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'Surprise' Candidate Applies For Canton City Manager Position

Ward 3 council member and interim City Manager Glen Cummins has formally applied to become the city's permanent manager.

Credit: Patch file
Credit: Patch file
The city of Canton has closed the application process to fill its city manager position, and one surprise candidate has surfaced.

Interim City Manager and council member Glen Cummins has tossed his hat into the ring to take over the position on a permanent basis.

Cummins, who took office in 2012, said he decided to formally apply for the role, which has been vacant since January, because he's enjoyed the work so far.

Cummins said he's heard feedback from employees, residents and companies that Canton works with who've all provided positive feedback.

"I gave it a lot of thought and decided I don't mind doing this," he said with a chuckle. "I sort of like it."

The city has about 50 applicants who've submitted their resumes for the role, which has been vacant since the resignation of former manager Scott Wood. 

Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood in March announced former Main Street Woodstock Director Billy Peppers was the city's sole finalist for the role. However, Peppers' nomination did not have the backing of the majority of the council, and he withdrew his name from consideration.

If approved, Cummins would have to resign his Ward 3 council seat to become city manager. According to the city's charter, if he were to resign before Jan 1, 2015, the city would have to call a special election. If Cummins were to resign after that date, the council could appoint someone to serve out Cummins' term, which expires on Jan. 1, 2016. 

That person would have the chance to qualify to run for the seat to serve a full four-year term.

A committee made up of Hobgood and council members Hooky Huffman and Bill Grant are tasked with reviewing the applicants.  

Hobgood said he was a little "surprised" to see Cummins formally apply to become the full-time manager. The mayor said Cummins mentioned the possibility to him, but he thought nothing of it.

However, when City Clerk Susan Stanton earlier this week handed him the packet of applications, she told the mayor, "One of them might surprise you."

"His application will be considered like the others," Hobgood said. 

After what Hobgood coined the earlier "fiasco" of Peppers' announcement and subsequent withdrawal, the city will now involve all five council members — excluding Cummins — in the process of choosing finalists for the role. The council will be tasked with coming up with their top three picks for the role, and the committee will review those applicants. 

Hobgood said he committee will then narrow those down to a few candidates, and they will choose who they want to serve as the city's finalists. State law requires the city to release the name of up to three finalists for the position 14 days before it comes to the council for consideration. 

The mayor stopped short of espousing his opinion on Cummins' application. 

Councilman Huffman, who said Cummins has done "extremely well" in the interim, said the city will thoroughly review all applications "as objectively as we possibly can."

Huffman added the city would like to get a finalist named "as soon as possible," but said the council isn't going to rush the process. 

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