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CU looks at consultant options in GM search

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The City Utilities’ General Manager Search Committee is moving forward with plans to research service options from consultants as it hopes to find a replacement for General Manager John Twitty, who is retiring in June.

Patrick Platter, attorney with Neale & Newman and chairman of the search committee, said the goal of using a consultant on a limited basis would be to keep costs down as much as possible. He said no cost ceiling on a consultant fees had been established at the Jan. 4 meeting.

“If we were to use one, I don’t expect that we would have a firm price set in mind,” Platter said. “That’s why we’ve been looking at a hybrid approach.”

Platter said it was too soon to say whether or not a consultant would be hired on a part-time basis. Twitty suggested at the Dec. 15 meeting that using a consultant alongside its own search efforts could assist the committee and keep costs low.

CU spokesman Joel Alexander said the utility company’s human resource department would put together an informal list of consultant service options for the committee to consider at a special meeting on Jan. 12.

Alexander said the search committee was formalized with five members at the Jan. 4 meeting: Tom Rankin, vice president of Sperry Van Ness/Rankin Co. LLC; Tom Finnie, retired Springfield city manager; Mike Peters, St. John’s vice president of public affairs; Lisa Officer, former CU Board of Public Utilities Chairwoman of Officer CPA Firm LLC; and Platter, current board chairman.

SBJ had reported the concerns expressed by public board member Dan Scott of Jericho Development Co. in a letter to members of CU’s executive committee after they had named a six-member search committee in December, which effectively gave them a majority of the 11-member board. Former board chairman Mark McNay of SMC Packaging Group was not included in the official search committee, despite being previously named a member.

Alexander said the five-member board was established to alleviate concerns about the search committee representing a majority of the board. At the Dec. 15 meeting it was determined that all 11 members of the board would be able to attend and offer recommendations at each search committee meeting.

The committee did name some of the qualifications it hopes to find in Twitty’s replacement, according to Platter.

“The job description we were discussing contemplates 10 years experience in either electrical operations, natural gas operations or water operations,” Platter said.

He said the committee felt public utility experience would be desirable, but not required.

Alexander said CU was looking to establish a Web page to collect citizen input in the process, and it is planning two public meetings in February, but has no dates set as of Jan. 5.

The committee established an informal timeline it hopes to meet in the selection process. If met, candidate interviews would occur in March, a decision would be made by April 8, and the new general manager would be in place by May 9.[[In-content Ad]]

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