YORK — After more than six hours of closed-door, one-on-one interviews with five candidates for county manager, the York County Council late Tuesday night named two finalists.
The council plans to interview Steve Layson, chief administrative officer of Bibb County, Ga., and Bill Shanahan, deputy administrator of Augusta, Ga., again either later this week or next week.
“I actually wanted to bring back more than two,” County Council Chairman Britt Blackwell said.
Layson and Shanahan were the only candidates who had experience working for county government, but Blackwell said it was personality and demeanor that made the most impact on the council members.
“These are very strong candidates,” he said. “You have a heart to heart talk with them.”
The council plans to hire a new county manager sometime next week.
Layson and Shanahan left the meeting after their interviews without commenting.
The three finalists who did not make the cut Tuesday night were:
• Bob Bartolotta, a former city manager of Sarasota, Fla.
• Rick Chaffin, former deputy city manager of McKinney, Texas
• Joe Fivas, town manager of Indian Trail, N.C.
The county manager position has been vacant since January, with assistant county manager, Anna Moore, serving as interim.
Each candidate was interviewed behind closed-doors at the council chambers in York for at least 45 minutes, with interviews for both Layson and Shanahan running longer than an hour.
The council had hoped to make a decision as early as Tuesday, after completing all the interviews. The finalists also participated in a public meet and greet in Rock Hill this past Monday night.
Blackwell said that the council remained attentive and alert throughout all the interviews, but said the final decision is one the council isn’t taking lightly.
“This is just too important to make the decision tonight,” he said.
In addition to more interviews, Blackwell said, the council will conduct more background research on Layson and Shanahan, including contacting people where each works now for more insight on their management styles.
Jie Jenny Zou • 803-329-4062