Search on for next city manager

Pauls Valley officials are continuing the early stages of a search to find that right person to be the next local city manager.

Although all discussions are now in closed-door sessions, Vice Mayor Bonnie Meisel says the city council has already reached out for some help.

“The search has begun,” Meisel said about the initial process to someday soon find a replacement for James Frizell, who plans to retire after serving through the remainder of 2021.

“We’re reached out to the Oklahoma Municipal League. We have a contact there that’s guiding us in that search. We’re started advertising and posted the position in different places.

“We have a window of opportunity for this to be open.”

A few weeks ago Frizell announced he plans to step away into retirement when this calendar year ends. He has served in the position for the last 20 years.

During each of the most recent city council meetings all five members have set aside some time to convene in a closed executive session to talk more about the search.

As for Meisel, she has a good idea of the type of candidate that might be a good fit for the job.

“I’m looking for a person that has skills with people and experience running a city and possibly even a business,” she said.

“We want someone who’s a team builder and is good with the employees.

“I don’t think any of us are looking just at a career path someone has taken. We want someone who will support the Pauls Valley community and do everything in this city’s best interest.

With plenty of resumes already coming in Meisel says the council will “get into each one in more depth” as at some point interviews of those candidates will start to be scheduled.

A sheet provided by the city offers an even closer glimpse into what officials are looking for in the next city manager.

“The next Pauls Valley city manager should be an effective communicator, possess excellent listening skills, consensus builder, adaptable, strategic thinker, track record of accessibility and responsiveness to the governing body (city council), citizens, staff and a reputation for highest personal, professional and organizational integrity.”

As for education, a bachelor's degree in public administration, business administration, public policy, planning, finance or related field is sought or a master's degree in public administration.

Candidates should also have four to five years experience with a record of “achievement” as a city manager/administrator or “comparable department head in a full-service, quality-oriented community.”

“Have demonstrated outstanding financial management and budgeting skills. Have experience in infrastructure financing and the development of priorities for capital improvement programming, including expertise in financing options for long-term project.”

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