City Manager Search Process To Cost Resort $22K

OCEAN CITY – The Town of Ocean City has entered into a contract with a national management consulting firm to assist in recruiting city manager candidates with the promise of having the task complete by the New Year.

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Mayor and City Council work session, the council adjourned into closed session to discuss contractual matters. Upon returning to open session, Council President Lloyd Martin announced a national management consulting firm had been selected to conduct a search for Ocean City’s new city manager.

“There was a motion by Councilman [Doug] Cymek and a second by Councilman [Dennis] Dare to approve Slavin Management Consultants of Norcross, Ga. to be used as our city manager search firm. The vote was unanimous,” Martin said.

According to Council Secretary Mary Knight, Slavin Management Consultants (SMC) has a history working with the Town of Ocean City, as the firm assisted in selecting an engineer in the ‘70’s. This time around the cost to the city to have SMC conduct the search for a city manager is not to exceed $22,373, and it will take a minimum of 60 days to complete the process, according to the firm.

SMC follows a five-step process starting with defining the job qualifications and requirements for the position known as the “Recruitment Profile.” Next comes identifying and recruiting qualified candidates, followed by the evaluation of the prospective candidates, making recommendations, helping in the selection, employment negotiations and facilitating employment. The selection will then be followed up with an evaluation after 30 days. The entire process takes 60 to 90 days to complete.

The agreement with SMC is the first step in replacing former City Manager David Recor after he resigned last month in what the city has officially termed a “mutual decision,” although it’s been confirmed the council forced the issue as a result of mounting disapproval of his job performance. Recor will receive six months of severance pay.

In October 2011, after long-time City Manager Dennis Dare was forced into retirement after the council majority at that time voiced the need “for a change in direction,” the council also voted to conduct a national search to hire a city manager. Springsted Inc. was hired to conduct the national search leading to Recor being hired in May 2012 and filling the position in June 2012.

From start to end, the process to replace Dare took nine months with Mayor Rick Meehan serving as city manager during that time period.