Hilliard's transition toward its first city manager took another step forward May 22 as the city began accepting applications for the position.

The opening was posted May 22, with no deadline to submit, said Anna Subler, communications administrator for Hilliard.

City leaders will begin a review of applications July 8 and possibly schedule interviews, but they plan to continue to accept applications after that date, she said.

Subler said May 28 she did not know how many applications have been submitted thus far.

The city-manager transition committee consists of councilmen Pete Marsh and Andy Teater, Council President Kelly McGivern, council clerk Lynne Fasone, human-resources director Julia Baxter and communications director David Ball.

The city's contract with Novak Consulting Group is not to exceed $24,500, plus expenses, according to Ball.

Last November, voters approved a city-charter amendment that changed Hilliard's form of government from that of a strong mayor to a city manager, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

In a city-manager form of government, a City Council-appointed city manager who serves at the pleasure of City Council but typically under contract oversees the day-to-day administrative functions of the city and the city's department directors.

City Council is seeking "a skilled local government professional who is a strong and proactive leader, an excellent communicator and committed to exceptional customer service and sound financial management," Ball said.

The city-manager profile, posted on Hilliard's website, hilliardohio.gov, was approved by City Council, Ball said.

The salary range is $155,000 to $195,000, according to hilliardohio.gov.

"Having the assistance of a firm such as Novak will ensure the person selected for this position is able to help our community make the transition as smooth as possible," McGivern said.

Council members have indicated that the city manager might be brought on board in a transitional period later this year "to learn the ropes" with Mayor Don Schonhardt, Ball said.

Schonhardt is in the final year of his fourth term as the elected mayor.

"Changing our form of municipal government is a significant step for our community. ... We know how important it is to hire the right person for the position," McGivern said.