ITHACA, N.Y.—The City of Ithaca has received “around 40” applications for its new city manager position, according to Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis. The position is still tentatively slated to be filled by January.

The city is currently conducting a first round of interviews. In November, full-day interviews will be held with finalists for the job, Lewis said during a city budget meeting Wednesday.

The search team is made up of Lewis, four council members and four department heads in city government.

Lewis reiterated her framing of the city manager hiring timeline as “aggressive,” but remained optimistic Ithaca’s first city manager would be in place by the new year. The search committee is scheduled to provide a final candidate recommendation to Common Council for consideration at its Dec. 6 meeting.

“Indeed it is an aggressive timeframe, but it is one that we are moving forward with at a good pace,” Lewis said. 

City officials are still working with consultant Ian Coyle of Pracademic Partners, who was hired this summer to assist with the city manager search. Coyle is also the Livingston County Administrator.

Earlier this summer, Coyle advised Common Council members to increase the salary to make the position more competitive. In August, council members voted to change the starting salary from $165,000 to a range that caps out at $180,000. 

Wednesday’s budget hearing also revealed that the city is also working with Coyle to find a new director of human resources (HR). Longtime HR director Schelley Michell-Nunn has notified the city that she will retire from the position in the near future, though a date was not specified.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at