Danville has another interim city manager.
After almost two hours in executive session Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved hiring Ron Scott to take over the position left vacant when John W.D. Bowling resigned last week.
Scott, who moved from Frankfort to a farm on U.S. 127 in 1993, worked for the Kentucky League of Cities for 26 years, including 15 years as the assistant executive director and director of insurance and risk management. Since retiring from KLC¿in 2001, he has worked as a contract lobbyist for Preservation Kentucky.
Scott also served as secretary of the Kentucky City Managers Association where he worked with many of Danville’s former city managers. He said he is familiar with some of the major issues facing the city.
“I’m a quick study, and I’m a hard worker,” said Scott, who was present for the meeting and talked to the commission during the executive session. “I have spent my entire public career working with cities and city officials, and I am looking forward to working with what I think is a great commission here.”
After Bowling resigned last week, Mayor Bernie Hunstad said the commissioners would talk to a list of possible candidates. Scott was known to some on the commission, and the mayor had spoken with people who knew Scott’s work, but Hunstad had not spoken with him until a phone conversation Saturday.
“He is credentialed and experienced, and he has worked above the city manager level in professional life,” Hunstad said. “Integrity, honesty and professionalism are things you keep hearing associated with him. It’s rare you have an experienced candidate who is available in this kind of situation.”
Commissioner Kevin Caudill said the question Monday was primarily whether to hire Scott or appoint an interim manager from within city hall, which has been done several times in the past. Caudill said discussions with candidates over the last week showed there was not a large pool of qualified people interested in the job.
Caudill, who did not know Scott before the meeting, was happy with what he heard when Scott addressed the commission.
“I was impressed by the interview he gave,” Caudill said. “Hopefully, he can come in and bring a sense of calm to the situation for city staff.”
Scott wants the opportunity to apply for the permanent position during the upcoming search. Hunstad expressed an interest in removing the interim from Scott’s title if Scott proves himself on the job, but said he and others on the commission are still committed to a search process that has yet to begin in earnest.
“I think there is consensus that this individual can compete for the full-time job,” Hunstad said.
Danville has been without an acting city manager for almost a week since Bowling stepped down suddenly after just two-and-a-half months, saying he had received a death threat.
City vehicle maintenance worker Rick Henry, who claims he was disciplined for asking a co-worker in jest whether he had ever considered harming Bowling, is expected to be the subject of a personnel hearing at 1:30 p.m. today at city hall.
Including a brief stint served by Bridgette Milby, head of city code enforcement, Scott becomes the third person to take over the city’s top job on a temporary basis since Paul Stansbury was dismissed in May. Scott said he is aware of the recent turmoil but believes the city can move forward.
“I think this is an opportunity to come together,” Scott said. “I sense the community is ready for that, and I believe the City Commission and mayor are as well.”
Scott said he will meet with department heads today.