BISBEE — The search for Bisbee’s new city manager is now down to two candidates — Theresa Coleman, from Minnesota, and Helen Ruder, from Tucson.

During the regular meeting Tuesday night, the city council, minus Mayor David Smith, went into executive session to talk about the applicant pool and narrowed it down to the two.

Coleman is currently the city administrator of Kasson, Minnesota, a city about the size of Bisbee, and has 11 years in municipal administration experience. She holds a Master of Science/Economic Development Degree from Eastern University in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

“Providing complete, accurate and objective information is critical to the work of the City Council and the performance of the City Staff,” Colman said in a letter of interest to the city. “I meet monthly with department heads, bi-monthly with the Kasson Chamber of Commerce, serve as a resource for local news and television reporters, attend Countywide Council of Government meetings, collaborate on projects with the School District, and serve the Planning Commission.

“I successfully rebuilt trust among City of Kasson employees unsettled by firings and layoffs. I can respect the opinions of others, even when they are not in agreement with my own.”

Ruder comes with 15 years of experience in management and stated she is well-organized and energetic. “I am a visionary leader who will not accept the status quo, nor will I accept the view that ‘it can’t be done,’” her letter states. “I see opportunity where others see a void, solutions rather than problems, and no matter how hard it gets, I persevere, learning and adapting quickly from lessons learned along the way.

“I am genuinely excited by and passionate about opportunities to guide public agencies to the next level as well as lead the community by seeking out opportunities for growth while remaining true to the community’s roots.”

On June 17, the candidates will be in Bisbee for public and private interviews.

The council also approved Tuesday an agreement with Arizona Water Company to provide a list of its water customers monthly for $1,500 a year.

Finance director Keri Bagley said, “Ongoing efforts to collect on past due sewer customer bills will be improved by a monthly report from Arizona Water Company that will show all user accounts, new user activations, deactivations and water usage.”

Since the state has ruled the resident and not the landowner is responsible for paying the bill, the city needs to determine which addresses are vacant, which have changed hands and which are rental properties.

“The assessor’s parcel list has been the main source of information on property ownership, but the property owner of record often is not always the person(s) living at the property,” she told the council. “This misinformation has contributed to the past due account problem the city has had for many years.”

Such reports can verify accounts in need of suspension of service, she added. The information will not be used for any other purpose.

The council will hold a meeting on the 2019-2020 budget on Monday, June 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room of city hall on Tovreaville Road.

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