KETTERING — The city plans to interview four candidates seeking to become Kettering’s next city manager, including one local administrator and two University of Dayton graduates.
Three are from Ohio and one from Missouri in a search that drew 16 applicants through Friday, including seven from the Buckeye State, officials said.
The four are vying replace longtime Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman, who is stepping down after 16 years in that role when his contract expires at the end of December. They include:
• Kettering Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser, a UD grad.
• Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson.
• Franklin County Deputy Administrator Erik Janas, a UD grad.
• Molly Mehner, deputy city manager of Cape Girardeau, Mo.
All four have master’s degrees in public administration, records show. Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner said Wednesday she was pleased with the caliber of applicants, noting the four are “all strong candidates.”
“I think we anticipated perhaps that there might have been more people applying,” she added. “But it seems to be reflective of the marketplace in general … We feel we have some very strong candidates and hope that we’ll feel the same way when we come out of the interview process.”
Interviews will occur after Labor Day, said Mary Azbill, Kettering’s community information manager. She declined to call the four interviewees finalists, saying “these are the candidates city council wanted to interview at this time.”
All city council members will be involved in the interviews, as will a representative of Slavin Management Consultants, which the city contracted with to help guide the search, Lehner said.
A Slavin representative told the Dayton Daily News earlier that the job will remain posted until it is filled.
Lehner did not rule out a second round of interviews.
“At this point we have four candidates we’re going to be interviewing,” she said. “If another candidate comes along who we feel we should include, then we’ll certainly consider that. We aren’t shut off to anything at this point.
“Obviously it’s an important process. Kettering is known for long tenures of city managers” and officials want “a thorough and productive process,” Lehner said.
Bergstresser has had his current title since 2014 and served as acting city manager for several months after Schwieterman took a leave in late 2019 for health issues. He has been with the city since 2003 and was director of engineering from 2006-14, according to his resume.
Greeson has been the top administrator in Worthington, a Columbus suburb of about 15,000 people, since 2007, records show. He worked for Volusia County, Florida starting in 1995 and was either assistant, interim or deputy county manager from 2003-2007, his resume states.
Janas has been deputy administrator for the county that includes Ohio’s capital city since 2010. He also served as a finance manager for Cleveland from 2002-07 and as a regional adviser to the Columbus mayor from 2007-10, his resume states.
Mehner has been second in charge in Cape Girardeau, which has a population of about 40,000, since 2015, documents show. She also served as senior planner for Paradise Valley, Ariz., from 2006-13 and was senior planner/project planning manager for Glendale, Ariz., from 1997-2004, records state.
Schwieterman and former Kettering Mayor Don Patterson helped lead the city together for about 15 years. Patterson stepped down at the end of 2021, and Schwieterman is leaving at the end of 2022.
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