Hilton Head Island suspends search for town manager

Local News

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Council members of Hilton Head Island voted Thursday to suspend the search for a new town manager after two finalists dropped out.

On Monday, the council announced the following candidates were being considered to fill the position:

  • Michael Bennett: City Manager, City of Fruita, Colorado
  • Andrew Brannen: Vice President of Administration and Finance, Kean University, Union, New Jersey
  • Bristol Ellington: Deputy City Manager and Chief Operating Officer, City of Henderson, Nevada
  • Josh Gruber: Deputy Town Manager, Town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Brannen and Ellington withdrew their names from consideration on Tuesday. According to town officials, an alternate candidate declined an interview, too.

“Town council members felt just having two candidates for consideration was not sufficient to fill this highly important role,” said Mayor John McCann. “As I have said many times before, identifying and hiring a town manager is the most important responsibility we have as town council members.”

The mayor said the decision doesn’t mean the other candidates aren’t qualified, but the council wants more options. They plan to reconvene in October to discuss their next step.

Current Town Manager Steve Riley is set to retire on Dec. 31.

For more information on the search process, visit the Town’s website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov.

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