4 named in Fairborn city manager search

Candidates are scheduled to meet with city officials and the public this week.

Four candidates will interview for Fairborn’s open city manager position this week.

The candidates — Lowell Crow, John Jezak, John Murphy and Thomas Thomas — will on Thursday and Friday visit Fairborn to interview with council, receive a tour of the city and meet citizens at a public reception.

Citizens can meet the candidates from 7-9 p.m., Thursday at a reception at the Holiday Inn, 2800 Presidential Drive in the Challenger/Discovery Room. Refreshments will be provided, according to the city, and citizens are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the four candidates, Economic Development Director Rob Anderson is selected as an alternative candidate, should one of the four drop from the process. Interim City Manager Pete Bales, the firm said, applied for the position but is not among the final selections.

The candidates will interview for the position left vacant last year by the departure of Debbie McDonnell, who left to become a city administrator in New York. Council held an executive session last week to discuss the details of the search, which is being conducted by Colin Baenziger & Associates, of Daytona Beach Shores, Fla.

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RELATED: Fairborn seeks hire of city manager by end of February

In 2015, her last year as city manager, McDonnell earned $143,544, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team Payroll Project. Each of the candidates selected have served in a previous city manager role:

Lowell Crow — City administrator, Monmouth, Ill., since 2014. He previously served from 2010-2014 as commanding officer at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va., a position he stated is equivalent to city manager.

John Jezak — City administrator, Maumee, Ohio, since 2000. Jezak is the former township administrator and zoning inspector of Springfield Twp., a position he held from 1994-2000.

John Murphy — City manager, Hobbs, N.M., since 2012 and 2016 “New Mexico City Manager of the Year.” Prior, he held top leadership positions in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is scheduled to retire from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in April, according to his cover letter.

Thomas Thomas — City manager, Rock Island, Ill., from 2011-2016. Thomas previously served as chief administrative officer of Macon, Ga., from 2008-2011.

An additional in-state candidate, Geauga County County Administrator David Lair, removed himself from consideration for personal reasons, according to the search firm.

The Dayton Daily News obtained the applicants’ resumes using Ohio’s public records law and continues to review hundreds of pages of background research on each candidate supplied to the city by the search firm.

Fairborn city manager search related reporting:

Fairborn to hire headhunting firm for city manager search

Fairborn residents interviewed in search for next city manager

Fairborn to discuss new city manager search

Fairborn city manager departing for out-of-state gig

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