Missouri City City Council will interview three executive search firms during a special meeting June 15. After council receives each firm's presentation, it may take action to hire a firm to assist in the search for a new city manager.

The three firms the city will hear from are Baker Tilly, GovHR USA and CPS HR Consulting, according to city documents.

These three firms were selected from a pool of eight that responded to the city’s request for proposal, according to Martin Russell, Missouri City human resources director. Council members reviewed each firm's proposals and graded them against a matrix that considered cost, methodology and qualifications in order to select the top three.

Council Member Vashaundra Edwards said she was concerned with the city spending money on an executive search firm, citing the possibility of hiring internally. Edwards named Bill Atkinson, an assistant city manager and current interim city manager, as one potential candidate.

“I would just love to save the city some money and just go with that option as opposed to us continuing to go through this process to end up at that,” Edwards said. “I’m concerned with us making that decision [to hire a search firm] if we are going to hire within.”

Russell recommended using an executive search firm and said the HR department, which is made up of three employees, does not have access to the same level of resources.

The cost of the city manager search will be negotiated after a firm is selected.

“When you are making a decision about the CEO of your city, you want to make sure it's done right, and check all the boxes, cross all of the t's and dot all of the i's,” Council Member Jeffrey Boney said. “I really am excited about the potential to allow our citizens to know that we’ve had a full process and fully vetted candidates.”

The June 15 interviews will take place at 6 p.m. in the Bluebonnet Room of the Quail Valley Golf Course and City Centre, located at 288 La Quinta Drive, Missouri City.

Baker Tilly assisted Missouri City in last year’s search for a city manager by conducting a web-based survey of Missouri City residents as well as reference and background checks, and other verifications on top candidates.

Missouri City is in the process of hiring a new city manager after council voted 5-2 in April to fire former City Manager Odis Jones without cause.