Fifteen people applied to be Maquoketa’s next city manager, according to the city’s search firm.

The city manager application period closed Wednesday, Oct. 6, according to Brent Hinson of Hinson Consulting.

The manager search became necessary after the council accepted former city manager Gerald Smith’s resignation in January. 

The council appointed property maintenance inspector Mallory Smith as interim city manager then later hired Hinson Consulting to organize and oversee the search for Smith’s replacement.

Hinson and former Maquoketa city manager Pat Callahan, who assisted with the search, spent the following few months meeting with the mayor, council and city staff to develop a candidate profile and job description. 

With that profile approved at the beginning of September, Hinson advertised the city manager position for the last month, resulting in 15 applicants.

Hinson and Callahan will pare the applicant pool to about half, Hinson said. They will recommend between seven and nine applicants for initial interviews with the city council.

Final city manager interviews will be conducted Nov. 5-6, Hinson said. City council members decided to delay the final interviews until after the Nov. 2 election to include any possible new people elected to council seats.

“The format for interviews is not yet set, but typically these interviews include mayor and council, staff, and community stakeholders,” Hinson said. “We have talked specifically about including both outgoing and newly elected officials in the process to ensure continuity. There will likely be three to four finalists.”

Hinson tentatively expects the city to make a job offer by mid-November, with the new city manager starting by Jan. 3.

Hinson advertised the starting salary at between $120,000 and $130,000, depending on applicant qualifications.