The group that will review the applicants for Watertown’s new City Manager will include two residents and two employees appointed by City Council President Mark Sideris.
The Screening Committee will look at the applications and narrow down the candidates for City Manager to finalists, who will be forwarded on to the City Council. The members will have a chance to interview some of the candidates.
The Screening Committee will also include three City Councilors: Sideris, Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli and Caroline Bays, who chairs the Personnel and Town Organization Committee.
The interest in serving on the screening committee was high, Sideris said.
“I did not interview everybody. I didn’t think that was appropriate,” Sideris said. “One of the things I really thought was important in considering candidates, I wanted these to be people who have been engaged, but not the same people we keep bringing forward for a board or commission.”
The two residents chosen for the Screening Committee are Daniel D’Amico and Felicia Sullivan. D’Amico was a candidate for City Council and has participated as a citizen in many municipal meetings, including those for the Charter Review. Sullivan is an attorney and was part of the Unity Breakfast Organizing Committee, and served as honorary host for this year’s event.
Sideris also said he wanted to bring in some new perspectives, including younger people and some people who did not serve on the Charter Review Committee.
He thanked everyone who expressed interest in serving on the Committee.
“I want to say that because you didn’t get picked didn’t mean we didn’t appreciate you putting your name forward to volunteer,” Sideris said. “We have a number of boards and commissions and I would encourage everyone to look at the City website to find something: Planning, Zoning, Conservation — we have vacancies in a number of boards.”
The Screening Committee will also include two employees of the City. Sideris chose two high-profile people to serve.
“The first is the superintendent of schools (Dede Galdston). Education and the school budget is the largest we have,” Sideris said. “The new Manager is going to have to work closely with (the schools) and I think the superintendent is the appropriate choice.”
The second appointment is Steve Magoon, the interim Deputy Town Manager, who is also Assistant City Manager and Director of the Department of Community Development and Planning.
“Steve is a long time employee. He is going to be here for a while and I appreciate his experience,” Sideris said.
On Tuesday, the Council reviewed the draft job information document for the City Manager opening. It will soon be published, and will run for about a month, according to Bernie Lynch the consultant working with the Council on the Manager search. At a Community Forum, Lynch said the ad will run in multiple places, including state municipal organizations, as well as job boards for organizations representing people of color, sexual orientations, women and other groups.