Residents are invited to meet and talk with five finalists for York County manager at a reception tonight at the Baxter Hood Center in Rock Hill.
The candidates, who hail from throughout the U.S. but all have experience working in municipalities in the Southeast, were announced by the York County Council last week.
Chairman Britt Blackwell said he’s happy with the finalists provided by The Waters Consulting Group, a Dallas-based company the council hired to recruit candidates. He said he’ll be watching tonight to see how they address residents’ concerns.
Councilman Bump Roddey said the current roster featured candidates with ample backgrounds, but he would like to have seen a female or minority candidate.
The position has been vacant since January, when County Manager Jim Baker left for a higher-paying job in Virginia.
The council has hired two different firms to head the search for candidates, quickly firing the first company after being displeased with the pool of applicants.
Two finalists have experience managing in county governments: Steve Layson and Bill Shanahan. Both hold administrative positions in Georgia.
Layson is the chief administrative officer of Bibb County, Ga., a post he has held for eight years. He also served as county administrator for Jones County, Ga.
On the resume he submitted to York County, Layson described himself as a “team player who can work independently,” with more than 18 years of local government experience.
He cited accomplishments that include management of Bibb County’s jail expansion and fostering economic development.
Before Shanahan took his current post as deputy administrator for the city of Augusta, Ga., he served as manager for Habersham County, Ga.
Over 16 years in local government, Shanahan pointed to efficiency measures that restructured the fire department and addressed violations in the human resources department.
The remaining three candidates lack county-level experience, but have worked extensively in city management:
• Bob Bartolotta, former city manager of Sarasota, Fla., resigned in 2012 amid allegations of computer fraud and tampering with public records – allegations that were later dropped by federal officials.
He has served in various city-level positions in Florida, Georgia, Delaware and Iowa, dating back to 1977.
On his resume, Bartolotta pointed to various fiscal and cost-cutting measures during his tenure in Sarasota, including downsizing financial staff and restructuring pensions.
• Rick Chaffin, most recently served as deputy city manager of McKinney, Texas, leaving in 2012.
Chaffin’s resume outlines more than 20 years as city manager for four other municipalities in Texas and Georgia. He pointed to his “strong moral character and unquestioned integrity” as leadership assets on his resume.
He also cited the successful completion of various capital projects such as park development, roads and fire stations.
• Joe Fivas, the town manager of Indian Trail, N.C., also served as a city manager in Owosso, Mich., for three years.
Prior to that, Fivas worked in various advisory legislative positions in Michigan. His accomplishments include establishing recreational and transportation bonds for Indian Trail.
Each candidate will be interviewed by the County Council behind closed doors on Tuesday night.
Blackwell said the council could make a decision that night.
Jie Jenny Zou • 803-429-4062