By JESSICA WETZLER
ELKTON — After almost three years with no one in the position, Elkton is now formally searching for a town manager.
When Josh Gooden was elected mayor in November, he said he wanted to find a full-time town manager as soon as possible.
“Filling the position is a top priority because it is needed for the long-term and the short-term planning of the town,” Gooden said Monday. “The town manager helps to make day-to-day decisions and bring all the department heads together.”
Keeping his word, the town began advertising the position on Dec. 22 asking those with experience in public administration at an executive level or similar corporate managerial experience to submit a resume and salary requirements to the Elkton clerk of council.
The salary for the position is still in question, but Gooden said Town Council will meet today to discuss the details of the position. The most recent town manager, Kevin Whitfield, earned an annual salary of $66,851, according to town staff in 2016.
Though council included the funding for a town manager in the fiscal 2018 and 2019 budgets, the hiring process had been delayed indefinitely.
Filling the job has been opposed by some council members, including former Mayor Wayne Printz, who Gooden defeated in the November election. Printz and others have been critical of previous managers, and say they believe the town operated better with Printz as acting town manager and council members more involved in day- today operations.
Whitfield, who submitted his resignation before being fired by council in February 2016, had previous experience working with the town, serving as a police officer starting in July 2008 before being promoted to chief in November 2009. He replaced Kevin Fauber who stepped down under pressure from council in September 2013. Fauber served for two years before resigning and was the sixth town manager since
In January 2014, Whitfield said he believed he would be able to maintain a good working relationship with council and provide the longevity needed to address some of the town’s long-standing issues, such as debt load. When he resigned two years later, Printz volunteered to fill the position on an interim basis, and filling the position full time has remained on the back burner.
Gooden said the position will be open until the town finds a successful candidate. The new town manager will be required to live within Elkton and given six months to do so if they live outside the town.
“I am really hopeful we get a good pool of candidates, and I am looking forward to the interview process,” he said.