. “But it’s conceivable that they would say ‘we think you can do better than this. We think you can get some better candidates.’

“Or they might say, ‘there’s four or five that we think are really good. We want you to do a more thorough background check.’ We don’t do background checks until after this meeting. It really depends on what kind of feedback we get from the council,” Krings added.

Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner said the city’s goal is to start interviews next month and make a job offer in October.

“We hope to have someone in place … working side by side with Mark, ideally,” she said. “So, I feel like we’re on a good timeline for getting people in.”

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Recruitment will remain open until the position is filled, according to the job posting.

Compensation for the position is negotiable based on qualifications and experience, and relocation assistance is available, records show. Schwieterman’s annual salary is $196,393, according to the city.

It is preferred that the selected candidate move to Kettering, but it is not required, the job posting states.

The chosen candidate would be Kettering’s third top administrator since 1990. Schwieterman, who is leaving when his contract expires Dec. 31, was promoted in 2006 and has been with the city for 33 years.

The job requires a four-year college degree, the posting states. It also mandates “a combination of education and experience equivalent to attainment of a MPA or MBA and at least 7 years of increasingly responsible local government management experience gained in a community or other public agency with similar complexity to Kettering.”

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The job is “a plum position,” Krings said.

While being “supportive” of the administration, “it’s not a rubber stamp council. They do have their disagreements. They treat each other civilly. And that’s not a universal trait among city councils,” he added.

The posting describes Kettering as an “innovative city” of 57,862 “known for its outstanding amenities … home to beautiful neighborhoods and green spaces, as well as flourishing businesses.”

Kettering has “a desirable blend of residential areas within easy access to quality commercial businesses, excellent educational institutions at all levels, medical facilities … and a variety of outdoor recreational activities,” the posting states.

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