The public is invited to a Meet & Greet Reception on Monday, May 21 from 5:15 until 6:45 p.m. in the lobby of the Julian Carroll Convention Center to meet the four finalists for the position of Paducah City Manager.
On May 21 and 22, the finalists will be in Paducah. In addition to the Monday evening reception with the public, the candidates will be participating in face-to-face interviews with the Paducah Board of Commissioners, touring the city, and meeting with Department Directors.
In January, the Paducah Board of Commissioners selected Strategic Government Resources (SGR) of Keller, Texas to conduct and assist in a nationwide search for the recruitment and selection of Paducah’s next City Manager. At this time, SGR is continuing the vetting process on these candidates including a psychometric assessment, a thorough media search, and a rigorous background investigation.
The candidates under consideration to serve as Paducah’s next City Manager are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- James (Jim) Arndt has more than 14 years of local government experience and spent an additional six years as a police officer and three years serving in the United States Army. He currently serves the City of Effingham, Illinois, where he has worked as their City Administrator for the past eight years. He has also been the Administrator for the City of St. Clair, Missouri and the Village of Union City, Ohio. Arndt holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies, both from Eastern Illinois University, and is an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager.
- James (Jim) Halasz has been the County Administrator for Halifax County, Virginia for the past six years, and before that he spent twelve years serving as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Staunton, Virginia. In total he has more than 28 years of local government experience in addition to four years of experience working for Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. Halasz holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Michigan State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Siena Heights College.
- Cole O’Donnell has more than 20 years of local government experience. He most recently served the City of Dixon, Illinois as City Manager. Before that, he was the City Administrator for the City of East Moline, Illinois for five years and the City Administrator for the City of Algona, Iowa for almost 12 years. O’Donnell is a graduate of Iowa State University and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He also is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.
- (withdrawn as of May 19, 2018 from interview process) James (Mark) Rooney also has an accomplished background with more than 22 years of local government experience and a distinguished career in the United States Army. He most recently served as Village Manager for the Villages of Carpentersville and Wheeling, Illinois, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring from duty in 2014. Rooney holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and History from the University of Nebraska, is a Graduate of Command & General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and is also an ICMA Credentialed Manager.
Using the assistance of SGR, the City of Paducah advertised for City Manager applicants through April 13 which resulted in an applicant pool of 32 candidates from 17 states. On April 17, the Paducah Board of Commissioners met with SGR Senior Vice President Doug Thomas to review the applicants. That process narrowed the candidate pool to ten semifinalists. Those candidates then completed a comprehensive questionnaire, online video interviews, an applicant Predictive Index Assessment, and additional application materials. On May 9, the Paducah Board of Commissioners narrowed the field to the four finalists listed above.
Parks & Recreation Director Mark Thompson has been serving as Interim City Manager since January 13.