City manager chosen from 50 applicants

The City of Nanaimo shortlisted four candidates and interviewed two before hiring Tracy Samra as city manager.

Tracy Samra, Nanaimo’s new city manager, won a two-way contest for the top job.

Nanaimo’s City Manager Selection Committee, made up of mayor and council, shortlisted four candidates for city manager from more than 50 applications received in January.

Half of those on the short list declined interviews, according to John Van Horne, the city’s director of human resources, who said it’s not uncommon for candidates to drop out of the process.

You also don’t add names to the shortlist for the sake of adding names, he said, later adding that if you didn’t have an interest in the candidate as a group the first time, you would be making the addition without having the same basis for doing so as you did the first candidates.

“I’ve been involved in interview panels where you interview five people and only two really are of any interest,” he said. “Sometimes dragging out the list of interviewees just for the sake of that, you’re not necessarily making good use of your time.”

Van Horne complimented council on the calibre of the candidates they did shortlist and the ones ultimately interviewed, calling it “a very good group.”

Mayor and council, as well as Van Horne interviewed the candidates. Samra was announced as the new city manager at a city council meeting Monday.

The total salary of Samra has not been released, but the city manager said it’s under $200,000.

Ted Swabey, who rose up the ranks of city hall over 23 years, to become city manager in 2013 made $231,357 in his first full year as top bureaucrat. Al Kenning, how had a 35-year career with the city, made $237,768 in his last year as city manager.

news@nanaimobulletin.com

Tracy Samra, Nanaimo’s new city manager, won a two-way contest for the top job.

Nanaimo’s City Manager Selection Committee, made up of mayor and council, shortlisted four candidates for city manager from more than 50 applications received in January.

Half of those on the short list declined interviews, according to John Van Horne, the city’s director of human resources, who said it’s not uncommon for candidates to drop out of the process.

You also don’t add names to the shortlist for the sake of adding names, he said, later adding that if you didn’t have an interest in the candidate as a group the first time, you would be making the addition without having the same basis for doing so as you did the first candidates.

“I’ve been involved in interview panels where you interview five people and only two really are of any interest,” he said. “Sometimes dragging out the list of interviewees just for the sake of that, you’re not necessarily making good use of your time.”

Van Horne complimented council on the calibre of the candidates they did shortlist and the ones ultimately interviewed, calling it “a very good group.”

Mayor and council, as well as Van Horne interviewed the candidates. Samra was announced as the new city manager at a city council meeting Monday.

The total salary of Samra has not been released, but the city manager said it’s under $200,000.

Ted Swabey, who rose up the ranks of city hall over 23 years, to become city manager in 2013 made $231,357 in his first full year as top bureaucrat. Al Kenning, how had a 35-year career with the city, made $237,768 in his last year as city manager.

news@nanaimobulletin.com

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