The City Council is screening more than 50 candidates this week to replace City Administrator David Millheim, who will step down in mid-August.

Three special meetings have been scheduled Thursday, Friday and Saturday to winnow through a pile of applications.Councilman Gary Chandler said the city has been advertising the position in national trade publications and through professional organizations.

Meantime, Chandler said, the council probably will name an interim city administrator to handle South Jordan's affairs for two or three months until a new administrator is hired and comes on board.

Millheim, who has served as city administrator for 31/2 years, notified council members June 9 he will be leaving the city to pursue other career opportunities - possibly in the private sector.

He said he wanted to notify city officials of his decision before seriously negotiating future employment in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

However, Millheim indicated he plans to stay with the city through mid-August to give the council time to seek a replacement and make an orderly transition.

During Millheim's tenure as city administrator, South Jordan officials have made major strides in expanding the city's commercial tax base by encouraging business and economic development.

That process has been controversial at times, particularly when it involved commercial and apartment developments along the Jordan River near 10600 South.

One of the key requirements, Chandler said, will be finding "somebody who can understand the philosophy of South Jordan.

"We want to see as much commercial development as reasonably possible while preserving the rural nature of our city with open spaces and rural recreation," the councilman said. "We want to maintain the atmosphere we have."

City officials have not set a specific salary range for the new administrator.

"We want somebody with good experience who can step right in and manage the city." Chandler added. "And we're willing to pay comparable salaries to what other cities are paying to get that experience."