CLARKBURG, W.Va. – Clarksburg City Council held a special meeting amid COVID-19 pandemic to conduct telephone interviews of potential city managers.
The city announced in late March that it would once again begin the search for a city manager after Michael Webb declined to assume the position. He stated that he felt the need to stay in Princeton and continue to guide them through the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Councilman Jim Malfregeot explained that he feels as though city gave Webb to much of a time line to fill the position.
“The next guy coming in is going to have to be, going to have to know about employees, going to have to know about finances, is going to have to know about public works. So, like I said hopefully this guy meets that criteria,” said Jim Malfregeot, a member of Clarksburg City Council.
Malfregot explained that the timing is awkward during the COVID-19 pandemic but are looking for someone who has experience able to hit the ground running. Clarksburg Mayor Ryan Kennedy explained that council members had a productive discussion, and no decisions were made at this time.
“If It had not been for the pandemic I expect that Mr. Webb would be days away from arriving at this point. He was scheduled to arrive on April 13 but unfortuantley due to the pandemic he decided to remain in Princeton. I think had the pandemic not happened he would just be days away right now,” said Kennedy.
Also, Malfregot stressed that the city needs a city manager that has experience and knowledge of how a city runs and operates to move Clarksburg forward.
“From what I understand this gentleman is from the North Central (West Virginia) area. He graduated from Fairmont State and he lives in Pennsylvania. So, from what we’ve been told he wants to come back to the area. So, I don’t know if he has family here, or parents here, or what but sound like he wants to come back to the area. So, you know hopefully his resume will meet the criteria,” said Malfregeot.
Annette Wright has assumed the role as interim city manager keeping the city moving forward for the last nine months.
“Annette had never wanted to be city manager and she is looking forward to handing the reigns over to somebody whenever council selects one,” said Kennedy. “She has found herself in a situation, nine months ago would you have imagined we would be in the middle of a pandemic, I certainly didn’t.”
Kennedy said Wright has handled everything she can to the best of her abilities under the circumstances and appreciates that she was willing to step in and take over a job that she never sought out.