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Talkington finalist for city administrator job in Lake Geneva

November 3, 2018

DeKALB – While Mayor Jerry Smith hopes to have a new, permanent city manager in place by the turn of the year, the interim manager is one of four candidates for the Lake Geneva city administrator job, according to a report by Lake Geneva Regional News.

Molly Talkington, who was named the city’s finance director in September 2017, took over the interim city manager role this past spring, after Anne Marie Gaura resigned in March and her interim replacement, Patty Hoppenstedt, announced in May she’d leave the job to move with her family to Tennessee.

As the DeKalb council expects to be presented with the top 20 applicants in the coming weeks, however, Mayor Jerry Smith said Saturday morning that Talkington will not be in that field.

“She never did throw her hat in that ring,” he said, adding that between her two roles, she’s determined she needs to make a conscious effort to spend time with her family, including her 7-year-old twins.

That said, Smith said he’s spoken with Talkington over the past couple of weeks, and he’s not surprised she’s up for a premier job.

“It’s very, very understandable to me, given the fact that she’s experienced the ins and outs of being a city manager,” Smith said.

He said he hadn’t heard about the Lake Geneva job and Talkington’s candidacy before Saturday morning. He said he’s gladly recommend her for the job, if asked.

The other three finalists for the Lake Geneva job are James Dinneen of Ponce Inlet, Florida, Brian Wilson of Beloit, Wisconsin, and former Dixon City Manager David Nord, who most recently served as interim public works director for Beloit, according to the Regional News report.

Lake Geneva’s former city administrator, Blaine Oborn, resigned in July after serving three years in that role, for which he was paid $108,000 a year.

GovHR, which is assisting DeKalb officials with recruiting a full-time city manager, lists starting salary range at $150,000, and said candidates must reside in the city of DeKalb within six months of appointment.

As of the Oct. 8 deadline, 50 applications had been filed for the city manager position, Mayor Jerry Smith said. Heidi Vorhees, from GovHR, will present the council with the top 20 applicants in a special meeting Nov. 16, during which the city will learn the identity of the applicants, and pick the top five or six, Smith said.