With at least a month left in the search and two more rounds of interviews, only one thing is known about the next Clayton town manager – it will be a man.
The town said it received 54 applications for the job, and last month, the Town Council and consultant Developmental Associates whittled the field to 11, all men. The council held another meeting Monday night aimed at cutting the list to six.
Of the 11 candidates left, all have experience as a town manager or assistant manager. All but two have master’s degrees and there are three out-of-state candidates.
The town hasn’t said whether it will reveal the names of the finalists but made it clear it wouldn’t reveal the 11.
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Nancy Medlin, interim town manager, said revealing the names of candidates at this stage of the search would be unfair and could expose those who don’t get the job to undue stress.
“Just over 50 people applied to be our next town manager, and we can only choose one,” Medlin said. “All of the other candidates will end up keeping their current jobs, and we don’t want to undermine their credibility with employees, or hurt their relationship with their elected officials, by revealing they applied to come to Clayton.”
The town is looking for its first manager in nearly two decades after the announcement in May that longtime manager Steve Biggs would depart to manage Christiansburg, Va. The town posted the job online in late May, and Clayton hopes to name its new manager by August.
Based on the job posting, Clayton expects to pay its new manager between $145,000 and $175,000. Among the qualifications, a master’s degree is preferred; a bachelor’s degree and 10 years in local government are required. The town also specified that experience as a town manager or assistant manager in a town the size of Clayton or larger was required. A stipulation of the job is that the manager must live in town within 12 months. Applications closed June 24, and the town council held its first review June 28.
Councilman Butch Lawter, who was not involved in that first review, said the council wants a manager with experience in the type of town Clayton is growing to become.
“We want somebody who is ahead of the curve of where Clayton is heading,” Lawter said. “It would be nice if one just jumped out.”
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson