The Gainesville City Commission interviewed three candidates for the open city auditor position on Monday and Tuesday this week.
The City Commission is scheduled to discuss, and potentially select the final candidate, on Dec. 7. If filled, Gainesville will have all permanent charter officers after years with multiple interims.
Interviews happened one-on-one with each candidate and commissioner along with interviews with the whole commission, and Gainesville also hosted a community event on Monday at the Thomas Center to meet the candidates.
The three finalists—Thomas Alger, Rory Galter and Stephen Mhere—were selected by Baker Tilly, a firm hired by the city to run the search.
The new city auditor will lead a staff of five employees within the auditor’s office. The office has a budget of $932,000 for the current fiscal year. The listed salary for the city auditor is between $140,000 to $170,000.
Alger currently serves as chief audit executive at Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, a position he has held since April 2019. Before that, he was chief internal auditor for the Illinois Department of Public Health. He has taught accounting at the graduate and undergraduate level for around six years.
Galter has worked as audit manager for the city of Dallas since 2015, overseeing four staffers. Previously, he worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as an internal review specialist.
Mhere works as a senior auditor with the city of Tampa. He’s held that role since 2013 and previously served as auditor for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment from 2008 to 2013.
Former city auditor Ginger Bigbie resigned in November 2022 and stayed on through mid-January.
The city commission voted in early 2023 to begin searches for all five interim charter officers. However, in a reverse decision two weeks later, the commission voted 6-1 to make all the interim officers permanent except for the auditor post.