The city of Dothan’s administration could grow in the near future as leaders have launched the search for the municipality’s first assistant city manager.
Officials published an eight-page brochure on the city’s website describing Dothan’s facilities, economy, and other attributes on Monday along with a one-page summary of the position description and requirements. The deadline to apply is set for Nov. 15, but the brochure indicated the hiring process will move forward once the city receives a “sufficient pool of well-qualified applicants.”
City leaders have discussed the need to hire an assistant city manager in recent years, but commissioners eliminated the position during budget discussions in 2015. Mayor Mark Saliba noted the current commission has expressed an interest in creating the job for the past two years.
“The commission has identified it as one of the top priorities, and it’s been one over the last two years,” he said.
Last year the commission began the search for the current city manager, Kevin Cowper. Now that Cowper has been hired, officials are moving forward with the search for his assistant — something that will not involve the commission, Saliba said.
Saliba said hiring an assistant city manager allows Cowper to focus more on the priorities and plans the commission sets for the city. The assistant city manager will be able to handle more of the day-to-day business and customer service operations, he added.
Hiring an assistant city manager also assists the city commission should the city manager position become vacant, a point District 1 Commissioner Kevin Dorsey argued in 2015 during budget discussions.
“It makes the transition easier when you have someone in that role,” he said Monday. “Even if we don’t pick them, at least they still know what’s going on.”
Dorsey noted many of the departments have designated assistant leaders, and the same should apply to the administration.
The assistant city manager search will be processed through the city’s personnel process.
Resumes are scored based on experience and education, and Cowper will interview the top three to five candidates.
In addition to the assistant city manager position, city leaders have also launched the search for the next Dothan Leisure Services director. Elston Jones, who has served as DLS director since 2008, recently submitted his retirement papers.
Jones has worked for the City of Dothan for 39 years.