A national search for Westerville's next city manager will soon be underway.

After leading the city for more a dozen years, David Collinsworth announced in April that he would retire in January 2021.

Christa Dickey, Westerville community affairs director, said Raftelis of Cincinnati, formerly Novak Consulting Group, would be conducting the search for a base fee of $24,500.

Dickey said Julia Novak would lead the search and is preparing recruitment materials for national distribution and interviewing Westerville leadership.

Dickey said the city expects the process to begin in full by mid-July, and Westerville City Council could begin interviews as soon as September.

Council began summer recess after the July 1 meeting and returns Sept. 1.

At the end of April, a request for proposals was issued to solicit interest from executive recruitment firms to handle the city manager recruitment process.

The other firms that were interviewed include Management Partners of Cincinnati; Ralph Anderson of Sacramento, California; and BeecherHill of Columbus.

The firms council considered have been involved in securing chief executive officers for the Ohio cities of Powell, Upper Arlington, Centerville and Montgomery, as well as Washington Township in Franklin County, the Central Ohio Transit Authority and John Glenn International Airport, according to Dickey.

Collinsworth said Novak/Raftelis performed three successful professional staff recruitments for Westerville in the past 10 years, including the selection of Kim Sharp, former deputy director of planning and development; LeeAnn Shortland, director of finance; and Randy Auler, director of parks and recreation.

Dickey said there is planned overlap between hiring the new city manager and Collinsworth's retirement, so the process could be completed this fall and certainly by the end of the year to accommodate Collinsworth's departure in January.

Julie Colley, Westerville assistant city manager, also plans to retire at the same time as Collinsworth.

The new city manager will have the opportunity to appoint the next assistant city manager.

Collinsworth intends to remain in Westerville with his wife, Jane, and family. Colley also plans to stay in Westerville with her husband, Dave, and near family and grandchildren.

Both Collinsworth and Colley plan to continue to serve with the Westerville Sunrise Rotary.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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