The Alameda City Council will interview six candidates vying to become city manager on Saturday, when the council also likely will narrow the field to two or three finalists.

The finalists will be interviewed by three advisory panels -- one made up of community representatives, the others made up of city department heads and union representatives -- and the council will use their input to help make the final decision.

The council decided to create the panels on Tuesday as a way to gather a consensus on which candidate would be the best fit for the job, currently held by Acting City Manager Lisa Goldman.

"These are advisory opinions and the council will make the final determination," Mayor Marie Gilmore said.

After the union representatives and others interview finalists, the City Council may call some candidates back for a follow-up interview. "But we may decide that we don't need it," Councilmember Beverly Johnson said.

More than 65 people have applied for the city manager's job, said Karen Willis, Alameda's human resources director.

The effort to fill the job follows the council opting not to renew the contract of Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant when it expires in March. Gallant is currently on paid administrative leave.

Among the qualities that city officials are on record as wanting in the next city manager are an understanding of how state finances work and a track record supporting transparency in government.

City leaders also said they would not rule out a candidate who comes from the private sector. Living within the city is not a job requirement, they said.

Gilmore and Vice-Mayor Rob Bonta are overseeing the recruitment, which is being handled by the city's Human Services Department. No outside firm is screening candidates.