Rincon City Council could hire a new city manager within the next two weeks after narrowing its choices down to two candidates.
Rincon will decide between Robert Anderson, currently of Surfside Beach, S.C., and Michael Phillips, now of Greenville, S.C. Surfside Beach is a suburb of Myrtle Beach.
“We had some pretty strong candidates,” Rincon Mayor Ken Lee said. “These seemed to be the two most likely candidates. We’re now in the process of determining which way we want to go. I feel like we’re close to getting something done soon.”
Lee said it is unlikely the council members will bring either Anderson or Phillips in for another interview. Each candidate has interviewed twice with the council.
“I think we’re pretty much done,” he said.
The mayor said council likely will contact the two candidates by letter and by phone to discuss the position.
The city received more than 40 applications for the job, which became open when Donald Toms resigned after a year and a half on the job.
“I feel like we’ve had a pretty strong pool,” Lee said.
Lee acknowledged that searching for a new city manager is a matter of routine, especially for smaller cities.
“Longevity in those positions is uncommon,” he said. “Tenure is not real long — they’re subject to changes in elected officials. And it’s hard to move up, too. The natural step up is to move up to a bigger city.”
The last search for a city manager was a protracted one, with council members re-opening the process after they weren’t comfortable with their initial pool of candidates. The second search allowed council members to interview Donald Toms, whom two council members had met at a Georgia Municipal Association event.
“We came across Don Toms almost by coincidence,” Lee said.
Toms, who had been city manager of the small west Georgia city of Bowdon, was chosen over Stuart Turille of Matthews, N.C. Toms was hired in August 2007 but was put on administrative leave in November 2008. He tendered his resignation, effective Jan. 9, the following month.