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Libby continues search for administrator

by Canda HarbaughWestern News
| November 11, 2009 11:00 PM

Libby has been without an administrator since the beginning of the month after Dan Thede retired and the city’s first crack at hiring someone to head city departments failed.

Mayor Doug Roll is hoping that the second round of advertising, which closed at the end of October, has produced an ace candidate with city supervisor experience that doesn’t mind trading a high salary for beautiful scenery and small-town atmosphere.

The latest round of advertising yielded more than 30 applicants, a few of which applied the first time around. Roll said he plans to share resumes with current and incoming councilmembers to allow them all to have input into who is hired. 

“We’ll discuss it a little tonight,” Roll said Monday, referring to a council working meeting. “We’ll probably do the same thing as last time, have them (councilmembers) come up with about five candidates.”

Roll plans to choose five candidates that he and the council will interview in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, city departments will be left to their own devices, but Roll said he trusts department heads to work a month or so without a supervisor.  

“The winter time is probably one of the better times to be without (a city administrator),” Roll said, “because basically there’s a lot less activity in the city besides snow plowing.”

The city first advertised the position in July and contacted five candidates to interview. Two out-of-state candidates backed out right away. Then the candidate chosen after the interview process backed out, Roll said, because his fiancé changed her mind about moving to Libby. The city interviewed its second choice for a second time, but decided to advertise again for someone with more experience.

“We’re hoping to get somebody with planning experience,” Roll said, “so we can have some vision as we go ahead.”

Libby’s remoteness has been a disadvantage in attracting experienced candidates, Roll said, as well as a small-town salary that is “considerably less than what they’re used to.”