The city of Maricopa Council will meet in a special executive session this Friday to interview the three finalists for the vacated city manager position.

The session will take place at the Global Water Resource Center, 22590 N. Powers Parkway, at 3 p.m.
 
Following the executive session, the city will hold an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the center to give the general public the opportunity to meet the three candidates and express their opinions to council.
 
“I am looking forward to bringing three very qualified candidates to our city. This is an important leadership position,” said Maricopa Mayor Anthony Smith. “I hope residents take advantage of the opportunity to attend the reception and personally meet each candidate.”
 
The city hired Waters-Oldani in November for $22,000 to find a replacement for former City Manager Kevin Evans, who announced his intention to leave the position in September.
 
Under terms of his severance agreement, Evans stayed in place as city manager until Jan. 20, at which time City Clerk Vanessa Bueras took over the job on an interim basis. Evans will continue to receive his annual pay of $156,950 a year in biweekly installments until he finds a job paying a minimum of 80 percent of his previous pay, or until 12 months have elapsed.
 
Evans was recently a finalist for the city manager position in Corpus Christi, Tex, but was not tapped for the job.
 
Walters-Oldani originally predicted the city would be able to hire a new manager by the third week of February; however, that deadline was not met because of a holdup with paper work.
 
Walters-Oldani selected 15 qualified applicants from a pool of 79 who applied. That group was presented to council in an executive session March 22, at which time the city’s governing body selected three finalists.
 
Council also has a meeting scheduled for Saturday, April 2. It is possible an employment offer could be extended to one of the three candidates at that time.
 
About the three candidates:
 
Abimbola Akande
Akande holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. She has served in the public sector in various capacities the past 19 year and is currently the assistant city manager in Richmond Heights, MO. She has also worked for the cities of Woodlands, TX, Flower Mound, TX and Oklahoma City, OKLA. She is a member of the international city/county management association.
 
Steven Crowell, Jr.
Crowell holds a master’s in public administration degree from West Virginia University and has served as a city manager in three different states. Crowell’s most recent position was as city manager of North Port, Fla. He and the city commissioners in North Port entered into a mutual severance agreement in October after Crowell had interviewed for a position in Iowa. Commissioners had nothing but positive things to say about Crowell. Prior to that, he held positions in Greenwood Village and Commerce City, Colo., and La Vista and David City, Neb. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association in addition to various professional affiliations.
 
Brenda Fischer
Fisher holds a master’s in public administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has worked in the public sector for more than 16 years. Fisher is currently the Deputy City Manager in Glendora, Calif. Prior to that, she held positions in North Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. She is a member of the International City/County Management Association in addition to various professional affiliations.

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