Gilbert moves up Council swearing-in to wrap up town manager search - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Gilbert moves up Council swearing-in to wrap up town manager search

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Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:33 pm | Updated: 2:39 pm, Thu Jun 23, 2011.

Gilbert’s new Town Council will be seated earlier than scheduled to finish the search for a town manager.

The new Council will be sworn in on June 14 instead of June 23. Incumbent Ben Cooper and challengers Eddie Cook, Victor Petersen and Jordan Ray were victorious in the recent Council elections, with incumbents Linda Abbott, Les Presmyk and Dave Crozier voted out.

The Council approved the date change during Monday’s meeting.

A list of finalists has not been released. Town spokeswoman Beth Lucas said the Council hopes to schedule interviews from June 15-24.

Abbott, Presmyk and Crozier will be invited to serve on a community panel involved in the manager search.

For a time, it appeared that a new town manager would be chosen before the new Council members were seated, putting victorious challengers in a position of having to work with someone they were not involved in hiring. However, the challenger candidates have been involved in the process to this point.

Cook, a challenger who had enough votes during the March primary to win a seat outright, has been working with the executive search firm retained by Gilbert.

“Whoever is elected ... will be an integral part of the process because they need to be,” Presmyk said during a Council candidate forum hosted by the East Valley Tribune in April. “They need to be part of the process because the town manager, legal counsel, presiding judge and town clerk are the four employees that are hired by the Council, the town manager being the most important one.”

Holding off on the hiring process until after the election would have meant another wait of at least six months, incumbents said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6301 or dzeiger@evtrib.com

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