Councilmen and the mayor brought their top five picks to a work session, scored from five to one. The council tallied the points and arrived at five finalists.
Councilman Ben Little was not at the meeting and did not submit his five choices.
The remaining candidates in order of points received are:
• John J. Drago, who until recently worked as city administrator for Longwood, Fla.
• Richard M. Finn, who last worked as city manager for Takoma Park, Md. According to his resume, that job ended in 2005.
• Jack E. Miller, city manager for Crossville, Tenn.
• Roger Sawyer, who until November 2008 worked as operations director for Consolidated Publishing Co., which publishes The Star.
• Don Hoyt, county manager for Chambers County.
The only candidate specifically discussed by the council was Sawyer. Originally, councilmen agreed to grade the candidates based on a set of criteria, like government experience and applicable degrees.
Councilman John Spain said he chose to alter his criteria after an "overwhelming outpouring" from the community in favor of Sawyer, who does not have government administration experience.
Spain and Robinson both chose Sawyer for their No. 1 picks.
Councilman David Dawson said the public also had contacted him about Sawyer, but he did not alter his criteria to better suit Sawyer's qualifications.
Sawyer did not make Dawson's or Councilman Herbert Palmore's top five lists.
The council will further narrow its candidates to three in a June 2 work session. The final three will come to Anniston for public interviews.
Mayor Gene Robinson said he wasn't happy with Little for missing Wednesday's meeting.
"I don't want to hear complaining and griping when he comes back in on this process," Robinson said during the meeting.
The council had moved the meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday to accommodate Little's schedule. Robinson said they won't do it again.
Efforts to reach Little Wednesday afternoon failed.
The council is hiring a new city manager as former City Manager George Monk resigned in December when he and the council couldn't agree on contract terms.
Police Chief John Dryden served as city manager until Wednesday, when the council appointed Fire Chief Bill Fincher.
Under the legislative act that created Anniston's city government, Dryden's interim city manager term was set to expire on Friday.