During the Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, meeting of the Adel Mayor and Council, Mayor Buddy Duke said the Council had discussed what they wanted to do in the search for a new city manager and had polled the majority of the Council Members, and they were in favor at that time to continue the search and let it be known that “we wanted to hire a professional company to come in and do work for us on this.”
Mayor Duke presented a work plan from The Mercer Group out of Athens, Georgia, and “what they do is they are a head-hunter company that searches for the replacement of the city manager.”
The Mercer Group sent back a proposal that outlines the scope of the work. It requires about a 90-day time frame.
Mayor Duke reviewed the steps of the process that included a position analysis, recruitment process, candidate resume review/screening, approval of a semi-finalist list, background checks, interview process, and negotiations.
Mayor Duke noted that The Mercer Group comes recommended by both GMA (Georgia Municipal Association) and ACCG (Association of County Commissioners of Georgia). There is a fee of $17,500. People associated with The Mercer Group have been in this business for over 30 years and it comes as “a highly recommended head-hunter’s association,” he said. Councilwoman Celestine Hayes said she didn’t understand “why we would need them to come in, that the head- hunter’s group would pick the candidates and bring them back to us so in that way, we really don’t have a say, we have to go with what they’re saying.
“I thought that when we went into executive session, it was that the whole Council would be involved with the candidates. and we would make the decision and let them do the background check or whatever.
“You have all these things on the internet with Indeed that you can put in stuff for applicants, so why this?”
Mayor Duke said that “was a good point. We could do it that way, but we had four other Council Members that said they would like to use this plan here.”
Mayor Duke said “he’s not saying we can’t do it, but I told you that you could ask questions, or you can tell him what questions you want asked or you can ask the questions yourself. Either way.
“They’re just going to do the preliminary work and find the people, make the advertisements, and narrow it down, but that would only be at your approval.”
Councilman Terry McClain asked, “Would we would give them a set of guidelines?”
Mayor Duke replied, “Yes, they would interview each of the elected officials to see what we’re looking for. He will spend time with each person individually to see what we’re looking for.”
Councilman McClain clarified that “he would then take that information and do a search based on what we tell him.” Councilwoman Hayes asked what date he would be speaking with the Council, and was advised it would be the first week of October.
Councilwoman Walter Cowart made a motion to accept The Mercer Group out of Athens, Ga., to perform the search. Councilman Jody Greene seconded. Council Members Cowart, Greene, and McClain voted in favor. Council Members Hayes and Greg Paige opposed. The motion passed 3-2.