Five names were selected Friday by a citizens advisory committee to send to the Cleveland City Council for consideration as the next Cleveland city manager.
The five are Angie Carrier, Joe Fivas, Mark Reeter, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood. The list is being sent in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage when the City Council considers the candidates.
Carrier is currently development services director in Johnson City, Tennessee. She has held leadership positions in other East Tennessee cities. Fivas has held leadership positions in towns in Michigan and Indian Trail, North Carolina. Reeter was county administrator in Bedford County, Va. through 2015. Summer is currently assistant city manager in Savannah, Tennessee. Underwood is currently assistant city manager in Daly City, California.
The citizens advisory committee was appointed by the City Council to aid in the search for a successor to City Manager Janice Casteel.
When Casteel announced her retirement, the City Council hired The Mercer Group, based in Atlanta, to consult with the citizens committee and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service of the University of Tennessee. The group received 63 applications from several states as well as locally.
The committee, plus James Mercer and Honna Rogers of MTAS, met weekly to narrow the list to the seven interviewed by video Friday.
The search advisory committee included former city manager Joe Cate, attorney Roger Jenne, Bank of Cleveland CEO Scott Taylor, Erwin Lowe, Beverly Johnson, Donald Humes and retired city police detective Danny Chastain.
The committee was facilitated by Larry Wallace whose law enforcement career included director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 1992-2003.
The committee chose Jenne to ask questions that the members crafted. The committee met all day Friday at Lee University's School of Communications. The candidates spoke from locations across the country.
Consultant James Mercer and committee members agreed a large number of very qualified people applied for the job. Mercer told the committee the response speaks well of the reputation of the city.
Janice Casteel began her career with the city in 1973. She has held many positions including finance director and city clerk for 25 years, 1981-2006. She has served a year as assistant city manager. She was appointed city manager July 1, 2007.
Casteel announced early this year her retirement after a 42-year career will be effective May 31.
In February the City Council contracted with The Mercer Group to guide the search after considering seven executive search firms. The list now goes to the Cleveland City Council for their consideration. The Council will conduct the final interviews before making a decision.
The citizens advisory committee included on front row, from left, Scott Taylor, Roger Jenne, Joe Cate, Donald Humes, Danny Chastain and facilitator Larry Wallace. In back, Erwin Lowe and Beverly Johnson.