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Executive search firm selected

The Berkley Group of Bridgewater has been awarded the contract to help find the next County Administrator of Charlotte County for a base price of $20,000.

“It’s not going to be a flat $20,000,” said Chairman of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors and Personnel Committee Member Gary Walker.

According to a synopsis of the response to the request for proposal (RFP), additional pricing could include an optional $1,800 per month for up to eight hours of on-boarding for a maximum of three months.

The information said the on-boarding process would include helping the new county administrator transition into the position.

However, no non-direct expenses such as travel, advertising or printing would be added as long as the county absorbs the cost of advertising and printing.

The final decision followed discussion at a special called meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors May 2.

The final decision was narrowed down to Springsted Incorporated of Mechanicsville and The Berkley Group.

A total of eight proposals were received from companies in addition to the final two, including Edwards Management Consultants, Gallagher Titan, Hartz Search, S. Renee Narloch & Associates, Summit Insurance Group and Wolfcreek Consulting, Inc.

“We had a very good discussion with both of them … ,” said Walker regarding the final two firms. He said the personnel committee met with representatives from each firm for over an hour to discuss prepared questions and answers to the RFP.

He said during the scoring process, money was not taken into consideration.

“Although it was a fairly close score, the Berkley Group was the one that scored the highest and with their amount of local experience and expertise they had a good … three person team here for the interview … ,” said Walker.

He said the firm also had a lot of experience in local government. Keysville Supervisor and Personnel Committee Member Butch Shook said while the Berkley Group did not have as much experience as Springsted, they did have consulting people who have experience in city management and county administrators.

“These are all professional people they can use,” said Shook. Shook said a retired Lynchburg City Manager and County Manager from Chesterfield would be working closely with Charlotte County throughout the process.

He said even though the firm did not have more experience as far as hiring county administrators, “they want to get more experience and they’ve got people that would help us.”

Red Oak/Wylliesburg Supervisor Kay Pierantoni said while she thought the individuals from the Berkley Group were very nice, there were several aspects of the firm that concerned her including experience and lack of a guarantee.

“I actually was more in favor of Springsted and still am … ,” she said. Pierantoni said while the Berkley Group has been in business since 2010, the group just started offering executive search firm services in 2017.

Additionally, Springsted Incorporated offers a 24 month guarantee against termination or resignation for any reason on new hires. However, she said the Berkley Group did not have a guarantee.

“That’s huge to me,” said Pierantoni. “We’re gonna spend money and go through the process and Springsted, if that person left, if we didn’t like them or they didn’t like us, would hire us another person.”

She said the cost is about the same, however, Springsted guarantees the cost will not exceed $24,500 and has experience dating back to 1993.

Walker said he asked representatives from the Berkley Group about the guarantee and was told if there was a problem, the firm would be glad to work with the county.

“I think Springsted has got more criteria,” said Drakes Branch Supervisor Garland H. Hamlett, Jr. He made a substitute motion to hire Springsted, however, the motion did not pass.

Shook said The Berkeley Group said they could go national, but more or less the search would be conducted within a 200 mile radius of Charlotte County.

He said Springsted is more of a national company.

However, Pierantoni said Springsted’s representative said most likely the person could come from Virginia or North Carolina based on the companies previous experiences.

“We’re looking to find the best county administrator we can find,” said Hamlett. “Charlotte County needs to grow and we need somebody that’s innovative, somebody that thinks outside the box and if they narrow that down to a 200 mile radius, we may not get the best.”