After a Spartanburg, S.C., newspaper printed the story this week, Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille confirmed that the City Council has offered the city manager position to James K. Hartmann. Hartmann, 51, has served as the Spartanburg County administrator since 1999. He will replace Philip Sunderland who resigned last summer.
“We had 70 applications for the position,” Euille said. “Our search firm got that number down to a manageable amount and we interviewed eight different candidates.”
After the council narrowed that number to three finalists, each responded to several essay questions. Then council members visited the municipalities where those finalists work.
“We really felt that we needed to speak to their colleagues and visit them in their own environment,” Euille said.
Those visits happened last week. On Saturday morning, before the council retreat, members met in closed session to discuss their findings.
“I suggested that we think about it and vote in a closed meeting at our regular council meeting on Nov. 23,” Euille said. “Everyone said they were ready to decide then and Jim Hartmann was the unanimous choice. I am very pleased about that and about his accepting our offer.”
Hartmann accepted Euille’s offer last Sunday. “I am very excited about coming to work and live in Alexandria,” he said. “It’s a terrific opportunity for my family and me.”
Spartanburg County has a population of 260,000 and encompasses 814 square miles. The per capita income in 2001 was $24,430 and the average age of the residents was 36. The FY2004 county budget is $105,618,940. There are around 1,300 county employees.
BEFORE COMING to Spartanburg County, Hartmann was the county administrator in Eagle County, Colo., and before that served in a variety of administrative positions in Orange County, Fla.
“I have worked very hard to help put systems in place to bring Spartanburg County forward,” Hartmann said. “I have dealt with transportation issues, open space concerns, the development of park facilities and other issues that are similar to those being confronted in Alexandria.
“In Eagle County, we dealt with escalating housing prices and a number of development issues. I believe that my experience in both rural and urban areas has prepared me well to serve in Alexandria,” he said.
Hartmann is married and has two teenagers. His daughter will graduate from high school this year and hopes to attend The College of William and Mary. His son is a junior in high school.
“I have made a commitment to my family to let the children finish high school here,” he said. “The first year in a job such as the city manager will require intense effort. I will want to dedicate my time to getting to know the city staff and the community and to understand the issues. My family has made a commitment to making this transition work.”
EUILLE SAID that Hartmann was the unanimous choice for several reasons. “The first time we met him we liked him,” he said. “He has the breadth of experience that we need here in Alexandria. He understands development and balancing that development with our desire to preserve open space. I think that this is a very good fit.”
Hartmann earns an annual salary of around $129,000. Sources said that his salary in Alexandria will be between $175,000 and $200,000. The formal announcement will be made at a special meeting on Nov. 30, after contract discussions are concluded. Hartmann will arrive in Alexandria to begin work some time in early to mid January.