Brighton and Hove City Council is due to ratify an interim chief executive to take over from the outgoing incumbent Geoff Raw who leaves in May.
Early indications suggested that there were two favourites for the £167,000-a-year post.
One of them is Will Tuckley, who left Tower Hamlets council earlier this month after spending the past 11 years as a chief executive at two London borough councils.
The other is Nick Hibberd, who left his job as Brighton and Hove’s executive director for the economy, environment and culture last year for a similar role at Croydon council.
Mr Hibberd, 50, joined Croydon council as the corporate director for sustainable communities, regeneration and economic recovery.
A previous chief executive of Croydon council set out ambitious plans to turn the London borough into the new Barcelona. More recently the council has faced financial turmoil.
Mr Hibberd’s move was seen by some as a way of broadening his experience in preparation for the top job in Brighton and Hove or elsewhere.
He was tipped as a “future leader” by LGC (Local Government Chronicle) as long ago as 2011 – and his appointment could pave the way to the top job on a permanent basis.
One insider said that, of the two favourites, he was the more likely to serve long enough to make a genuine difference to the future of Brighton and Hove.
And although the current appointment would be on an interim basis, there was the potential danger of deterring or losing a strong candidate for the permanent post.
Mr Tuckley, 63, is the more experienced, having become chief executive of Bexley council in 2008 before moving to Tower Hamlets in 2015.
He began his career in 1983, working for the Greater London Council (GLC) which was abolished by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1986.
Mr Tuckley joined Croydon council in 1996, rising to become deputy chief executive and leaving in 2008 to become chief executive of Bexley council.
He has previously served as chair of Amicus Housing Association and as a non-executive director of London Marathon Events, the company that has since taken over running the Brighton Marathon.
An assessment day was held by the council yesterday (Monday 27 March) and one name will go forward to the meeting of the full council at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (30 March).
This is when the formal decision is due to be made on who will take up the post. It will be the final meeting of the full council before the local elections on Thursday 4 May.
Mr Raw is due to oversee the count the next day – his final day in post – before taking up a new job in London.
He has been appointed managing director of Be First, also known as Be First London, a new homes and jobs development company for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Mr Raw, 60, joined Brighton and Hove City Council in 2010 as one of four “super directors” – the strategic director of place – before becoming chief executive in 2015.
Neither of the above.
Is there any news on Geoff’s golden goodbye?
Has it been cancelled yet?