Member Login

Covington City Manager Job Down to 4 Finalists

The City of Covington announced Tuesday that its search for a new city manager is down to four finalists.

In total, 37 applications were received in a search led by Arizona-based Municipal Solutions.

Former city manager Larry Klein resigned under pressure earlier this year and local attorney Loren Wolff has served as interim city manager since.

The finalists are:

Bryan Long

According to a news release, Long is a third-generation public administrator with more than a decade of combined senior executive experience in municipal and federal government.

He has served as city manager in Lawton, Oklahoma, Oak Grove, Missouri, and Spencer, Oklahoma.

Long's experience also includes service in the Commissioned Office of the U.S. Marine Corps.

According to a 2015 article in The Oklahoman, Long abruptly resigned his position in Lawton, a city of more than 96,000 people.

David Johnston 

Johnson's experience includes city manager of Maple Valley, Washington, village administrator in Rantoul and Coal City, Illinois, and town manager in Westfield, Indiana. He has also served as administrative director for Indiana Health Centers, Inc. and was an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University.

In May 2016, he resigned in Maple Valley, a city of just over 22,000 people, citing different visions for the community following the election of a new city council. In December, he was announced as the new city manager in Claremont, New Hampshire, but failed to reach an agreement on a contract, according to a report in Valley News.

Liz Swearingin

Swearingin was most recently the county manager in Lewis County, New York. Just over 27,000 people live in that upstate New York county.

According to a March 2017 report by WWNY, Swearingin resigned her position to follow her husband to Cincinnati where he had landed a new job. She received high praise for her work in Lewis County.

Aside from the county manager job, Swearingin's career has mostly been spent in the private sector, including positions with U.S. Steel and the aerospace industry. She has also served as vice president of sales at EmpowerexMX in Duluth, Minnesota.

Rick Finn

Finn stepped down earlier this month as city manager in Bay City, Michigan, where he took over that role in 2014. The city commission in that city of nearly 35,000 people, opted not to renew his contract, according to MLive.

Previously, Finn served as city manager in Peekskill, New York, Takoma Park, Maryland, and Sandusky, Ohio, and as city administrator in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

For full biographies of each candidate, click here.

Finalists were selected based on their qualifications, likely fit for the community and organization, and a compelling reason and desire to be in Covington, according to a news release from the city.

On Thursday and Friday, as part of the final round of interviews, city manager candidates will be invited on a tour of Covington to be hosted by city staff. Candidates will also meet with city officials and staff, as well as business and community leaders at a private reception.

Additionally, finalists will then interview with a small group of city staff and citizens. Finally, each candidate will interview individually with the City Commission.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming each of the candidates to Covington. It’s important that they meet with City staff and area leaders to get a real feel for the position and Covington as a whole," said Wolff, the interim city manager. “There’s so much positive momentum and energy taking place throughout the city, we want to make sure we hire someone who is able to continue moving Covington forward.”

“This is a very experienced and diverse group of public administrators," said Municipal Solutions CEO & Principal David Evertsen. "Each of them has an impressive resume with extensive backgrounds and experience. At this point, we are now most interested in the opinions and observations of City staff, citizens and City Commission serving as evaluators.”

Applications were submitted from sixteen different states, including Washington, Colorado, Utah, New York, Florida, and Minnesota. Additionally, the City has received international applications from Kenya and Japan, according to a news release.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher