Cincinnati’s next city manager won’t be in place by the end of the summer as expected. Finalists for the job were due to speak with city council this month, but officials say part of the process has yet to begin.
Mayor Aftab Pureval’s final choice was due to get a council vote at a meeting next week. A representative from the Pureval office says the timeline has been delayed so they can get more input from city employees and community stakeholders. The next opportunity for Council to confirm a new City Manager will be in early September.
The city paid at least $60,000 to executive search firm Polihire, which promised to provide highly qualified, racially diverse candidates. The city also needs a permanent police chief. A separate executive search firm, CPS HR Recruiting, was just chosen this month. The next city manager should help make the final choice of the next police chief.
Twenty-one people applied to become city manager, the city’s highest-paying position (currently around $273,000 a year). City officials declined a document request from WVXU for a list of candidates. The Cincinnati Enquirer released the list earlier this week, after requesting the information “with the help of its attorney when the city expressed reluctance to release the full list.” The city then shared the information with WVXU as well.
Nominations came from 10 states across the country and one Canadian province.
The 18 men and three women have a wide variety of experience in local government. Two already work at City Hall: Acting City Manager John Curp and Deputy City Manager Sheryl Long. Another city employee also applied: building inspector Mark Gillespie, who started working for the city in August 2021.
Candidates include city and county administrators, mostly from communities smaller than Cincinnati. A couple quit their jobs in the past under somewhat controversial circumstances. A few come from the private sector rather than the public service.
Full list of candidates
Not all previous jobs are listed. Click on each name for a link to the full CV.
Bobby Boyd – Portage, Michigan
Current Occupation: Community Outreach and Diversity, City Manager’s Office
Previous jobs: Project Manager at Lowes/UHS (2019-2021), Commercial Development Account Executive at Comcast (2011-2018)
David Bryant – Cleveland, Ohio
Current Occupation: Cleveland Contracts Compliance Administrator
Previous jobs: Assistant Property Management Specialist at First Class Real Estate Team (2015-2022)
Brandon Caminero – Wixom, Michigan
Current job: Project Manager, NCMS and Director of the Co-Creator School of Athens (non-profit)
Previous jobs: Army Project Manager (2015-2020), Army Transport Logistics Manager (2009-2015), Army Network Manager (2005-2009)
John Curp – Cincinnati, Ohio
Current employment: Acting Cincinnati City Manager since January 2022
Previous jobs: Attorney at Blank Rome (2014-2021), Cincinnati City Solicitor (2008-2014), Attorney at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister (1995-2008)
James Freed – Port Huron, Michigan
(removed) Accredited City Manager through the International City/County Management Association
Current job: City Manager of Port Huron, Michigan since 2014
Previous jobs: City Manager of Stanton, Michigan (2011-2014), Village Manager of Lakeview, Michigan (2008-2014)
The International City/County Management Association censured Freed and revoked his City Manager titles last month, according to the Port Huron Times Herald. The censorship related to “a social media post addressed to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and an email stating that he had not pursued the employees’ COVID vaccine mandate.”
Nichalos Gardner – Fairfax, Virginia
Current occupation: Vice President of Engineering and Architecture for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (since 2017) Architecture (since 2017)
Previous jobs: Director of transport and public works in Saint-Louis (2015-2017)
Mark Gillespie – Cincinnati, Ohio
Current employment: City of Cincinnati building inspector since August 2021
Previous jobs: Project Manager for Overberg Construction (2019-2020), Sales Analyst for Tyson Foods (2015-2019), Maintenance Supervisor for Village of Newtown (2014-2015)
David Johnston – Ft. Wright, Kentucky
Current job: unknown
Previous jobs: City Manager of Covington, Kentucky (2017-2021), City Manager of Maple Valley, Washington (2009-2016)
Mark Kummer – unknown
Current job: unknown
Previous jobs: Sloan Fellow at MIT (2020-2021) President of Mid America Logistics in St. Louis (2016-2020)
Sheryl Long – Cincinnati, Ohio
Current job: Assistant City Manager of Cincinnati since April 2019
Previous jobs: City of North College Hill City Administrator (2016 to 2019), City of North College Hill Communications Manager (2013 to 2015)
Patrick Marsh – Fernley, NV
City manager accredited by the International City/County Management Association
Current Occupation: Acting City Manager of Fernley, Nevada
Previous jobs: City administrator of Fitchburg, WI
According to the Fitchburg Star, Marsh stepped down as city administrator in January 2021 before an investigation into alleged misconduct could be completed. The newspaper reports that Marsh was arrested in Myrtle Beach in October 2020 “after allegedly getting into a fight in a restaurant for refusing to wear a mask and complaining about a long wait for a table.”
Marsh was recently a finalist to be the next city manager of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, according to the Lake Mills leader.
Mark McCormack – Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Current job: director of planning and zoning for the Dearborn County Plan Commission (Indiana) since 2006
Previous jobs: Zoning Administrator for the Dearborn County Plan Commission (2003-2006), Designer/Planner/Builder for The Performance Group (2002-2003)
Michael Meleca – Toronto, Ontario
Current Occupation: Senior Manager (Director), Ryerson University Project Management Office
Previous jobs: VP Construction and Development (contract) for Amacon Developments (2017-2018), Capital Development Advisory Committee for North York General Hospital (2016-2020)
Chris Miller – Tyler, TX
Current employment: County Administrator of King George County Virginia since July 2021
Previous positions: independent private contractor (2020-2021), executive director of the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority (2016-2020)
Patrick O’Connor – Atlanta, Georgia
Current job: unknown
Previous jobs: CFO of College Park, GA (2017-2018), Acting CFO of Fulton County, GA (2014-2015), CFO of Fulton County, GA (1996-2014)
O’Connor was fired from Fulton County in 2015 after an audio recording surfaced of him complaining to county management, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Col Willie – Abingdon, Maryland
Current employment: CEO Wilmington (Delaware) Housing Authority since November 2019
Previous jobs: Director of Operations, Rochester (New York) Housing Authority (April to November 2019), Chief Financial Officer of Marin County (California) Housing Authority (2018-2019)
Sadia Sattar – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current Occupation: Associate Budget Manager of Analytics and Communications for Philadelphia (2019-Present)
Previous jobs: senior partner for Guidehouse LLP in DC (2018-2019), budget and planning advisor for the District of Columbia government (2018), management and budget specialist/supervisor for the County Police Department Arlington (2017-2018) and Fire Department (2015-2017)
Jane Shang – Deltona, Florida
Current job: unknown
Previous jobs: City Manager for Deltona, Florida (June 2015 to January 2020), Deputy City Manager El Paso, Texas (2008 to 2015)
Shang resigned from his post in Deltona, Fla., after a vote of no confidence from the city commission, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The reasons included “lack of communication, concerns from several city employees about Shang’s management style, and an agreement allowing a firefighter accused of sexual harassment to eventually retire.”
Robert Sivick – Dalton, Georgia
Current job: County Administrator for Whitfield, Georgia, since 2021
Previous jobs: County Administrator for Waushara County Wisconsin (2017 to 2021), City Manager for Willamina Oregon (2016 to 2017), City Attorney, Acting City Administrator, Acting Director of Human Resources for Grand Island Nebraska (2011 to 2016)
Jeffrey Weckbach – Cold Spring, Kentucky
Current job: Deputy administrator of the township of Colerain since 2018
Previous jobs: Hamilton County Senior Policy Manager (2017-2018), Hamilton County Budget Analyst (2014-2017)
Khalil Zaled – Palos Hills, Illinois
Current job: Vice President of Special Projects, KCI Technologies (since January 2018)
Previous jobs: Deputy City Manager of Public Works and Transportation for El Paso TX (June 2016 to January 2018), Deputy Mayor for Baltimore Operations (December 2012 to June 2016)