Pawhuska city councilors met for about three hours Thursday afternoon, in a closed-door executive session that began at 5 p.m. The council interviewed five candidates for the permanent city manager job but did not make a hiring decision.
A decision could come Friday, however.
The council recessed its meeting and agreed to reconvene at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 17. Ciy officials have not released the names of the five city manager candidates, however Pawhuska Assistant City Manager Rex Wikel was one of the candidates observed going into the closed-door meeting.
Councilors finished interviewing manager candidates just before 7:40 p.m. Thursday, and had roughly 20 minutes for discussion of what they had learned. City Attorney John Heskett was present during the candidate interviews. Interim City Manager Larry Eulert was away on vacation and did not attend.
Eulert became interim city manager shortly after the October 2017 resignation of city manager Mike McCartney. Eulert had formerly been a city councilor and city manager in Hominy.
Pawhuska city councilors recently re-opened their search for a permanent replacement for McCartney, placing advertisements for manager applicants. Mayor Roger Taylor said he thought it was time for Pawhuska city government to move its process ahead.
The councilors entered their Thursday meeting fresh off a Monday meeting in which they openly split about leadership in their own ranks. Rodger Milleson nominated John Brazee for mayor, but the nomination failed when Taylor and councilors Mark Buchanan and Jourdan Foran voted “no.” Foran attempted to nominate Brazee for vice mayor, but neither Brazee nor Milleson would have anything to do with the number-two post. The frostiness continued as Milleson and Brazee in some instances declined to second motions or vote for them.