Stoner told The Press Wednesday night that he and council conducted four separate interviews of the candidates.
“There were four interviews, two yesterday, and two tonight. Each was an hour long,” he said.
Stoner was impressed with one candidate, though he declined to identify him.
He has asked each member of council to compile a list that ranks each candidate and submit them to him as soon as possible.
“I’m hoping the person I want, they can at least agree on. There is just one I feel more strongly about,” said Stoner.
So what are the qualities of a city administrator?
“We’re looking for someone who can run the city. Sounds real simple, but an administrator has to have the faith and confidence of the mayor, council, department heads, employees, and residents. You have to go in there and prove you can do the job,” said Stoner.
The new administrator will replace current Administrator Pat Bacon, who announced this summer that she is retiring on October 29.
Stoner said the new administrator will be faced with challenges as soon as he is appointed due to the shrinking revenue the city has collected in the last two years that prompted severe budget cuts and layoffs. Northwood, which has a population of 5,500, has a proposed income tax increase on the November ballot.
“Everybody we interviewed knows what we’re going through. They researched the city and know what we’ve been dealing with,” said Stoner.
The four candidates are:
• Dennis A. Recker, a county manager from Jasper County, Georgia from March to the present. Previously, he was the administrator of the Village of Whitehouse from 2005-2010.
• Craig Kohring, chief financial officer from MDA Engineering, Inc., Maumee. Kohring, of Northwood, once served on city council. Currently, he is chairman of the Northwood Planning Commission.
• Robert Fowler, village administrator of Carrollton, Ohio, from 2006 to present.
• Daniel G. Evers, a township administrator from Mason, Ohio, from 2005-2009.
Stoner had hoped to name a new administrator at a council meeting last Thursday if members of council had submitted their lists to him by then. He wants the new administrator, who would likely have to give two week’s notice to his employer, to work with Bacon before she retires. If an administrator is not chosen soon, Stoner said he would have to call a special meeting to make the appointment, since council doesn’t meet again until October 14.
“If I don’t get some kind of consensus real quick, I would have to call for a special meeting because I would like this person to have at least two weeks with Pat,” said Stoner.