STEUBENVILLE - City Council will start an accelerated search for a new city manager after the final candidate on Wednesday rejected the job offer.
Third Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf said candidate Gerald C. Smith called him shortly before noon to say he was turning down the Steubenville job.
"Apparently Junction City, Kan., offered Mr. Smith a better benefits package. I understand they are still negotiating the details of the full offer, but Mr. Smith said he was going to accept the Kansas offer," said Metcalf.
Smith was one of four finalists vying for the city manager job in Junction City.
He was the sole remaining candidate for the Steubenville post after the other finalist notified Metcalf last week he was withdrawing his name from consideration because he also had accepted another job offer.
"We are now going to re-advertise for the job. We had some very good candidates in this first round, and we anticipate seeing good candidates as we continue pursuing a new city manager," said Metcalf.
He said he was disappointed but noted council has set an Oct. 11 deadline for applications, "and I hope to see a city manager named by mid-November."
Smith had requested a 24-hour extension Tuesday afternoon before making his decision.
"The candidate explained to me the other community he is considering misplaced the release he had to sign in order to allow them to do police and financial background checks," said Mayor and acting City Manager Domenick Mucci.
City Council offered Smith the job Saturday afternoon following an interview by council and the citizens committee.
Council members had narrowed the original list of 34 applicants to five finalists and then saw two of the final candidates withdraw their names.
The search for a new city manager started after former City Manager Cathy Davison resigned from the job in May, ending her 38-month tenure.