2020 City Manager Search

Meet the finalists

The City Council has narrowed its search for a new City Manager to three finalists who will participate in a series of virtual interviews with city staff, community partners and advisory group representatives during the week of Dec. 14.  After that, the Council will continue to consider their choice among these candidates, with the plan to make a final selection in January.

The City hosted an online community open house on Jan. 7 to give the community an opportunity to hear from the finalists. A recording of the open house will be available following the event at bainbridgewa.gov/1101, and the meeting will be rebroadcast by Bremerton Kitsap Access Television on Channel 12 on Comcast and Channel 3 on WAVE at a later date.

The finalists, selected from a pool of 66 applications, listed in alphabetical order by last name are:

campbellKeith Campbell, who is the City Manager of Stayton, Oregon and has served in this role since 2014. He has 14 years of local government experience. He previously served as the City Clerk for the City of Shawnee, Kansas from 2010 to 2014 and the Deputy County Clerk of Douglas County, Kansas from 2006 to 2010. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in psychology from the University of Kansas.

kingBlair King, who is the City Manager of Coronado, California and has served in this role since 2010. He has 36 years of local government experience, which includes 25 years as a City Manager at cities throughout California. Blair holds a Master of Public Administration and bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno.

williamsAnthony Williams, who is the Mayor of Abilene, Texas, a position he was elected to in 2017. He is the Advancement & Executive Community Relations Officer at Abilene Christian University, where he has worked for 23 years in various positions that include Chief Business Services Officer from 2010 to 2017, Director of Retail Operations from 2000 to 2010 and Bookstore Manager from 1997 to 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from McMurry University.

Overview of Search Process

In July 2020, the City Council began the process of hiring a new City Manager. The City engaged Strategic Government Resources, Inc. (SGR) to conduct a national recruitment for candidates. SGR is a search firm that specializes in public sector management, and SGR has supported several key previous recruitments for the City of Bainbridge Island (most notably the recent selection of our new Police Chief and the previous City Manager search in 2012.) 

Hidden CoveThe City Council worked with SGR to develop a position profile to describe the ideal candidate and qualifications, and to convey the key community values and long-range goals of Bainbridge Island. This profile is used to publicize the opening to potential candidates regionally and nationally. In August, the City Council sought public input to inform the development of the position profile, asking for suggestions relating to desirable qualities for applicants, or ideas about what candidates should know about Bainbridge Island. Read the public comments here, and the City Council comments on the draft position profile here. The City Council approved the final position profile at their Sept. 15 meeting.

Candidate qualifications were reviewed in the fall by SGR and the City Council. The process typically involves evaluation of semi-finalists followed by a more intensive review of a smaller number of finalists. Finalists often participate in a range of assessments, including public presentations and interview panels with community members, City Council members, City leadership staff, and other stakeholders. The final selection is made by the City Council, who will then negotiate an employment agreement to conclude the hiring process.

The City Council anticipates selecting a new manager in early 2021. Deputy City Manager Ellen Schroer will serve as Interim City Manager prior to selection.

About the Council-Manager Form of Government

Island Center Meeting As a noncharter code city, Bainbridge Island originally operated under a mayor-council form of government. The form of government was changed following a May 19, 2009 vote in which a majority of islanders expressed a preference for the council-manager form of government. This form of government is regulated under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35A.13.

Per the Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC):

"The council-manager form consists of an elected city council, which is responsible for policymaking, and a professional city manager, appointed by the council, who is responsible for administration. The city manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions (including the power to appoint and remove employees) and is responsible for preparing the city budget."

For additional information about the council-manager form of government, visit the MRSC website.