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Canton reopens application process in town manager search

The Canton Board of Aldermen is still accepting applications for the open town manager position.

“We’ve interviewed some that we like. We’ve got some good applications, but we still wanted to continue looking,” said Canton Alderman Ed Underwood. “It is still open right now.”


In total, the town received nearly 40 applications. It had initially stopped collecting resumes on April 1 but now has decided to have a rolling application process until the position is filled.

Those original applicants are still under consideration. The board has reopened the search — though not for lack of quality candidates, according to town board members.

“Don’t read anything whatsoever into that,” said Canton Alderman Jimmy Flynn. “We have good applications; we just don’t want to miss one. It is one of the biggest decisions affecting our town.”

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Thus far, the full board has interviewed five people for the position. Any one of those could become Canton’s new town manager or it could be a new applicant, Flynn said.

“We may not find anybody in the next week or two, and we will be perfect happy with what we got,” he said.

At its Tuesday night meetings, the board members meet in closed session to discuss the candidates and get aldermen’s opinions on how they want to proceed. 

“Do we need to interview more? Do we want to do a second interview?” Flynn said.

The public will not know who applied for the town manager job, only who the board chooses for the position. There is also no set timeline for when the job will be filled.

“For me, I am looking to find the most qualified candidate. There are all kinds of things that you look at to see how that person may be,” Underwood said. “I think that is everybody’s goal.”

There is one definite deadline however. The board wants to have someone in place before Jan. 1 when current Town Manager Al Matthews retires. That deadline is still months away, though, and the aldermen are sure that they will have someone picked by then.

“I think we will. I am confident we will,” Flynn said.

Waynesville went through its own town manager search recently — a process that took about four months once an advertisement was posted. The town publicized the job opening in December 2011 and offered the job to current Waynesville town manager Marcy Onieal in late March.

Canton started its search back in January, and as applications rolled in each alderman took turns reviewing them. Listed qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with emphasis on public administration or another related field. A master’s degree and five years experience as a town manager or assistant manager are preferred. No salary is listed in the ad.

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