Thursday, January 06, 2000

Officials to decide on new search for recreation chief

Mayor moved self from consideration

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — City officials say they'll soon decide whether to reopen the search for Covington recreation director, after Mayor Denny Bowman withdrew his name from consideration Tuesday.

        Mr. Bowman, 50, one of three finalists for the $45,000 to $50,000-a-year job, said he took himself out of the running because the process had become political.

        “I got out because of all the political involvement. Nobody was looking at me, and what I could do,” Mr. Bowman said. “I think (Commissioner) Jerry (Bamberger) was the only one who was for me because he knew I could do the job.”

        The selection of Mr. Bowman, who is prevented by law from seeking another term as mayor, could have helped one of three city commissioners who are considering running for mayor, by allowing one to run as an incumbent.

        Covington City Manager Greg Jarvis said Wednesday he had not yet heard from all four commissioners on whether they favored readvertising for the position or choosing one of the two remaining finalists.

        Commissioner Butch Callery has announced that he's running for mayor, and Commissioners Jim Eggemeier and Jerry Bamberger have said they might.

Was process political?
        “I don't think the process was political at all,” Mr. Eggemeier said. “We used the exact same process we'd used in the past. (The applicants) submitted resumes, city staff went through them and interviewed about seven, and recommended three or four to the commission to interview.”

        Mr. Spence disagreed.

        “As much as people would like to believe that naming (Mr. Bowman) recreation director was not political, that's absolute folly,” he said.

        The remaining finalists for the recreation director's job are David Buerger, who has been acting recreation director the past two months, and a woman who asked that her name not be made public.

        Mr. Bamberger said he would like to see the search reopened, so that Mr. Bowman could take part in the selection of the new recreation director.

        “I don't know which way anybody's leaning, but more than likely, that's what will happen,” Mr. Eggemeier said.

        While Mr. Spence and Mr. Callery said they're willing to listen to their colleagues' arguments in favor of reopening the search, both appeared to be leaning toward choosing one of the current finalists.

45 names reviewed
        “Who else are you going to get?” Mr. Callery asked. “We went through 45 names. It boiled down to three people, and Denny and Dave were far above everyone else.”

        “I don't know that we need to open (the search) up, but I'd be willing to listen to my colleagues' arguments on opening it up,” Mr. Spence said.

        The director is in charge of more than 20 parks, softball fields, basketball courts and competitive programs, as well as green space.


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