Transitions: Long Beach, NY; Rockville Centre, NY; Ashland, OR and more

“I think the most important part of this job is being able to use the resources available to you, and in my police career I’ve had a lot of experience with that.”–Keith Spadaro

Long Beach, New York (population 33,275): Officials said the details of a contract between Long Beach and City Manager Jack Schnirman should be finalized by March after the City Council passed a resolution last week allowing the city to enter into a contract with Schnirman, according to Newsday.The two-year agreement will provide security for Schnirman and clear guidelines for his responsibilities to Long Beach, said Councilman Scott Mandel. Mandel said having a contract “puts the position on a level that’s outside of political influence to some extent.” Former City Manager Charles Theofan did not have a contract, council members said, but former City Manager Glen Spiritis did, and so have others. Council president Fran Adelson said the council would follow past guidelines, but that this contract would have fewer privileges. “There was a provision in a contract that gave the city manager a car, and that provision has been stricken,” Adelson said, citing costs of gas, insurance and wear and tear. Council vice president Len Torres said the city hopes to auction off the black, eight-cylinder Chrysler 300 that Theofan drove during his tenure. Schnirman said this contract won’t have “executive days,” and that he would be entitled to only as many leave days as other management employees. According to the International City/County Management Association, more than 89 percent of city managers have contracts. The contract will reflect Schnirman’s annual salary of $157,988 and will be made available to the public once finalized, council members said.

Rockville Centre, New York (population 24,023): After a four-month search involving more than 30 applicants, Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray and the Board of Trustees have chosen a former New York City police inspector to be the new village administrator, according to the LI Herald. Keith Spadaro will replace Frank Quigley, who was removed from the position in October, Murray announced at a special Monday-afternoon Board of Trustees meeting. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Spadaro, 50, who has been a village resident for 19 years. He and his wife, Stacy, have three children, Katie, 19, Keith 16, and Caroline, 14. Though Spadaro will not begin his new job until March 19, Murray and former village consultant Anthony Cancellieri will bring him up to speed on village affairs in the coming weeks. Murray removed Quigley from the position four months after he was elected, as he assembled his administration. Spadaro held a variety of positions in his lengthy career with the NYPD. Most recently, he was the commanding officer of its Office of Information Technology, where he oversaw the 1,400 members of the Communications Division. Spadaro graduated from Buffalo State College with a business degree in 1983, and then joined the Air Force for officer training and flight school, but his military career was cut short because of an injury he suffered in college. For several years he worked as a stock trader for a number of corporations. In 2001, while serving as an NYPD lieutenant, he earned a law degree from New York Law School.

Ashland, Oregon (population 20,255): Six months after being fired as Deschutes County administrator in a split vote of county commissioners, Dave Kanner was named Thursday as Ashland’s new city administrator, according to KTVZ. Mayor John Stromberg made the announcement in a news release. The position is appointed by the mayor, with the city council expected to confirm the appointment at its Feb. 21 meeting. Most recently, Kanner served as the County Administrator in Deschutes County, Oregon. Previously, Kanner served as the deputy county administrator in Jackson County, assistant to the city manager in Wilsonville and senior public affairs specialist at Metro in Portland. Kanner will begin work on Monday, February 27. Larry Patterson — former Bend city manager — has been serving as Ashland’s interim city administrator, managing operations of the city since October. Kanner will succeed former city administrator Martha Bennett, who left to accept the position of chief operating officer at Metro in Portland. Last August, commissioners Tammy Baney and Tony DeBone voted to fire Kanner. In written evaluations, the pair and colleague Alan Unger, who wanted to keep Kanner, highly praised his fiscal management, honesty and integrity. But Baney felt Kanner was not conveying her voice on county policy, and DeBone wrote that Kanner did not provide enough feedback to the managers of county departments.

Gautier, Mississippi (population 11,280): Gautier’s new city manager said she is ready to help make this city a thriving place to live, work and enjoy, according to WLOX. City council members hired Samantha Abell after firing former manager Sidney Runnels late last year. Samantha Abell is the new woman in charge of the day to day operation in Gautier. She said it’s a job she said requires a strong vision. The new city manager is no stranger to the city. She was formerly the economic director and plans to use those skills to entice more businesses to move here. Abell said creating a more walkable downtown and building a town center are also some of the big projects in the works. Abell said promoting the natural areas and building upon the riverfront will also enhance the quality of life in the city. Changing the aged signage in the city to make it more welcoming for visitors is also on the to-do-list. With help of the mayor, city council and citizens, this new city manager believes Gautier will be a better place to live, work, and enjoy.

Mathews County, Virginia (population 8,978): Melinda Moran, manager of the Town of Clarksville for the past 18 years, has been appointed Mathews County Administrator, effective April 16, according to the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal. The announcement was made following a procedural vote at a special meeting Saturday afternoon by the Mathews County Board of Supervisors. Moran will replace Steve Whiteway, who retired on Jan. 31 after serving more than 11 years in that post. Moran began her tenure as manager of the Town of Clarksville in May of 1994. According to a release from the county board, during Moran’s time in the lakeside Virginia town, she “led administrative efforts to establish a lasting shift from a traditional agricultural and manufacturing-based economy to tourism and service-based economy.” Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a master’s in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Tech. As the new county administrator, Moran will earn $90,000 a year. Clarksville, the first incorporated town in Mecklenburg County, is located on Virginia’s southern border. With a population of 1,139, according to 2010 U.S. census figures, Clarksville is situated on Kerr Lake. Each July, the town hosts the Virginia Lake Festival, attracting approximately 80,000 visitors during the three-day event. The search for a replacement for Whiteway began last summer, attracting a “substantial number of candidates,” Burns said. Several of those candidates were called back for follow-up interviews.

Cohasset, Massachusetts (population 7,542): Wednesday night Cohasset Selectmen unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Town Manager Michael Coughlin effective immediately, according to WATD. Coughlin has the right to a public hearing which could reverse the decision. Attorneys for the town and Coughlin have agreed to hold the hearing March 13th at 7 p.m. The town will continue to pay Coughlin his salary until the hearing and final resolution. Coughlin began the job last August 1. When they hired him, selectmen lauded his “consensus-building style.” In his first week on the job, he asked all department heads for their goals and objectives. Many department heads attended the brief Selectmen’s meeting and subsequent informal question and answer session with Chairman of Selectmen Ted Carr. A former JAG Army Captain and youth sports coach, Coughlin frequently communicates in sports analogies, calling himself coach and town employees the team. He says he spoke and emailed Carr daily. Carr said the became friends. Selectmen voted to remove him without cause, referring only to “communications with the board.” Coughlin formerly served as Town Administrator in three other towns, leaving each after three years. Selectman Diane Kennedy read a statement during the meeting. No other selectman spoke. She stressed the board’s action was not the result of a pending bid by the town’s  water commissioners. Coughlin said the bid, or RFP (request for proposals), lay at the heart of the dispute. The town manages 90 percent of its water system. A private water company, Aquarion, manages the system in the north section of town. Aquarion also manages the water systems of neighboring Hingham and Hull. Hingham has discussed terminating its relationship with Aquarion because of annual rate increases. Chairman of Cohasset’s Water Commissioners Peter DeCaprio has proposed the town ask for bids from private water companies to manage the entire water system. DeCaprio is managing director of the Crow Point Partners hedge fund of Scituate and New York City. The fund received a $15 million investment from Aquarion’s parent company, an Australian holding company. Coughlin has publicly objected to the water commissioners’ bid, saying only he, as the town’s procurement officer, can manage the provision of goods and services to the town. Selectmen will meet Friday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. to plan for interim management of town government.

Pleasant View, Utah (population 7,482): The city has hired a new chief administrator, according to the Standard-Examiner. At a recent special meeting, council members approved, with a 4-1 vote, an employment agreement for Melinda Brimhall to take on the duties of city administrator. Brimhall’s contract with the city began Feb. 8. Her salary is $78,000 a year, with benefits that include three weeks of vacation, sick leave and holiday leave. She also will receive health and retirement benefits and a travel allowance of $300 per month, using her own vehicle. The city administrator position will be evaluated annually. Mayor Doug Clifford said the city is happy to have Brimhall on board. The previous city administrator, J.J. Allen, accepted a job with the city of Clearfield, necessitating the new hire. Brimhall grew up in Utah County and graduated from Weber State University with a double major, earning degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She also has a master’s degree in administration from Brigham Young University. Brimhall is coming to Pleasant View from Grand County where she worked as council administrator for two years. Before that, she was was a management analyst for three years in Casa Grande, Ariz., and a management assistant in Chandler, Ariz., for three years. Brimhall said she has family in Pleasant View and is pleased to start working in the area. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and her puppy, Flynn. She also enjoys biking and other outdoor activities. Brimhall was sworn into office Tuesday night by Judge Patrick Lambert.

Corning, California (population 7,093): A packed house watched Tuesday evening as the City Council chose Public Works Director John Brewer to take on additional duties as city manager, according to the Daily News. Brewer, who begins his new position March 1, starts at $6,689 per month, according to the staff report. In one year, Brewer would be eligible for a raise to $7,041 per month followed by eligibility for another raise the following year to $7,412 per month. Brewer will be filling the shoes of City Manager Steve Kimbrough, who went to part time while taking retirement in 2011. Kimbrough is unable to keep the position due to Assembly Bill 1028. Effective Jan. 1, a retiree under PERS cannot work for more than a year without his retirement being affected. Councilman John Leach, the lone no vote, said he objected to the contract for Kimbrough because it has an indemnity clause and automatic renewal. Kimbrough’s duties under contract would be limited to assisting with the budget and training Brewer and other staff to prepare the budget. He would remain covered under the city’s indemnity, which protects him in case he is sued in the scope of his work for the city, City Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick said. Kimbrough would be paid $4,500 a month from March to June, with a 30-day notice of termination. The contract would renew for an additional year if not canceled. Former Councilman Ross Turner questioned whether the position of consultant was to be opened up with request for proposals or had just been created with one person in mind.

St. Clair, Michigan (population 5,485): With City Superintendent Scott Adkins heading to a new job with Roseville in two weeks, the city council will have to act swiftly to replace him, according to The Times Herald. Adkins said he submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday to Mayor Bill Cedar Jr. If the council accepts his letter, Adkins’ last day will be March 1. The Roseville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Adkins as city manager with a one-year, $94,000 contract. Adkins said he’ll start March 6. Adkins said he asked for a one-year contract with Roseville so both parties could evaluate if they were a “good fit” for each other. He said he has created a list of transition items he plans to discuss with St. Clair department heads and council members. One of the things Adkins was working on was bidding out city services, per the council’s request. Adkins said he started searching for a job in another city because of the council’s openness to privatizing city services. He said he didn’t want to wait for the council to put his job out to bid as well. He’s served St. Clair since 2006 as superintendent and makes $81,177 per year. Adkins’ contract with St. Clair was to expire in mid-2013. There is a clause in the contract that allows him to submit a resignation and attempt to give 30 days notice, but it isn’t mandatory, Adkins said. If the council fires Adkins, the contract states the city must pay him a six-month severance package, he said. St. Clair City Clerk Janice Winn said the council has directed her to assume some of the superintendent’s duties for an interim period when past superintendents have left. The Michigan Municipal League has a list of qualified people who can serve as interim city managers, Adkins said. He said he notified the mayor and some members of the council more than 30 days ago he was seeking employment elsewhere. Adkins also applied for the city manager position in Algonac on Jan. 31 and was offered the job, as Algonac City Manager Karl Tomion is retiring March 11. Algonac City Council voted Feb. 7 to accept resumes for the position. According to a schedule set by the Michigan Municipal League, it will take about 10 weeks before Algonac is ready to make an offer to a new city manager. Tomion said he’s trying to expedite the process, and has already received some resumes. He makes $72,000 per year.

West Peoria, Illinois (population 4,414): John Carlson, the city administrator in West Peoria for the last nine years, will leave at the end of April, according to the Peoria Journal Star. Carlson, who is 60, has worked in government for 32 years, coming to West Peoria in 2003 after retiring from the Peoria City/County Health Department as director of administration. Carlson said he had no hidden agenda behind his decision to leave West Peoria. Carlson cited several accomplishments in his letter of resignation and thanked the council and Dillon, who has been mayor all of the Carlson years, for the opportunities they provided him. Carlson, who told Dillon of his intentions at the end of January, will stay on until April 30, the end of the city’s fiscal year. Dillon said the search for a replacement will likely be done locally, in the hope of landing a home-grown professional like Carlson. He said he has been bursting with the news of the impending resignation since the end of January. Dillon hopes the hiring process ends up with a new administrator ready to take Carlson’s place the day his resignation takes effect.

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