City narrows manager search to seven; selection could come next month

Chris Berendt Staff Writer

August 22, 2013

The City of Clinton, with the help of an outside consulting firm, has narrowed a list of more than 40 applicants for the city manager’s job to seven, with the expectation that the post will be filled by the end of September.

The original timeline was to have the city manager selected by early September, but the review process was put behind by several minor factors — vacation and scheduling issues in setting up interviews — and the city’s Human Resources director, Lisa Carter, said unless major headway is made in the coming week the selection will likely come later in the month.

“We’re a little behind on that timeline,” Carter said. “Unless things progress quicker from this point, it will probably be the latter part of September, maybe.”

Shawn Purvis has served as interim manager since the beginning of May, when John Connet formally announced he would be leaving for the managerial post in Hendersonville. Purvis has been assistant city manager for Clinton since 2008. In 2011, he also assumed the role of finance director.

Connet, who served as Clinton’s city manager since July 2002, officially left the city at the end of May.

Three months later, the city has narrowed down the search for his permanent replacement. In early May, the City Council approved hiring executive search firm Springsted to assist with the recruitment and selection of a new city manager. Carter said 43 applicants have been narrowed to seven, and those will be reviewed further by City Council with assistance from Springsted in the screening process.

“Council will review the information it receives from Springsted on each candidate, one criteria being the interview process” Carter said.

The Council met in closed session to discuss matters of personnel, notably the general status of the search, following a special session earlier this week. Carter said the Council will likely be having more in-depth discussions about the search, and manager candidates, in the coming weeks.

Sources say Purvis is in the running for the permanent manager’s job, however the interim manager declined comment. Carter said she could not disclose the names of candidates, citing personnel law.

Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at