published Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Red Bank resumes city manager search

After a failed attempt to appoint a city manager last winter, Red Bank commissioners are once again on the hunt for someone to head the city's staff.

"We are starting over from scratch, and just seeing what we get. We haven't been in a rush," said Red Bank Mayor Monty Millard.

Fourteen people have sent in applications from as far as Reno, Nev., and Jefferson, Ind.

So far only one local has applied: Keith Ponds, a CPA who owns a Chattanooga Raceway gas station on Signal Mountain Road.

The rest of the applicants' backgrounds range from a recent university graduate to business owners and an assortment of public administration employees.

Red Bank commissioners toiled through a months-long search and interview process late last year that resulted in a unanimous vote to appoint North Carolina city development director Randy Hemann to the post.

To commissioners' disappointment, Hemann later turned down the offer.

"We thought [Hemann] was the ideal candidate with the background and the experience he had, so we are looking for someone like him," said Millard.

None of the applicants in this year's search are repeats from last year's finalists, which included Hamilton County Republican Party head Marty Von Schaaf, Red Bank Fire Chief Mark Matthews and Chattanooga mayoral recall leader Jim Folkner.

After Hemann declined the post, commissioners put the search on hold to give Finance Director and interim City Manager John Alexander and his staff space to set up the city's 2013 fiscal year budget.

Alexander and city Recorder Ruth Rohen have shared most of the city manager duties since October 2011, when then-Manager Chris Dorsey was fired.

"We haven't lost much of a beat," said Millard. "John has done a very good job with the help of Ms. Rohen and the staff."

The city is cutting off application submissions July 27. After that, Millard said, commissioners will review applications on their own and hold a special workshop to narrow the list.

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