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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Official silent on top city job
Monday, August 6, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville Interim City Manager Leon Towarnicki is remaining silent about whether he has applied for the post on a permanent basis.
Sunday was the deadline to apply.
“I think the best thing for me to do,” Towarnicki said, “is to remain quiet and let the process (of hiring a permanent city manager) follow its course.”
He said that if he was to say publicly that he did not apply, there might be speculation as to why.
On the other hand, Towarnicki said that if he was to say that he applied, it might put “certain expectations” on Martinsville City Council to give him the job automatically, considering he has been doing it for about eight months.
“I don’t want to distract” from the council’s efforts to find the best person for the job, he said.
The council employs the city manager, who is the city’s top administrator.
Springsted Inc., a Richmond executive recruitment firm, is coordinating the city manager search. On Aug. 14, the firm is to give the council a report on the applicants, said Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins.
Under state law, information on specific applicants could be discussed in closed session. However, Adkins said general information about the status of the search, such as how many people applied and where they are from, will be presented during open session.
The council hopes to announce the hiring of a new city manager during the week of Sept. 10, she said.
Martinsville has been without a city manager since Clarence Monday left the position in January. He now is county administrator in Amherst County.
The council named Towarnicki, the city’s assistant city manager and public works director, interim city manager in December after Monday resigned.
A Henry County native, Towarnicki worked for a private engineering firm in Greensboro, N.C., before he was named Martinsville’s city engineer in 1982. Two years later, he was appointed public works director. He was appointed assistant city manager in 2007.
The advertisement for the city manager’s job said the council aims to hire someone with at least five to seven years of public or private management experience as a chief or deputy chief executive in an organization of similar size to Martinsville’s city government.
Other qualifications, according to Adkins and the ad, include understanding how municipalities operate and experience in strategic planning, finance and budgeting, economic development and redevelopment and bringing people together to solve community problems among a diverse population.
The next city manager will earn between $95,000 and $115,000 a year plus benefits, based on experience and qualifications, the announcement shows. When he left Martinsville, Monday was earning $118,320 annually.