BEEVILLE – City Council members voted Tuesday to hire Baker Tilly, an executive search firm, to find candidates for the city manager’s job.

The motion to hire the firm was made by Councilman Brian Watson after the council listened to a presentation by Edward Williams, Ph.D., a director of the U.S. branch of Baker Tilly International.

“Hiring a city manager is like buying a car,” Williams told the council. He said it is important to see what the city council wants in a city manager.

“Task one,” Williams said, “will be to sit down with you and find out what council members are looking for.”

From that information, Williams said the company will prepare a profile for its search of candidates.

Task two will be to advertise in publications that potential candidates will read if they are searching for a position as city manager.

Williams explained what types of candidates would be interested in a position of city manager in a town the size of Beeville.

“We want to know everything,” Williams said of potential candidates for the job. To find out as much as possible from persons interested in the position, the company will create a candidate questionnaire.

Williams recommended using a one-way video interview with candidates to get a firsthand view of how an applicant responds to questions.

Williams said his company would broker the entire interview process.

Once a candidate is chosen by the council, the negotiations will begin. That will include listing the qualities that set the applicants apart.

“I’ve done this for 21 and a half years,” Williams told the council.

Once the council hires a city manager, Baker Tilly will guarantee the person selected for two years. That means if the new city manager does not work out for any reason, the company will help the city to find a replacement.

Watson anticipated the possibility that some council members may have a particular individual in mind for the position. He asked if it would be possible to have anyone recommended by a council member added to the group of candidates.

“We want to get you what you want,” Williams said. “We would make it possible to get someone who is interested in the applicant group.”

Councilman Ford Patton asked if Williams considered task one to be the most important part of the search for a new city manager.

“Yes,” Williams said. “We want to make sure we get the profile right.”

At that point, Watson made a motion to hire the company to assist in attracting persons interested in applying for the job here.

The motion passed without opposition.

The person hired by the council will replace City Manager Joe B. Montez, who had held the position previously.

Montez had retired after leaving the position of Bee Development Authority director. He was hired to take the city manager’s position temporarily after the previous manager left.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.