City manager candidates arrive in Helena for final interviews

Posted at 10:00 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 20:34:30-04

The two candidates to become Helena’s next city manager have arrived in town for the final steps in the selection process.

On Friday morning, Rachel Harlow-Schalk and Troy Smith joined city department heads on a Capital Transit bus for a tour of Helena.

The public events typically connected with a city manager search have been scaled back because of COVID-19 concerns and social distancing requirements. The finalists are set to meet with community representatives at a lunch Friday, then hold discussions with a city staff leadership team and a community panel. On Saturday, they will have final interviews with Helena city commissioners, who will make the decision on which candidate to pursue a contract with.

Several of the events will be streamed online through Zoom. You can view portions of the leadership team meeting here and the community panel here. Both events begin at 1 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, the finalists’ interviews with the city commission will be available here. Smith’s interview is set to begin at 10 a.m., and Harlow-Schalk’s will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Harlow-Schalk is the state of Colorado’s deputy director of local government. She has worked in the state’s Local Government Center since 2014, and previously held several positions with the city of Westminster, Colorado.

Smith is the deputy city manager for Commerce City, Colorado. He was previously the city’s police chief, and he has worked in a number of law enforcement jobs, including in Grand Junction, Thornton and Estes Park, Colorado.

A third finalist, Texarkana, Arkansas, city manager Kenneth Haskin, withdrew his application this week.

The city is seeking a permanent replacement for former city manager Ana Cortez, who left her position in February. Melinda Reed is currently serving as the interim city manager.