Committees to interview candidates for key Atlanta posts

A group of aspiring job applicants will be participating in perhaps the most important interviews of their lives Monday.

The candidates will answer questions in a teleconference call from five committees conducting searches for finalists to become Atlanta's next police chief, fire rescue chief, city attorney, chief financial officer and Public Works commissioner.

The committees were initially asked to choose at least three finalists for each job, but Mayor Kasim Reed wants five names, said transition team co-chair Lisa Borders. The mayor wanted a broader list of names before nominating one candidate, she said. Reed has also told the search committee he wants police chief candidates who have experience in combating street gangs.

Transition team leaders declined to release the names of the candidates. State law requires governments to release the names of three candidates, but Atlanta isn't at that point yet. Reed has said he wants to announce nominees for the positions by early May.

Some community groups have complained the search process has been too secretive. Borders, the former City Council president, disagreed.

"There have been 100 people involved in the search process on a near-daily basis ... Atlanta has never conducted a search this open, this transparent or this extensive in our city's history," she said.