Canton board to vote on meet and greet

By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | Jul 01, 2013

The Canton Board of Aldermen will decide Tuesday evening if local residents will be allowed meet the final candidates who will be interviewed for Town Manager Al Matthews’ position.

During a called meeting at 6 p.m., the board will vote on whether Canton residents will be allowed to meet the candidates and ask questions.

Canton Mayor Mike Ray said a public forum would be held if the vote allowed residents to meet the candidates.

“I feel it’s important that we be transparent to our process,” Ray said. “So the public can come and meet the finalists and give them a chance to ask questions. That will enable our citizens to have an opportunity to learn more about them.”

Ray said he was unsure of when such a forum would take place.

“If the vote is affirmative, then as that process goes along we will get that (forum) process out. We had 38 applicants, and we’re just in the process of narrowing those down.”

Ray said the town had been working toward filling Matthews’ position since the beginning of the year. He said the local residents he’s spoken with had expressed an interest in meeting the candidates.

“If we interview five, they want to meet and greet five,” Ray said. “Everyone that I’ve spoken with — it’s very important that our constituents be able to meet and greet the same number we interview.”

Matthews went to work for Canton in 2000 as the assistant town manager and has been ton manager since 2009. He said the new candidate for town manager would be finalized in the next six months before he retires in December.

“We’ve run potential candidates for the managers position, and it will be coming out sometime between now and sometime in December,” Matthews said.

If the meet and greet forum is approved, Ray said the next step for the board would be to selecting the final candidates.

“We will have interviews with the individuals, and then the community will have a chance to talk to them as well,” Ray said.

The number of candidates still being considered for the position is tentative, Ray said.

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