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Chester County Press

Kennett Square Borough enlists firm to assist with borough manager search

01/05/2021 11:41AM ● By Steven Hoffman

There were a few details still to be worked out, but during its final meeting of 2020, Kennett Square Borough Council moved toward enlisting the services of Strategic Government Resources, Inc. (SGR) to facilitate a search for a new borough manager.

The national search for the borough’s top administrator could progress along a 15-week timeline, if all goes according to plan.

Council member Doug Doerfler, who serves on the committee assigned to oversee the borough manager search, explained that one thing that they liked about Strategic Government Resources, Inc. was its national reach.

“We liked the fresh perspective of going outside of Pennsylvania,” Doerfler said.

The borough is looking to replace former borough manager Joseph Scalise, who departed at the end of November to pursue other professional opportunities. Scalise served as borough manager for more than five years, and was a borough employee for 26 years.

Kennett Square Borough took a somewhat different approach to handling the borough manager vacancy for a few months—relying on three experienced department heads—finance director Lisa Ionata, codes enforcement officer Russell Drumheller, and police chief William Holdsworth—to handle the additional duties. With the arrival of a new year, the search for a new borough manager can begin in earnest.

Doerfler noted that SGR has plenty of experience working with municipalities of various sizes. The firm is well known by professionals who might be seeking positions as municipal administrators. And while some of the other search firms under consideration had strong local ties, Kennett Square Borough officials favored the national expertise of SGR. 

Strategic Government Resources, Inc. is a full-service firm, specializing in executive recruitment, interim placements, online training, onsite training, leadership development, psychometric assessments, strategic visioning retreats, one-on-one employee coaching, and other consulting services designed to promote innovation, team building, collaboration, and continuous improvement in local governments.

The firm was founded in Texas in 2002 with the mission to facilitate innovative leadership in local government. It has approximately 700 local government clients in 47 states. SGR’s corporate headquarters is in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. SGR also has virtual offices in California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

Council member LaToya Myers said that she was very impressed with the vetting process that SGR will use to identify the best candidates for the position.

“SGR demonstrated to us that they have a vetting process that then allows us to get into detailed questions with the candidates,” Myers explained.

She added that the vetting process will require the candidates to be fully engaged so they will have serious interest in the position in Kennett Square if they advance in the search process.

Doerfler said that the search committee members liked that SGR offered a well-defined timeline and a thorough process, but also allowed the local stakeholders to drive the process.