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Rincon set to push ahead with city manager search in Jan.
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As Rincon City Council members and city staff finalize the budget for fiscal year 2012, the search for a new city manager likely won’t resume until next month, Mayor Ken Lee said.

The city received 38 applications from across the country for the position.

“There are some pretty strong applicants and certainly some that will be looked at very closely and some that will be considered very strongly,” Lee said. “I expect that by the middle of January that we’ll be at the point where we’re ready to do some interviews.”

The holiday season, coupled with the city’s push to get its budget done before the start of the year, is pushing the search back until next month.

Lee said they also may schedule a work session to go through the city manager applications in more depth.

“We have made the first initial pass through the applications and narrowed it down somewhat. That’s as far as we’ve gotten,” he said. “We haven’t gotten into them in any depth and have not conducted any interviews.”

Mike Phillips resigned in August after just over two years in the position.

“We’re trying to put this budget process behind us,” Lee said. “We’ve been involved in our budget process, and it’s been bad timing to do a city manager search. The good thing is there hasn’t been any urgency. Not that it’s not important, but we have good, qualified staff in place who are functioning really quite well.”

City council members held a budget workshop last night, and Lee said they hoped to get the budget wrapped up last night. If not, they will hold one more workshop before officially presenting a FY12 budget.

Even without a city manager, the budget process has gone smoothly, Lee said, and he credited city finance director Wesley Corbitt and city planner LaMeisha Kelly for their work. Corbitt and Kelly have worked with city department heads to get their input on the pending budget.

“I don’t think we could have anyone more qualified to be our numbers man, and he has really done a good job of preparing the budget,” Lee said. “Wesley has done a good job of presenting a budget to us that has needed very little tweaking. It’s been an easy budget process for us. It’s almost done.”