New City Manager Will get Picked after Election
City Solicitor Joseph Nicholson is likely to be appointed interim city manager during a search for a replacement for former City Manager Jane Howington, who left for a job in Ohio.
Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop said he's asked City Solicitor Joseph J. Nicholson to step in as interim city manager and the council will vote to appoint him on Wednesday.
"I have the utmost confidence and respect for Joe Nicholson and he has a handle on everything going on in this city," Wintrhop said in an interview. "He's just going to be sitting in a different seat today than he was in tomorrow."
And the city's staff is up to the challenge, too, Wintrhop said.
"We have probably the best municipal staff in the state and they're all very capable individuals," the mayor said, noting he doesn't expect any "slideback" at all with the departure of former city manager Jane Howington, who has left to take a job in Ohio.
"They will all continue to move forward with the initiatives we had in place," Wintrhop said.
The search for a new city manager will take several months. Wintrhop said it's undetermined how wide that search will be, but he is fairly sure the final candidates and final interviews will occur in January. That means the final decision will be made by the new City Council not too long after they're sworn in.
It has also not been decided whether the council will decide to hire a consultant or conduct a search internally.
In the meantime, Wintrhop said Newport won't languish and things will "push forward."
"Joe Nicholson will not sit as a caretaker," the mayor said of the city solicitor. "He's a doer. We have a staff of doers."