The city of Columbus Hiring Committee interviewed the two finalists for the Chief Operation Officer position on Tuesday, but a time-table for a final decision on the position remains unclear.
Ward 3 Councilman Rusty Greene — a member of the hiring committee — said Tuesday’s interviews lasted about an hour each. One of the interviews was conducted in person, the other via Zoom, Greene said.
“I think both candidates did well,” Greene said. “I was impressed with their skills and what they can bring to the table. I’d say it was a very positive experience.”
The identities of the finalists, chosen from a pool of 40 candidates, have not yet been disclosed.
“I’m not sure yet what the timing will be because we didn’t discuss it, but I do know that (the hiring committee) will meet again and make a recommendation to the full council.”
The city council is next schedule to meet on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The hiring committee is made up of Greene, Mayor Keith Gaskin, HR Director Pat Mitchell, Ward 1 Councilman Ethel Stewart, Ward 4 Councilman Pierre Beard and Ward 6 Councilwoman Jacqueline DiCicco.
Greene said there was no update on the hiring committee’s work in selecting two other positions — chief financial officer and information technology director. All three positions have been open since the summer, although each is being filled on an interim basis.
“Really, the only thing we did (Tuesday) was hold the interviews,” Greene said. “We didn’t have any other discussion.”
The hiring committee previously spoke to the same two candidates via phone or Zoom on Jan. 15.
Gaskin previously said the committee hopes to make an offer to a candidate by the end of the month.
Former COO David Armstrong retired in June 2021, and the position has been filled on an interim basis by local businessman Mark Alexander Jr.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]