TALENT — The search for a new police chief would begin early next month under a hiring process proposed by City Manager Jay Henry, who is charged with selecting the chief under the city charter.

TALENT — The search for a new police chief would begin early next month under a hiring process proposed by City Manager Jay Henry, who is charged with selecting the chief under the city charter.

A new chief could be on the job as early as January.

Henry will review a job description, compensation and advertising plans with the City Council when it meets Nov. 5. He asked for member's thoughts on the position at the Oct. 15 meeting.

"I'm definitely going to depend on our City Council to provide input along the way, even though the final decision is mine," said Henry. "It's such a critical position. We've got a lot of wisdom on the council and I'd like to make use of it."

At least one letter of interest and a phone call have been received. Mike Moran, Talent's interim chief appointed in August, plans to apply. Moran filled the void left when former chief Bob Rector resigned in July to take a position with the Curry County Sheriff's Office. He had served in Talent since 2003.

"I've been down here for three months. I like the town, I like the people, I like the police department," said Moran, who took the Talent chief's job after 29 years with the Medford Police Department.

A search committee will include two City Council members, two citizens selected by the council, a police union representative and two law enforcement professionals. The council would select its own representatives, and several members have indicated a willingness to serve.

Deadline for applications would be Dec. 8 under the proposed time lines. Henry would then review applications, and the search committee would conduct its first round of interviews Jan. 5-7.

Final interviews would be held Jan. 21 and include a meeting with police employees, lunch with council members and the search committee, meetings with other city department heads and an evening town meeting open to the public. A formal job offer could be made as early as January 23 if background checks have been completed.

Salary range for the position is $65,740 to $80,991 annually.

"It's going to be a competitive recruiting," said Henry. "We are going to pick the person who is the absolute best for the city."

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.