By Ashley Rader
Elizabethton’s city council members will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss finalists for the position of city manager.
Mayor Curt Alexander said the city received 130 applications for city manager, with 127 arriving before the application deadline.
The city manager’s position opened with the Jan. 4 retirement of Fred Edens, who had held that position since April 2008.
Municipal Technical Advisory Service Consultant Pat Hardy and city Personnel and Risk Management Director Angie Lyons reviewed the applications and narrowed them down to a top five candidates and a list of three possible good candidates.
The city manager finalist list includes:
- City Finance Director and Interim City Manager Jerome Kitchens. Kitchens is a certified municipal finance office, a certified municipal clerk. He has a master’s of business administration and a bachelor’s in political science and psychology.
- Gary Palmer. He has served as the assistant town manager in Farragut, Tenn., since May 2006. He is a 2010 graduate of the ICMA Leadership and Senior Executive Institute University in Virginia. He is currently pursuing a juris doctorate from the Duncan School of Law and has a master’s of public administration and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
- Steven Neilson. He has served as development coordinator in Johnson City since 1995. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Planners. He has a master’s degree in city management and in urban and regional planning and a bachelor’s in political science and public administration.
- Jeffrey Morse. He has served as town manager of Valdese, N.C., since 1980. He has master’s degree in city management and a bachelor’s in political science and speech.
- Samuel Noble. He has significant town manager experience and has a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in city management.
Three alternate candidates were Wayne Saunders, city manager of Clermont, Fla., from 1985-2012; Hugh King; and Melissa Peagler, senior planner for the city of Morristown since 2004.