CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two city of Charlotte officials are among three finalists for the city manager position, the city announced Tuesday, as the search for Curt Walton’s replacement nears an end.
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and Assistant City Manager Ruffin Hall are finalists, along with Ron Carlee, chief operating officer for the International City/County Management Association.
Kimble, who applied for the job when Walton was hired in 2007, has been in charge of many of the city’s large economic development projects, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the museums that surround the Duke Energy Tower on South Tryon Street. He has been the city’s point person in negotiations with the Carolina Panthers over Charlotte’s proposed contribution to renovate Bank of America Stadium.
Hall is an assistant city manager with duties that include transit and engineering and property management. He was previously budget director. The last two city managers – Walton and Pam Syfert – both came from the budget office.
Carlee is the lone outside candidate to make the list of finalists. He has been with the Washington, D.C.-based International City/Council Management Association since 2009. Before that he was county manager in Arlington County, Va., from 2001 to 2009.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said he wanted the city’s consultant, The Waters Group, to let candidates know that he and the City Council were seriously considering hiring an outside candidate.
Walton and Syfert were both hired from within, and Foxx had said he was worried that Charlotte had a reputation for only hiring internal candidates.
Foxx and council members conducted interviews with candidates for the manager job this week. In the past month, some elected officials were disappointed with the number and quality of outside candidates who applied, according to people familiar with the closed-session discussions.
The public can meet the finalists at a public forum Wednesday at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 600 E. Fourth St. in uptown. A reception with the finalists is planned for 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of the government center.
Then at 6:30 p.m., attendees will move to the second floor to meet with the finalists in smaller groups.
The city is looking for someone to succeed Walton, who retired in December after 27 years with the city, including five as manager.
Julie Burch, who was an assistant city manager, is the interim manager. She is not a candidate for the permanent manager job.
It’s possible that Foxx and council members could make a decision soon. A closed session meeting has been scheduled for 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The original schedule posted on the city’s website said the City Council was expected to pick the new city manager during a closed session on Monday, and extend an offer to the candidate the next day.
Two other internal candidates didn’t make the cut to become finalists: Pat Mumford, who heads Neighborhood and Business Services for the city, and Eric Campbell, an assistant city manager.