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Watertown City Hall. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Hiring a new city manager will take six months or more, according to Mayor Jeffrey E. Smith.

Mayor Smith said Tuesday that the process to hire a new city manager could take until June or July.

“Historically, that’s what it takes,” he said.

On Monday night, City Council members unanimously agreed to again hire retired Ogdensburg City Manager John C. Krol to help find a new manager.

He’ll be responsible for finalizing a new job description, publicizing the opening in state and national trade publications, reviewing applications and weeding out non-qualified applicants for the council.

He’ll come up with a list of people for telephone and in-person interviews before council decides on a replacement for former City Manager Rick Finn, who abruptly resigned on Jan. 24.

Ideally, the mayor would like to find a local person to become the new city manager, but “we need to find the best candidate,” he said.

Mr. Krol, of Waddington, will be paid $12,000 to recruit candidates for the job. He served in a similar capacity in 2012, when former City Manager Sharon Addison was hired, and when Mr. Finn was appointed in 2018.

Mr. Krol also held the interim city manager job until Ms. Addison came on board and he was at one time offered the city manager job, but turned it down.

Mr. Finn resigned after the completion of an investigation into a workplace harassment complaint filed by city Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin Gardner.

The City Council had determined that Mr. Finn’s alleged behavior did not rise to the level of having created a hostile work environment, but that “other concerns and issues arose during the investigation which are of concern to both Mr. Finn and the City Council.”

Kenneth A. Mix, retired planning and community development coordinator, has been named as the interim city manager.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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