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Springfield's Interim City Manager bows out of running

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Gina Holt

Springfield Interim City Manager Gina Holt has withdrawn her name in her bid to become the city's next city manager, according to Springfield Mayor Ann Schneider.

Two of the other seven candidates for the job, scheduled to be interviewed on Thursday, Aug. 10, have also withdrawn their names, taking the number of candidates to be interviewed down to four.

Holt was named the Interim City Manager of Springfield in February, just minutes after the city's Board of Mayor and Aldermen terminated the employment of sitting City Manager Paul Nutting.

Holt was one of 10 candidates who were vetted and selected by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), the service assisting Springfield leaders in their search for a new city manager.

Mayor Schneider said the board received an email announcing Holt's withdrawal on Saturday, Aug. 5.

"She said since submitting her application, she's had more time to contemplate whether or not pursuing the position was the right choice for her," Schneider said. "So, she decided it was best to remove her name and to retain her position she held as the assistant city manager."

The mayor said Holt will retain her interim position until a permanent replacement is named.

Two other candidates, Phillip Hill, assistant city manager, Midvale City, Utah and David Johnston, former city manager, Maple Valley, Wash., have also withdrawn their names, though Schneider did not say why.

Schneider said she feels many people in the community will likely be disappointed when they discover Holt is no longer in the running.

"I have had a lot of people walk up to me and express their opinion they wanted Gina to be the City Manager," Schneider said. "I'm sure this will be a surprise to a lot of people."

The Connection spoke with Holt late Monday, who said after considering the position more in depth, she thought it would be best to withdraw her name.

"From late February until June, most of my focus has been on preparing the budget and getting it passed," Holt said. "So, in July and August, I've had more time to think about my options for the next few years."

Holt said in three years, she will be eligible to retire and she did not want to put the employees and the citizens of Springfield through the city manager search process again so soon, if she chooses to retire within the next few years.

"If you make a commitment for a job, you need to commit for about four or five years, and I don't want to put people through this process again," Holt said. "It's almost six months now since this search began. It could be eight months before the city hires a city manager, and that's a big chunk of the year."

The Springfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen is scheduled to interview the top four candidates, via SKYPE, on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

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