Gardner is again seeking city administrator applicants.
Mike Press, interim city administrator, told council members he had received 35 resumes as of Feb. 6. He anticipates about 100 applicants by the end of February.
Mayor Dave Drovetta will lead a committee of council members Kristina Harrison and Chris Morrow in narrowing the field before the full council will vet final applicants.
During the Feb. 6 council meeting, council member Larry Fotovich said he’d like to be involved in the process of filtering applicants, but Drovetta said he’s made his decision about how the hiring process.
“If you’re not happy about it, I’ve made my decision,” Drovetta said.
“I’m telling you I’m unhappy,” Fotovich said. “I want to be involved in it and I think the rest of the council should too.”
According to Gardner’s charter, the Mayor appoints or hires a candidate with council approval.
“I want to insure the process is not going to go the way it went the last time,” Drovetta said of his decision to use a few select council members to narrow the field.
Last year, council members interviewed three candidates to replace Stewart Fairburn, who took a job with the city of Chickasha, Okla., last February.
One applicant, an administrator in another Johnson County city, withdrew his name from consideration after his name was leaked to a Shawnee Mission blog as a possible Gardner candidate. A second candidate withdrew when the city he worked for gave him a raise to stay.
After the loss of two of the three final candidates, council members halted the hiring process to regroup. Press was hired to work as an interim administrator and to help spear-head the efforts for a new administrator.