Ashland City Manager Stephen W. Corbitt announced plans this week to retire.
He told city officials Tuesday he wanted to leave his post on July 31 but has since agreed to stay on the job while the search for his replacement is conducted. That is expected to take four to six months.
Corbitt has served as city manager since June 2007, but spent seven months as acting city manager following the departure of longtime city manager William H. Fisher in late 2006.
Corbitt was tapped to be Fisher’s permanent replacement after the city’s initial choice, retired Army Maj. Randy Robertson, left after less than eight months on the job.
His decision to retire, Corbitt said, was based mostly on finances, but his age as well. Corbitt turned 70 in March and is required by law to begin drawing some of his retirement savings later this year.
On Thursday, Ashland City Commissioners authorized Corbitt to start the process of finding his replacement.
“My recommendation is going to be to hire a professional search firm to do the search as opposed to doing it in house ourselves,” said Corbitt.
The search, he said, may be limited to the southeast region, but officials may decide to cast their net nationally. A local search committee will also be created, Corbitt said, which will likely review a selected number of vetted candidates and help elected officials to make a final decision.
When Corbitt was selected to be city manager, the city handled the entire advertising, application, vetting and selection process.
Before becoming city manager Corbitt served as the Ashland engineer and director of public services from 2000 to 2007. He was previously employed in the private sector as an industrial engineer. Corbitt and his wife, Elaine, have a son, Stephen.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at email@example.com.