EAST RIDGE, TN (WDEF) ---The mayor of East Ridge says it may be another three months before the city is once again prepared to name a City Manager.
The last candidate selected from a large field backed out this week---and now its back to square one.
According to the city charter, only a few people qualify for that job.
The job of city manager in East Ridge is still open.
The last person to hold that job, Tim Gobble, resigned in February.
There were originally 82 applicants, which was narrowed to three, and finally former Red Bank city manager, Christ Dorsey.
Yesterday he pulled out to try for a similar job in Signal Mountain.
MAYOR BRENT LAMBERT, EAST RIDGE "Well, the next step will be to re-advertise, a motion was made in regard to that at last night's meeting."
Most of those who applied did not have the required education.
MAYOR LAMBERT "I think the difference will be..it will be stated very clearly and plainly in the advertisment that a bachelor of public administration degree is required."
The mayor says that stipulation was added after a study committee suggested it in 2008, and it was approved in a referendum.
MAYOR LAMBERT "Three out of 4 people in East Ridge voted in favor of that provision...in 2008." "We can say the charter is going to get changed next year, but we don't know that for a fact. We can put it on the ballot and ultimately the people of East Ridge will decide."
Former county commissioner Curtis Adams held the city manager's job temporarily for about 5 months before Gobble was hired.
Adams has lived in East Ridge for more than 60 years, and he considers the city manager an administrator first and foremost.
CURTIS ADAMS, FORMER COUNTY COMMISSIONER "That is strictly a management job...you've got people that handle finances, you got a good police chief, fire chief, you just keep it rolling. You've got 125 great employees." "I blame the study committee that came up with that 09 charter."
Commissioner Adams says he hopes eventually the city could hire someone who already lives in the community.
Longtime East Ridge Public safety Director Eddie Phillips is acting City Manager.
He has done that six times over the past few years.
A new charter study committee meets on May 16th.