City extends deadline for applications to city attorney position

Mayor Bill Knight has agreed to allow an executive search firm to extend the deadline for applications from candidates for an open city attorney position by almost two weeks.

The original deadline was Monday, and Knight said he approved a request by the Mercer Group to extend the deadline to Nov. 27.

“It did not start as quickly as they had hoped as far as their response on the initial search,” Knight said, adding that the search firm has taken the additional step of advertising with position with the North Carolina State Bar.

Knight said that in his experience as an employer it is not unusual to extend application deadlines in recruitment efforts.

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Vaughan said she had been unaware of the extension.

“I’m sure the reason they extended it is because they didn’t get the number or the quality of applications that they had anticipated,” she said.

Knight bristled at a perception expressed by voters at candidate forums before the election and amplified in the news media that the city might face difficulty recruiting a new city attorney and a new city manager because of the council’s reputation for division and turmoil.

“I think it’s time to start speaking positively about what’s going on in Greensboro,” he said. “This is an opportunity to bring in a first-rate city attorney to a first-rate city.”

The position profile posted by the search firm describes Greensboro as “one of the most historic, diverse, and progressive city governments in the southeastern United States”:

Greensboro is a desirable workplace with a very stable council-manager form of government, an excellent executive team, and a highly educated and committed staff. The community values its schools, commerce, cultural diversity, emphasis on social justice and transparent and involved government.

The job profile outlines the qualities the city is seeking in its next city attorney:

Clear communicator, patient, with strengths in facilitating the legislative process, parliamentary procedure, open meetings, and open records. Skills in intergovernmental and interpersonal relations as well as a proven record of giving sound, reasoned advice on controversial issues.

The job posting at the Mercer Group website cites the new Nov. 27 deadline, but a document advertising the job that can be accessed from the Jobs page on the city's website references the old Nov. 14 deadline.

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