Council selects interim city manager

KINGMAN – An interim city manager has been selected from the two candidates interviewed in executive sessions earlier this week.

Terry Zerkle, former assistant city manager in Glendale is the first choice, and a council committee negotiated a contract with him this week that has been verbally agreed to.

James Ferguson, with city manager experience that began in Utah in 1978, was interviewed Wednesday.

He has managed cities in Arizona since 1994.

Zerkle will not be a candidate for the permanent position and his exact duties are under negotiation and will be part of the contract, said Kingman Human Resource Director Jackie Walker.

Zerkle was city manager in Boulder City, Nev., from 1979 to 1984 and moved to Arlington, Texas, where he was deputy city manager from 1984 to 1988.

He served seven years as manager of Tempe and was assistant manager in Henderson, Nev., from 1996 to May 2001.

Zerkle is president of Local Government Network, a consulting service for local government managers.

He also has international experience working with cities in Slovakia.

Walker said Zerkle could be helpful in the search for a city manager to replace Roger Swenson.

The interim manager in Lake Havasu City helped the council sort through the applicants and had sources of information from his contacts with city managers and associations.

Swenson is on contract through the end of August, working off site and available for consultation.

Zerkle will have an opportunity to talk with Swenson the remainder of the month to smooth the transition.

In his negotiations with the City Council following the decision to terminate him, Swenson said he would be professional in his efforts to assist the city in the transition.

The newly elected Kingman City Council fired Swenson by a 4 to 3 vote in a surprise action following an executive session held during the July 21 council meeting.

The next meeting scheduled is Aug.

16, at which time the hiring of Zerkle can be officially acted on, unless the council should schedule another special meeting sooner.

Walker said hiring a permanent city manager would take about six months.