Newark is expected to begin interviewing for a cemetery superintendent this week.

Newark is expected to begin interviewing for a cemetery superintendent this week.

Public-services director Kathleen Barch said the city received three internal applications, as well as 38 other candidates who applied for the position.

Both Kay Hartman and Ralph "Buster" Prince have applied for the job. Hartman was the city's cemetery superintendent, and Prince was the parks director before Newark City Council agreed to combine their positions into one with a reorganization of both departments.

The third internal candidate is Jeff Hotchkiss, who also works in the parks department.

Under the reorganization, both departments will remain separate, per the city's charter, though both departments will report to one supervisor.

"The charter requires the cemetery and parks departments to remain separate. That doesn't mean they can't report to one person," Barch said.

The two departments will share other personnel, as well, including some maintenance positions.

When it came time to advertise the position of cemetery superintendent, Barch said, the city knew it needed someone with a cemetery background -- someone with knowledge of regulations and procedures that are used exclusively in cemeteries.

Nine of the 41 applicants have "some cemetery experience, to varying degrees," Barch said.

The superintendent also has to have organizational skills to manage annual events for the parks department.

"We had a wide range of interest in the many people that applied," Barch said.

One aspect of the interviewing process that has been delayed has been the choice of the interviewing committee.

Newark Mayor Bob Diebold said the committee will consist of him, Barch, human-resources director Donna Sears and someone who does not work for the city.

Diebold said he was ready to appoint a local person to the committee but then learned the person had been used as a reference on one of the submitted résumés.

Barch said she hopes they will have another person in place by this week.

Diebold said all applicants will be asked questions about the position, giving the interviewers the opportunity to have candidates respond to a typical cemetery situation.

Barch said she hopes to have a new superintendent in place by Aug. 10. That's the official start date for a cemetery superintendent.

She said several other positions are affected by the reorganization. As positions are filled, other positions in the city could open. Barch said those interested in applying for a job should check the city's Web site regularly for postings.

lwince@thisweeknews.com