'You get what you pay for': Mount Carmel looking for new city manager

Jeff Bobo • Oct 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM

MOUNT CARMEL - Former mayor and current city manager Gary Lawson wants to retire, which means Mount Carmel is in the market for a new manager.

But, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen wants to kill two birds with one stone.

City recorder Marian Sandidge is expected to retire in 2018, so the winning candidate for the city manager job will also be expected to perform Sandidge's duties as well.

The job vacancy is currently being advertised, and the deadline to file an application is Wednesday. As of Monday there were five applications submitted.

Candidates will be interviewed by the full board on Oct. 17.

During its Sept. 26 meeting the BMA agreed to advertise for applications for a city manager who will fulfill the duties of both city administrator and recorder.

Although there were already two applications on file at that time, those had to be thrown out and the applications filed again.

Alderman Diane Adams also suggested that the board create a policy which addresses salary, benefits and a job description for the new city manager position.

Salary is also a concern for the board. Lawson said city manager salaries can be as high as $180,000, or ad low as $45,000.

"I know you can get some people for $45,000, but some of them you won't, depending on experience," Lawson told the board. "If memory serves me correctly, we paid our last city manager over $60,000 plus benefits, and that was the year 2000. This is 17 years later. I'm sure they're not as cheap as they were then."

Lawson added, "These people who turn in applications, I can ask them what their pay requirement would be, and give that to the board. Then you'd know we can have this person for $45,000, and this person for $60,000, and y'all decide if they're worth the money. ...Usually you get what you pay for."

The successful candidate will serve as deputy city manager until Lawson retires; and as deputy city recorder until Sandidge retires. Prior to their respective retirements Lawson and Sandidge will train the new city manager.

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