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Town seeks citizen input

The Farmville Town Council has released an online survey asking for citizen input as members consider who will be the next town manager.

Council voted Oct. 8 to retain The Berkeley Group, a local government consulting firm, to help in an executive search for the next Farmville town manager following the abrupt retirement of Gerald Spates on Aug. 26.

The survey is being used to develop a recruitment profile.

The profile will describe the town to prospective candidates, identify the priorities of Town Council, outline issues, challenges and opportunities that the new town manager will face.

The multiple question survey developed by The Berkley Group asked questions such as, “What is special about the Town of Farmville that we can highlight for prospective candidates?” and “What issues, challenges, opportunities, and projects might the new town manager be expected to address within the next one to two years?” These are just two types of questions that are on the survey.

“Input is much appreciated as we move through this process,” said Farmville Mayor, David Whitus. “Selecting a town manager is the most critical decision any council will make.”

The survey also seeks input as to the new manager’s leadership style, education and what issues, challenges and projects citizens think the new town manager may be faced with.

The Berkeley Group, based in Bridgewater, will conduct the advertising and outreach for the next Farmville Town Manger.

“There are a number of people in the community who have said they’d like to have some input on what the next town manager may look like,” said Whitus. “So, there is a piece that gives the community the chance to do so with this survey.”

The firm will also be involved in the application and selection process and will submit the top five candidates to the Council for the interviewing.

Whitus said that he was excited about the process, especially the community input. “I think it is a great process,” he said. “We will go through it, and we will see how it comes out on the other side.”

It is expected to take four to five months before Council will name a new town manager, according to Mayor Whitus.

Whitus says that the town manger job posting will be advertised around Dec. 1 with applications due by mid-January. “With the screening, interviewing and background checks, we hope to name a new manager by early March,” he said.

Dr. C. Scott Davis, who was previously serving as the Town’s assistant town manager, was appointed as interim town manager following Spates’ resignation.

Citizens may participate in the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FarmvilleTM.