The search for a new assistant city manager has been narrowed to two.

The search for a new assistant city manager has been narrowed to two.

Worthington City Manager Matt Greeson announced on Tuesday that the finalists are John Weithofer, the retired city manager of Miamisburg, Ohio, and Robyn Stewart, assistant city manager of Leavenworth, Kansas.

Both are scheduled for a second round of interviews with Worthington city staff and community leaders during the first week of June, after which Greeson will decide who to hire to fill the position left empty after Paul Feldman retired at the end of April.

Both finalists were among the 55 people who applied for the position.

Those applications were screened by a panel of city department heads and other employees, who made recommendations to Greeson.

He officially interviewed four applicants, though he informally talked to others over lunch or during meetings of the Ohio City Managers Association.

The four finalists were also interviewed by panels of city leaders and Meribah Mansfield, director of the Worthington Libraries, and Melissa Conrath, superintendent of Worthington City Schools.

Greeson called the two who made the cut "talented successful generalists in local government management."

"Both are really skilled and knowledgeable individuals who have experience relevant to Worthington in terms of economic development and managing communities of roughly 30,000 people," Greeson said.

Miamisburg is a city of 20,000 located south of Dayton in the Miami Valley. The community was founded in 1818.

Leavenworth is a community of 35,000 people in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It is located in northeast Kansas on the Missouri River and was the first city in Kansas, founded in 1854.

Weithofer, 55, was city manager from 1988 until his retirement in 2006.

Among the accomplishments he mentioned in his application letter are establishing the city's human resources department, which developed a safety and risk management program that reduced the city's injury rates and insurance claims; initiating a citywide technology master plan; and hiring the first public information officer.

He said that he also worked closely with federal officials as part of the conversion of a federal facility into a technology park, resulting in $33-million in grants for economic development.

Weithofer was assistant city manager of Miamisburg from 1980 to 1988. He has a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's of public administration from Northern Kentucky University.

Stewart has been assistant city manager since February 2006 and was interim city manager for ten months during 2007. She has worked in local city government for 14 years, including serving as public information officer for Leavenworth from 2000 to 2003; senior management assistant of Overland Park, Kansas, from 1996 to 2000; and management intern of Johnson County, Kansas, 1995-96.

Stewart grew up in Columbus, leaving Ohio to attend the University of Kansas, where she received a master's degree in public administration. She also has a bachelor's in political science from Wittenberg University in Ohio.

Because he had not worked in Ohio before taking over as city manager in December 2007, Greeson had said that it was important that the new city manager be familiar with Ohio laws.

He said Stewart is the exception.

"There is really a seasoned group of department heads here who know Ohio law," Greeson said.

During their visits next week, the finalists will be interviewed by a panel of community leaders; spend time with the city hall staff; take a second tour of the city; and face a final interview with Greeson.

"It's a tough decision," he said.