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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575

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City set to name official

Monday, January 27, 2014

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Martinsville officials are working to fill two top slots — police chief and assistant city manager, according to City Manager Leon Towarnicki.

The assistant city manager could be announced by the middle of this week, Towarnicki said.

“We have gone through the interview process and narrowed the field down to two or three candidates,” he said. “We are going through some notes now and hope to have a resolution within a few days.”

Progress also is being made on filling the police chief’s post, he said.

“We are working now with our HR (Human Resources) office to make contact with the Police Chiefs Association” to set up a panel to interview six to eight of the 19 applicants, Towarnicki said.

“We are going through the applicants now, looking at” factors such as education and background, “then we will screen the number of candidates down” to a manageable number — “we will probably pull the top eight” so that interviews can be comfortably completed in a day, Towarnicki said.

Those interviews likely will be scheduled for the first week in February, he added.

At this point, it is not known who will serve on the panel, Towarnicki said.

“It could be a combination of chiefs from other jurisdictions, and possibly even a representative from the state police. We will have to be sure that whoever is on the panel is not from an area where a candidate is coming from,” he said.

That is important because members of the panel will be involved in the interview process and will review qualifications and education, as well as rank and score the candidates, Towarnicki said.

“They won’t be from this area so they won’t be biased. They will look at the background, education and experience, and interview the candidates, and then make on their own recommendations,” Towarnicki said of the panel. “From there, we will decide,” he added.

Job seekers so far have included “a number of local candidates, and there were candidates from elsewhere” in the region and state, Towarnicki said. “There was even a candidate or two from outside of the state.”

In July, Mike Rogers retired from the chief’s post he had held since 1999. Rogers had a total of 33 years of service at the police department.

Capt. Eddie Cassady has worked for the police department since 1985 and is serving as interim chief. He has said he applied for the permanent job.

Starting salary is between $72,331 and $90,414 annually, officials have said.


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