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Ken Mix was named Watertown’s interim city manager after former City Manager Rick Finn abruptly submitted his resignation. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Kenneth A. Mix is one of 29 applicants who would like to fill the permanent city manager’s job.

Mr. Mix has been in the position on an interim basis since former City Manager Rick Finn abruptly resigned on Jan. 24.

Mr. Mix, the city’s former planning and community development coordinator, on Thursday confirmed that he’s submitted a resume for the job that will pay an initial annual salary in the range of $110,000 to $130,000.

He declined to comment further.

“If I’m really interested, I can’t respond to this,” he said.

When he was appointed to fill the interim position last January, he agreed to work in the position until the end of the year before expressing interest in the job on a permanent basis.

The City Council will meet on Monday night in an executive session to discuss the 29 candidates and where to go from there. Applicants had until Sept. 4 to submit a resume. Council members began the behind closed door discussion on Tuesday night.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith has said the goal is to have someone in the position by Jan. 1. Interviews will be conducted in the coming weeks. The mayor said 10 of the applicants are from the area and he recognized the names of three of them. He declined to identify any of the candidates.

Former Ogdensburg City Manager John C. Krol is conducting the search for the city. Mr. Krol, who will attend Monday night’s executive session, dropped off a packet of information about the candidates, the mayor said.

While taking just a quick look at the pool of candidates, Mayor Smith intends to spend some time on Friday and more over the weekend reviewing the applicants.

The mayor surmised that council members will identify three or four candidates as finalists, declining to talk about Mr. Mix’s interest in the position.

“You’ll have to ask Ken about it,” he said, adding that he likes the pool of candidates.

Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero said three of the candidates have expressed interest in the job before. She, too, said there are some good candidates.

The search process was delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Mix has helped lead the city through a financial crisis during the pandemic.

The City Charter stipulates the city will have a two-year employment contract with the city manager. The city manager is required to reside within the city.

In November, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner filed a complaint against Mr. Finn with the city, and subsequently with the state Division of Human Rights, claiming Mr. Finn caused a hostile work environment.

While Mr. Finn resigned, City Council determined that he did not cause a hostile work environment, but found other issues that did not rise to the level of a hostile work environment. He and council members agreed he would resign.

Ms. Gardner is currently on paid leave after she was suspended for insubordination and misconduct charges associated with her complaint while she waits her future with the city.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(3) comments

Holmes

Think about it, what positive thing has any of the former CM’s in recent times made on the city?

Linfields

Good for him!!! I hope the Council makes the right decision (this time! LOL)

rdsouth

Absolutely, hire from within. Maybe "hotshots" from out of town ain't all that. They seem to be panning out to be substantially less than all that.

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