City Council held a few meetings on the search process in January, including considering a national search for the next city manager. The council eventually paused the search, which Abbott said last month “allowed one of our internal employees the opportunity to shine.”
Other council members complimented the same potential internal candidate but did not identify that person. However, based on council comments, that probable candidate would be Assistant City Manager Scott Timmer, who was promoted to that position in January after serving the city as its finance director since September 2018. He declined to comment.
The decision to consider an executive search firm was made last month when City Council voted 4-3. The three dissenting council members ― Abbott, Oberson and Councilmember Mark Scharringhausen ― wanted to interview the city employee before considering bringing on an outside firm.
Wendling had been with the city since May 2011, first serving as assistant city manager before being promoted in May 2015 to city manager. His resignation was abrupt, though he told the Journal-News at that time the decision had “been brewing for a while.” Fire Chief Don Bennett had been serving as both fire chief and acting city manager since his resignation.