By JILL SCHRAMM
The search for Minot's new city manager is starting over.
In a news release Friday, the city reported that a search committee of local community leaders selected Cindy Hemphill as the best candidate for the position and voted unanimously to offer the city manager position to her. Hemphill was offered the position this week but declined to accept, saying that she could "best serve the citizens of Minot in my current capacity of City Finance Director."
The other two candidates selected from the initial 36 applicants for interviews were Greg Sund, former Dickinson city administrator and now Ellis County, Kan. administrator, and Kevin Degenstein, a Minot native and former president and chief operating officer of Energy West Inc. and Gas Natural Inc., in Great Falls, Mont. Hemphill, Sund and Degenstein introduced themselves to the community at public luncheons last week. Having already eliminated Sund and Degenstein, the search committee has decided to begin the process again in an effort to find the right individual.
Mayor Curt Zimbelman, a member of the search committee, said there was not consensus on the other two finalists.
"This is too important of a job to not get the right person. I guess we would rather take the time and make sure we find that person," he said. "We very much felt that Cindy was qualified and had that passion for the community and knew the community well, and we know she has a great work ethic. I think she had the community in mind when she decided not to take it."
Zimbelman noted Hemphill has been heavily involved in flood recovery and other city issues involving a number of grants. Had Hemphill moved on to city manager, the city would have had to try to fill the finance director position.
The city likely will advertise again for city manager in a couple of weeks, the mayor said. It could be early to mid-April before the committee has new candidates to consider.
Current city manager David Waind plans to retire at the end of March.