Before Manitou Springs chooses its next city administrator, residents will have the chance to meet the two finalists.

The candidates, Robert Joseph and Michael McNees, will be at the Manitou Art Center at 513 Manitou Ave. from 5:30 p.m. Friday to chat with residents and answer questions.

On Saturday, a panel of City Council members, senior city staff and area residents will interview each candidate individually at the Art Center at 8:30 a.m. Those interviews are also open to the public, Mayor Ken Jaray said.

The City Council is scheduled to have a closed session that afternoon to discuss the interviews. The council may choose a candidate Saturday or wait until its Tuesday night meeting to make a selection, Jaray said.

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Joseph worked for the city of Montrose from 2012 to last summer, holding positions including assistant city manager and director of business and tourism. He’s also previously served as a trustee in Nederland and been an instructor at colleges including Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction and Front Range Community College in Westminster.

McNees served as the city manager in Melbourne, Fla., for more than five years until he left the city in December. He’s held various positions at other local governments, including county administrator in Blaine County, Idaho; city manager in Sarasota, Fla., and county commissioner in Collier County, Fla.

The City Council has been looking for a permanent city administrator for more than a year. It voted to cut ties with the past city administrator, Jason Wells, about a month after Jaray and two new council members took office.

Council members originally picked Malcolm Fleming as interim city administrator and extended his contract several times. But Fleming left in December after being hired as the town administrator for Erie, east of Boulder, Jaray said.

Last month, the council hired Leah Ash, a former general manager at Colorado Springs Utilities, to fill Fleming’s spot until a permanent city administrator is appointed.

The salary for the next city administrator hasn’t yet been determined. The job posting for the position stated that the salary would be up to $150,000 annually, Jaray said.

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