By Ashley Rader
Steven Neilson, currently development coordinator for the Johnson City Development Services Department, was the final candidate interviewed for the position.
Neilson said he wanted to pursue a career as a city manager because he had not yet had the opportunity to use his education. He has a master’s degree in city management. He said he had been with Johnson City for 18 years and there was no further room for advancement where he was.
Council member Nancy Alsup asked why he was not planning director if he had advanced as far as he could. Neilson said the departments had been restructured and there was no longer a planning director position.
Neilson said he had not pursued a career as a city manager before because his daughters were younger. Now that they were in college, he felt the time was right to make a career move.
He said as a city manager he would be active and involved in the community. He said he would visit with business owners and would get to know the people of Elizabethton.
“I don’t want to be a city manager sitting behind a desk,” Neilson said. “I want to be out in the community, and the city is small enough to do that.”