Former Pataskala service director Benjamin King and Robert Schaumleffel of Westerville are the two finalists in Pataskala's search for a city administrator.

Former Pataskala service director Benjamin King and Robert Schaumleffel of Westerville are the two finalists in Pataskala's search for a city administrator.

King's name was added to the list of five people interviewed and he was interviewed two weeks ago, said City Councilman Tim Hickin, chairman of the city's ad hoc search committee.

The committee also includes City Council members Dan Hayes and Melissa Gibson and Mayor Mike Compton, who will appoint the new administrator after the committee makes its recommendation.

The committee met June 26 to review information compiled from the interviews. After coming out of an executive session, Hickin said, the committee passed a motion to accept King as its first recommendation to Compton and Schaumleffel as its second recommendation.

Hickin said the committee also recommends City Council approve a two-year contract and an annual salary of $91,000 for the new administrator, with a $1,000 monthly stipend if the candidate moves to Pataskala.

The job posting lists the salary range from $80,000 to $110,000, with the potential for residency incentives if the candidate moves to the city.

"Essentially, that ends the ad hoc committee's participation," Hickin said. "That's all council charged us with."

Compton said he anticipates making a recommendation on one of the administrator candidates at the next City Council meeting, scheduled July 7.

Compton said last week King would be his first choice but he had not yet confirmed an offer of employment.

Compton said Law Director Rufus Hurst was preparing a compensation package for the candidates.

King worked for Pataskala for six-and-a-half years and filled in for the administrator several times.

He left Pataskala on Feb. 28 to become director of operations for Violet Township.

He declined comment last week.

Schaumleffel was the town manager for Red Springs, N.C., through April 2012 and has past experience in central Ohio, having worked as a city manager in Powell from 1988 to 1996 and serving as an interim village administrator in New Albany for six months in 1996 and as special assistant to the city manager in Dublin from September 1996 to July 1997.

"I think it's a growing community and a great location," Schaumleffel said of Pataskala.

He said he has a daughter who lives in Pataskala and much of his family lives in Zanesville, where he grew up, so he'd like to stay in the area.

"For professional and family reasons, it works real well," he said. "I also think I bring something to the table with my long experience in city management."

The ad hoc search committee in May narrowed the list of candidates who applied for the position from 17 to six.

One of those six -- Dennis Recker of Whitehouse -- had accepted another position by the time the interviews were scheduled.

The other candidates interviewed in late May were:

* Donna Dettling of Gregory, Mich., manager of the village of Dexter.

* Richard Giroux of Sebring, city manager of Sebring.

* Steven Golnar of Loveland, city manager of Rawlins, Wyo., through April 2013.

* Alan Lanning of Steamboat Springs, Colo., city manager for Central City.

Pataskala's utilities director, Nathan Coey, has been acting city administrator since Timothy Boland left in December. City Council had declined to renew Boland's contract.