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Manager Search could be near end

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Waycross could be a step closer to getting a City Manager.

The City Commission has called a meeting for noon, Tuesday, November 29, at City Hall.

Commissioners had called meetings Tuesday, November 8 and Wednesday, November 9. After those sessions were called to order, they were adjorned to executive sessions for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the position that has been vacant since Tonya Parrish resigned in December.

A similar scenario took place in early May that resulted in three finalists being named for the position from a few weeks after the May interviews. Joey Cason, Patrick Simmons and Chandler Williamson were revealed as the finalists at a called meeting June 3.

Commissioners voted to reopen the application process when they failed to reach a consensus on any of the trio. A motion on June 21 to hire Cason was voted down 3-2, and neither of the other finalists were offered in a following motion at that time.

The issue remained there until the five commissioners unanimously voted July 19 to reopen the search. None of the finalists from the original group said they were candidates in the second installment of the search.

The interviews earlier this month followed a search that closed October 4 with 23 applicants, Human Resources Director Marissa Hendrix said. The initial search drew 47 candidates.

Community Improvement Director Marc Hawkins is serving as Interim City Manager. Hawkins has a little more than three weeks remaining in his term. Hawkins replaced Fire Chief David Eddins on June 15. Eddins replaced Parrish when she officially departed the city December 15.

If no successor for Parrish has been hired by then, Hawkins would have to be replaced. The term of an interim manager is limited to six months during any one search.

That means a third person would need to be named should no replacement for Parrish be hired by December 15.

Parrish, then Tonya Miller, was hired in Waycross with the commission’s approval of a resolution on February 20, 2019. The Savannah native had been Director of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer for the Glynn County Board of Commissioners before taking the position in Waycross.

Her hiring ended a six-month search by the city following the commission’s dismissal of Raphel Maddox for “inappropriate conduct in the workplace.” She was the only finalist from group of 21 candidates.

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