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Process for city manager search in Sunnyside up in the air

The Sunnyside City Council has not yet decided which process to utilize when selecting a new city manager.

City Manager Mark Gervasi is set to retire April 6. As a result, the council must decide whether or not it will use the services of an outside organization for vetting any potential candidates for his position.

Councilman Jim Restucci this past Saturday during a special city council meeting said he liked the process utilized when Gervasi was hired. He felt a firm like Prothman and Company, the consultants used in 2010, would help ease the burden of the city council.

"The firm narrowed the number of candidates," said Restucci, stating he served on the city council when it made the decision without using the services provided by a consultant firm.

Mayor Mike Farmer said he was displeased with how the last consultant firm handled the process.

"I felt the council was led...there were several candidates the council wanted eliminated, but a consultant insisted we reconsider," he said.

Councilman Don Vlieger agreed, stating there were candidates he wanted to consider, but the firm steered him away from those individuals.

He said he would like to add the consideration of individuals living within a 50-mile radius of Sunnyside to the process.

Restucci said there are several executive search firms that can tailor the process to the council's specifications.

Farmer also said the council could look at the list of candidates that were under consideration in 2010. He said some may have found positions elsewhere during the past year-and-a-half. However, they may not have.

Councilman Jason Raines weighed in on the issue, stating he believes whatever process is decided upon for the purpose of securing a city manager, it should be open.

"If an individual submits (an application) to city hall instead of a search firm, they should also be considered," he said.

The city council agreed, but decided to hold off on further discussions regarding the matter. They decided an RFP (request for proposal) should be developed.

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