Fayettville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s City Manager Dale Iman announced Friday he is resigning April 1, ending his five-year tenure under pressure from a majority of City Council members, according to . Because of unused vacation time, next week will likely be his last on the job, Mayor Tony Chavonne said. Council members discussed Iman during a closed session Monday and decided they wanted him to step down amid criticism of his handling of the police consent search issue. He was told of the decision Tuesday. Statistics show about two-thirds of all consent searches during police traffic stops involve blacks, which has stirred allegations of racial profiling. Iman and Police Chief Tom Bergamine have denied the accusations and defended consent searches, which are used when officers don’t have probable cause. The council in January ordered an outside review and imposed a moratorium on consent searches, which a judge halted last week. A court hearing Monday will consider a preliminary injunction against the city. Iman and Bergamine opposed the probe and moratorium. The council’s growing frustration with both men – and in particular with Iman’s recent responses to the issue – appeared to reach a tipping point this week. Councilman Keith Bates was one of Iman’s supporters. One was Iman’s surprise announcement March 1 that police would begin using newly drafted driver consent forms starting March 5. Bates said the council voted down the idea in October. Another irksome decision came Feb. 29 when Iman announced by email that Bergamine would sit on an advisory panel assisting in the search for a new chief. Bergamine, 58, plans to retire effective July 1. Iman has refused to speak with a reporter this week. Councilwoman Val Applewhite said Iman had a difficult job trying to keep nine council members and the mayor happy. Chavonne said Iman has written his resignation letter, but it wasn’t included in an email to the council announcing his decision. A reporter was unable to obtain a copy of the letter Friday. Chavonne said the city would honor any obligations in Iman’s contract. According to a copy of the contract obtained Thursday, Iman would get a year’s salary if he were fired. If he resigned “following a suggestion either formal or informal” by the council, he could deem that a termination. He earns $176,693 a year. The city also must cover Iman’s health benefits for a year or until a new employer provides that coverage. Iman, 57, took over in fall 2006. Under his direction, the council adopted a five-year capital-improvement plan and began more consistently budgeting money to repave streets, demolish blighted buildings and replace aging vehicles and computers. The council adopted a program to improve rental housing and rewrote zoning and development codes. Last August, Iman received a 4 percent pay raise in what Chavonne described at the time as Iman’s best evaluation. Highlights of the review included the city’s response to the April tornadoes and last summer’s opening of N.C. Veterans Park. His tenure included tumultuous times, such as the 2007 “ticketgate” incident in which a traffic citation given to a friend of the mayor’s was improperly voided by police. In July 2010, council members were shocked to discover about $500,000 in transit money meant for bus shelters and other improvements wasn’t going to be spent under Iman’s direction. The racial disparities in police consent searches publicly surfaced in late 2010. The issue later divided the council and spurred concerns by civil rights groups and activists. The city hired the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to conduct an outside review. The consultants will report their findings Monday. Iman told the council in a Feb. 29 email that the “allegations will be laid to rest” by the report. Chavonne said the council was forced to adopt the moratorium to have an outside review done. Chavonne acknowledged that Iman’s departure comes at a critical time during budget preparations. An assistant manager position is vacant, too. The council, he said, will likely name an acting city manager next week. He expects the city to begin a national search for a permanent replacement.
Port St. Lucie, Florida (population 164,603): City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Linda Bartz voting no, to fire City Manager Jerry Bentrott, according to WPTV. Assistant City Manager Greg Oravec was appointed acting city manager. A motion to fire City Attorney Roger Orr failed. Councilwoman Michelle Berger had motioned for City Manager Jerry Bentrott to be terminated. Councilwoman Shannon Martin seconded the motion. Both Berger and Martin had expressed their disappointment in how Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr handled department leadership and staff during the fall out a drinking and driving incident involving former Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor. The motion comes in the wake of Taylor’s termination Thursday morning. Mayor JoAnn Faiella had requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager. The emergency meeting was paused so Council could return and make a formal motion. Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated. Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant during the earlier discussion in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions. He said it would be “ridiculous” to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he’s already lost all credibility. Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file. Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks. Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. on Feb. 18 after Officer N. Lovechio witnessed Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.
Vallejo, California (population 115,942): By the end of his first week at Vallejo City Hall, Dan Keen said the city had not yet managed to surprise him, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. But the city’s first full-time city manager since June 2009, chocks that up to 28 years of municipal experience. But there has been a little bit of paddling upstream for the new full-time city manager, he said. Keen, 52, comes to Vallejo from managing the city of Concord for the past three years. He said he has worked toward that goal of setting priorities through a series of meetings with the City Council and key staff members. He named obvious looming issues like overseeing the construction of the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget within the next three and a half months, potential employee contract negotiations — and his first Council meeting next Tuesday. Keen commended efforts by the city’s most recent interim city manager, Phil Batchelor — branded a “turnaround specialist — to fill most of the city’s looming top executive staff vacancies. With Batchelor’s legwork in the past 14 months, Keen said his new role was a little easier to fit into. He praised the city’s executive team as “outstanding” with “a lot of energy, great attitudes, good outlook on taking the city to a different place.” But plenty of work remains, said Keen, who has managed four other cities in the past 16 years.
Longmont, Colorado (population 86,270): A reception honoring departing city manager Gordon Pedrow will be held March 20, according to the Longmont Times-Call. Pedrow came to Longmont in 1993 from Glendale, Ariz. In the time since, Longmont grew from 52,000 people to about 87,000. He and his wife, Pam, plan to remain active in the community. On Thursday, the Longmont Police Department dedicated its new shooting range to Pedrow. The new city manager, Harold Dominguez, starts work April 2.
Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): After seven years on the job, Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady’s tenure ended Tuesday when three of five City Council members voted to fire him, despite protests by dozens of residents and the threat of a recall campaign, according to the North County Times. Council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted in favor of Brady’s dismissal, while Mayor Brian Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee cast the dissenting votes. The action before the public in the council’s regular meeting echoed a decision the council had reached earlier during its performance review of Brady in a session closed to the public because it involved personnel matters. Leading up to the final vote, each of the three council members supporting Brady’s dismissal stated their rationales. Weber cited several areas where he felt Brady was lacking, including communications with some council members, the business community and the media. Hickman criticized Brady as allowing city government to be unfriendly toward business. Magee defended Brady’s integrity and performance, while Tisdale lamented the impending action. Melendez said her main objection was over the city manager’s contract, which various councils voted to increase from an annual base salary of $135,000 in 2005 to $185,000 to 2008, a contract extended last year to 2015. Also, Melendez said Brady was able to accrue administrative, sick and vacation leave for which the city is liable. In open session, she offered a compromise in which Brady would have agreed to revert to a $135,000 base salary with only annual extensions and no accrued leave beyond a two-week yearly vacation. No other council members, however, responded to the offer, and the vote on Brady’s termination went forward. As a result of guarantees written into his contract, Brady, a 14-year-city employee, will receive a year’s worth of salary and benefits as well as reimbursement for leave. In total, he will receive about $400,000 in severance pay, said James Riley, the city’s finance director. After the council’s decision, Brady was given a chance to speak. He thanked the public and staff, while defending his record. He acknowledged the outpouring of support for him. Subsequently, the council appointed Aquatic Resources, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy to serve as interim city manager. Prior to the meeting, more than 60 residents organized by a newly formed group called A Better Lake Elsinore led by local businessman Harvey Ryan and other civic leaders rallied in support of Brady and to protest against the three council members poised to remove him. After the council convened, 11 people spoke against Brady’s termination, one email was read into the record in support of keeping Brady, and one person supported release. Longtime activist Chris Hyland announced she is launching a recall campaign aimed at Hickman and served him with a notice to that effect. She alleged Hickman has failed to file accurate campaign financial disclosures and made racist remarks, among other allegations. Hickman called the allegations “bogus.”
Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): City Manager Gary Adams is resigning due to personal reasons after less than a year in the position, according to the Dayton Daily News. City Council is expected to accept Adams’ resignation at Monday night’s meeting, and appoint Public Safety Director Jim Borland as the new city manager. Adams’ resignation is effective March 16, and he will move back to Illinois, where he has been offered a position of project manager/associate pastor for adult ministries at Harvest Baptist Church in Oswego. Adams’ wife — who had surgery about a year ago — and two daughters reside in Illinois, and the Adamses haven’t been able to sell their home. Adams, 64, started at the end of May 2011, and has 36 years of experience in city and county government. His annual salary was $135,000. Adams will remain as a consultant on a one-year agreement with the city at $50 an hour, not to exceed $10,000. Borland’s salary will be $130,000; he was previously making $103,000. The public safety director position is not expected to be filled, Mayor Ron Fisher said, and Borland will still be responsible for public safety. Adams came to Huber Heights with the reputation of fostering economic expansion and new development, and city officials believe the city will continue to build on what Adams has established. Borland, who served as interim city manager prior to Adams’ hiring, did not return messages seeking comment.
Botetourt County, Virginia (population 33,148): He’s gotten well-wishes from friends, colleagues – even Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, according to WDBJ. Botetourt County Administrator Jerry Burgess is ending his nearly 20-year career with the county. Burgess came to Botetourt County in 1992 after working in Florida. He was tasked with building the county’s tax base, but says he’s most proud of the team he’s managed to bring together. While Burgess is excited about his future, he knows the county is facing a challenge as the Commonwealth works to nail down a budget. The county hopes to name a new administrator by the end of the month. As for Burgess’ tie to Coach K – the two were classmates at West Point together.
McHenry, Illinois (population 26,992): Administrative shake-ups for the cities of McHenry and Woodstock will be taking place next month, according to the Northwest Herald. Personnel changes come after McHenry City Administrator Chris Black accepted a job offer earlier this week to be finance director for the city of Rockford. The McHenry City Council on Thursday approved Mayor Sue Low’s recommendation to hire Derik Morefield as the next city administrator. Morefield, 43, is the deputy city manager for Woodstock. Earlier this week, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey announced Black as his pick to be finance director. Rockford, the third-largest largest city in Illinois, had been searching for a finance director since fall. Black, a Rockford native and resident, was contacted by the city’s search committee about a month ago and went through interviews with committee members. With the Rockford City Council’s approval, Black is expected to begin his new job in May. Black worked in Rockford’s finance department as a financial analyst beginning in 1998. He was promoted to central services manager in 1999 and held that position until 2006, when he became McHenry’s finance director. In August 2010, he was named city administrator. He lives in Rockford with his family. Black, 45, said the decision was a difficult one. Low said she was “saddened” when she learned over the weekend that McHenry may be losing an “exceptional employee.” Black will stay on to help the city complete its budget cycle. Morefield, Black’s successor, was interviewed this week by each of the McHenry City Council aldermen. On Thursday, the council discussed Morefield’s candidacy in a closed session and afterward authorized the mayor to offer the job to Morefield. The attorney for the city of McHenry is preparing Morefield’s contract. The City Council is expected to vote on contract approval at its next regular meeting, March 19. Meanwhile, Woodstock officials plan to review the deputy city manager’s position and make any needed updates before starting its hiring process, City Manager Tim Clifton said. Morefield’s move to McHenry will serve both communities well, Clifton said. Morefield has 14 years of experience in municipal affairs. He’s been Woodstock’s deputy city manager since 2007. Before that, he served as Woodstock’s director of business development and assistant city manager. Morefield also has led economic development and downtown revitalization initiatives for the city.
Windsor, California (population 26,801): Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan, who helped guide Sonoma County’s youngest city since its incorporation, announced his retirement Monday, according to the Press Democrat. Mullan, 60, informed the Town Council of his decision last week during his annual performance evaluation conducted in closed session. The Town Council agreed to hire a recruiting firm to find a successor for Mullan, who earns more than $185,000 annually. He will stay on the job until the end of the year. Mullan has worked in Windsor since 1989, beginning as assistant general manager of the Windsor Water District. When Windsor incorporated in 1992, he became assistant town manager and in 2005 was appointed town manager. Mullan’s guidance helped Windsor become one of the most financially stable cities in Sonoma County, Fudge said. His expertise with water systems was especially helpful when Windsor transitioned to a full-fledged town. Fudge credited him with innovative methods for handling Windsor’s treated wastewater, including recycling it into yard irrigation for more than 580 homes in the Vintage Greens subdivision. He also helped finalize a deal to hook-up to Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline, sending wastewater to the geothermal field for a steam-to-electricity conversion. While his predecessor, Paul Berlant, played a pivotal role in creating the Town Green, Mullan recalls negotiating the purchase of the land “when it was just a dirt pile,” before it was transformed into a plaza with shops and townhomes that became a model for smart growth. Mullan said there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm when Windsor residents decided two decades ago to incorporate. Mullan, who grew up in San Francisco, began his government career in 1977, working in Daly City in the utility department, billing and supervising meter reading. He went on to work for Citizens Utilities as a district manager for the private water company, including in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Larkfield. Prior to working in Windsor, he worked as a water conservation administrator for the City of San Francisco. Mullan said that among other things he wants to spend more time with his first grandchild, seven months old, who lives near Sacramento. He also said he may do some consulting as well as part-time teaching in public administration at San Francisco State or the University of San Francisco.
Newton, Iowa (population 15,254): Newton’s new City Administrator Bob Knabel knows how big an impact Maytag can have on a community, according to the Newton Daily News. He saw it firsthand during his time in Galesburg, Ill., a community that lost a Maytag production facility and jobs in 2004, three years before Maytag shut down Plant 2 in Newton. Knabel served as city manager in Galesburg between 1987 and 1997 and owned a restaurant in that community for part of that time as well. Knabel started last week in his role as Newton’s new city administrator. He brings a wide range of experience to the position coming most recently from Collinsville, Ill. near St. Louis has served over the years in city government in other communities throughout Illinois and even in New York. Bouncing from community to community is not uncommon among city managers and is something Knabel sees as coming with the territory. As councils change, so does the direction a particular city is heading. “Stability is five, six years, seven years — that’s the average tenure of a city administrator,” Knabel said, noting that over several election cycles, council members change and those who hire a particular administrator leave. New council members want to accomplish something different.
Hope Mills, North Carolina (population 15,176): The new town manager’s contract says it would take a simple majority vote by the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners to fire him, but a 4-1 vote to deny him severance, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Questions have arisen among some residents about the wording in John Ellis’ contract, which made it sound to some as if it would take a 4-1 vote to fire him. Town attorney Neil Yarborough said Tuesday that’s not true. The contract, approved March 5 by the board, lists reasons the manager’s employment could be terminated. They include his death, or termination “with cause” or “without cause.” Among the reasons for firing with cause include “such gross misconduct or neglect of duty as to be inimical to the interests of good government in the Town of Hope Mills as determined by at least a four-fifths vote of the Town Board.” Some residents took that to mean a 4-1 vote was needed to fire Ellis, instead of a simple majority of three members. Yarborough, who drew up the contract, said it would take a 4-1 vote only to deny the manager his severance package in the event of his firing. Yarborough said the manager would have had to engaged in “outrageous conduct” for him to be fired with cause. If fired without cause, the contract says Ellis would get six months of pay, payment for accrued annual leave and payment of health insurance for six months. Ellis is the former town finance director. He was appointed interim town manager when Randy Beeman was fired by a 3-2 vote in January. Commissioners cited several reasons for Beeman’s firing. He came under fire after recordings of him criticizing town officials were anonymously delivered to then-Mayor Eddie Dees. The 4-1 vote requirement to deny a severance package in certain instances was not included in Beeman’s contract, Yarborough said. Ellis was named town manager after a closed session March 5. The vote to hire him was 3-2, with Mike Mitchell, Pat Edwards and Bob Gorman voting for him and Tonzie Collins and Jerry Legge voting no. Collins and Legge said they wanted a more thorough search for a permanent manager. Ellis’ salary is $100,000 and will increase to $105,000 after six months. Beeman was paid about $84,000. Mayor Jackie Warner said the higher pay is in line with a recommendation from the N.C. League of Municipalities. Warner said Ellis did not negotiate the contract, except to request that he be given six months to relocate to Hope Mills instead of four months. The town agreed to pay him up to $2,500 in moving expenses. Ellis and his family live in Fuquay-Varina, where he used to serve as town manager. Ellis said he is satisfied with the contract as written. He is scheduled to be sworn in as town manager at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.
Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania (population 14,959): Joseph S. Czajkowski, who will be Lower Salford’s new township manager, starts the job April 10, according to the Montgomery News. With current manager J. Delton Plank set to retire the end of April, Czajkowski’s hiring was approved at the March 7 Lower Salford Township Board of Supervisors meeting. board Chairman Douglas Gifford said. Czajkowski is currently the manager in Newtown Township, Bucks County. His previous positions include with Lower Gwynedd Township and Comcast. He was chosen from almost 50 people who applied, Gifford said. The incoming Lower Salford manager was accompanied to the March 7 meeting by his wife and three children. His salary in the new position is $115,000, and is similar to what Plank was paid. Plank, whose previous positions include ones in Souderton Borough and Franconia Township, has been Lower Salford’s manager for 11 years. Sheila Freed, Lower Salford’s finance director, will also be retiring this year. Her retirement will be at the end of June, Gifford said as the board approved beginning advertising for a replacement. Freed, who has been in the Lower Salford position for about 10 years, previously worked for Franconia Township, Plank said following the meeting.
Hanover, Massachusetts (population 13,879): Troy Clarkson says he couldn’t resist placing his name into consideration to be Hanover’s new town manager, even though he had renewed his commitment to his town manager’s job in Bridgewater last fall, according to The Boston Globe. At the time, Clarkson had bowed out of the running for a similar position in Kingston. But then the Hanover job came along. Clarkson was chosen by Hanover selectmen Monday over 49 other candidates for the post. The job will pay about $130,000 annually. Clarkson, a Falmouth resident and former Plymouth County administrator, will succeed Steve Rollins, who retires in June after 25 years as Hanover’s top administrator. Once he takes the reins, Clarkson said his primary goals will be to promote continuing economic development in the Route 53 corridor and also pick up on the remediation efforts at the National Fireworks Co. site, which are in negotiations. The sprawling 240-acre property located off King and Winter streets borders Hanson and Pembroke. Waterways that flow through the parcel are contaminated with heavy metals and solvents from generations of manufacturing explosives and munitions at the site, and town and state officials are working to determine who would be responsible for the cleanup. If they cannot make that determination and have a plan in place by June, the state will bring in the federal government by having the property put on a national priority list for Superfund cleanup. Hanover has sought to avoid this in order to retain local control. Clarkson did not offer specifics on his economic growth ideas but said he had laid out some possibilities for selectmen. Susan Setterland, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, praised the five-member screening committee that narrowed the field of candidates to the finalists: Clarkson, interim Ipswich town administrator Thomas Younger, and Bourne Town Administrator Thomas Guerino. But Clarkson’s abilities, skills, and focus on communication really stood out, she said, and he took it upon himself to get to know what was going on in Hanover both fiscally and socially. While an offer has been made, and contract negotiations are expected to wrap up this week, Setterland said Clarkson is still subject to a background check as well as both a physical and psychological exam. If all goes well, Clarkson is bound to give 30-days’ notice to Bridgewater and then will begin work in Hanover to learn the ropes alongside Rollins until he leaves. Clarkson said going to work in Hanover will benefit him personally and professionally but he’ll also miss many of his colleagues in Bridgewater, including his department heads. What he won’t miss is his rancorous power struggles with the nine-member Bridgewater Town Council that blew up last year with a court battle over who had the authority to hire and fire. It ended with Clarkson being reprimanded for seeking the legal opinion. He also survived an attempt to have him removed from his post last July, because of the challenge. Still, despite the turmoil, Clarkson said he was grateful for his time in Bridgewater. He said he took on the Bridgewater job as it was in the midst of converting from a Town Meeting and Board of Selectmen form of government to that of a town manager and Town Council. Such a drastic transition could be hard on anybody, he said. At least one member of the Town Council feels the same way. Bill Callahan said that Clarkson did an excellent job in Bridgewater and that Hanover is lucky to have him. Calls and e-mails to seven other members of the council, including the president and vice president, were not returned. Council member Mike Demos said he had no comment. Hanover has undergone a similar governmental change over the past two years, after residents adopted the Town Manager Act, which involved increasing the number of selectmen in the town from three to five and streamlining town departments into a centralized operation with six departments. That transition has gone smoothly as Rollins, who had previously served as the longtime town administrator, agreed to shepherd the changes until his contract runs out in June. Setterland said everyone is looking forward to Clarkson coming on board. She praised Rollins and his longtime commitment to the town, acknowledging that he will be missed for his many day-to-day contributions.
Swampscott, Massachusetts (population 13,787): The Swampscott Board of Selectmen on Wednesday picked Thomas Younger as the new town administrator, according to the Boston Globe. The board voted 3-2 in favor of Younger, the interim town manager in Ipswich, over Swampscott resident Gerard Perry, director of accounts at the state Department of Revenue. Christopher Senior of Port Washington, N.Y., was a third finalist, culled from a group of about 50 candidates. After Board of Selectmen chairman Matthew Strauss cast the deciding vote, the board voted a second time to make it unanimous, as a show of support. Strauss said that he expected to conduct negotiations within a few days of the decision. The job was advertised with a salary range of $113,000 to $130,000. Pending a successful negotiation, Younger will replace Andrew Maylor, who was town administrator for nine years until December 2011, when he left to become town manager in North Andover. Dave Castellarin, Swampscott’s assistant town administrator, has been serving as interim town administrator since Maylor’s departure. Younger, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University, has a long history in town and state government, most recently serving as town administrator in North Reading for 10 years and his hometown of Belmont for 6 1/2 years before taking the interim job in Ipswich in January. Previously, he worked for nine years as property transactions manager for the state Division of Capital Planning and Operations, and he has also held municipal jobs in Oak Bluffs and Norton. He is president of the Massachusetts Municipal Managers Association. In recent months, he has been a finalist for town manager or administrator jobs in Hanover, Winchester, Marblehead and – ironically – North Andover, where he lost out to Maylor. Maylor, too, was a finalist in several town manager/administrator searches before landing in North Andover. In addition to his position with the state Department of Revenue, Perry is a longtime Town Meeting member who has served on several volunteer committees. Selectmen David Van Dam and Richard Malagrifa cast votes for Perry, while Jill Sullivan, Barry Greenfield, and Strauss supported Younger. Younger’s biggest challenge, Malagrifa said, might be to live up to the standards set by his predecessor.
Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): As the clock winds down on the rocky relationship between the Bridgewater Town Council and soon-to-be departing town manager, the post mortems are as divided as ever as to what went wrong and who’s to blame, according to the Bridgewater Independent. Town Manager Troy Clarkson’s apparently imminent exit for the same position in Hanover gives town government a chance for a “fresh start,” said Councilor Peter Colombotos. On that point Clarkson’s supporters and critics seem to agree: the relationship between the majority of councilors and the town manager was anything but a harmonious union. It was marked by an ongoing power struggle that brought councilors to the brink of firing Clarkson last summer, landed the parties in court and inspired an ongoing recall effort to remove two councilors. But Colombotos by no means lays all the blame at Clarkson’s feet for the stormy relationship and impending divorce. Colombotos said Clarkson, who took over as town administrator in 2010 shortly before voters adopted a charter that made sweeping changes to town government, including converting his position to town manager and establishing the first-ever Town Council, has many strengths and faced many challenges. But Colombotos said, Clarkson’s lack of previous experience as a town manager was a handicap. But Councilor Kristy Colon said she doesn’t think Clarkson’s lack of experience as a town manager was his only shortcoming in the job. Mel Shea of Citizens Forum, the group that organized the recall effort currently underway, said he’s happy for Clarkson, who’ll be getting a lot more money in Hanover and likely will be faced with fewer headaches. But Shea is deeply disappointed “a talented manager” was pushed out the door, he said. And Shea said Clarkson’s departure doesn’t end the debate over the meaning of the charter as it relates to the respective powers of the legislative and executive branches of government. Council President Scott Pitta said he wasn’t surprised by Clarkson’s job hunt. But there was no guarantee he could reach that magic number for reappointment by the nine-member body, depending on the outcome of the upcoming election, Pitta said. Pitta said he agrees with Colombotos there is enough blame to go around for the failures of the past, but he’s more interested in looking forward.
Rockland, Maine (population 7,297): James Smith, who has served as Brewer’s assistant city manager since 2007, will be the next city manager of Rockland, according to the Bangor Daily News. Mayor Brian Harden announced the hiring Monday afternoon after he briefed city department heads. The City Council met last week and agreed on Smith, but an announcement was withheld while terms of his employment agreement were being formalized. Smith will be paid $80,000 a year, the mayor said. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith and sign his employment agreement was scheduled for Monday, March 5. He will begin work in Rockland on Monday, April 2. In a press release issued Monday evening, Brewer City Manager Steve Bost congratulated Smith, who gave his 30-day notice that day, and wished him well as he transitions into his new position in Rockland. Smith is a Maine native. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps, including several overseas posts. He then attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He served one year as town manager of the Aroostook County town of Oakfield before getting the Brewer post. A resident of Greenbush, Smith is married with four children and will move to Rockland after the end of the school year. Smith was active in committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a volunteer in his town, Harden said. The mayor also praised the work of Finance Director Tom Luttrell, who has served as interim city manager since Rosemary Kulow left Oct. 6 to become town manager of Poland. Brewer has a population of 9,482 residents, according to the 2010 Census. The overall budget for municipal and school costs is $32.5 million. Rockland’s population is 7,297 and its municipal budget is $10.1 million. Rockland’s local share of RSU 13’s $26 million budget is $7.2 million.
Kimberly, Wisconsin (population 6,468): Kimberly leaders say they will offer the village’s top administrative post to Adam Hammatt, a former administrator of the Brown County village of Suamico, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. Hammatt was one of three candidates who took part in a two-day, open interview process this weekend with village staff, residents and elected officials. Kuen said Hammatt emitted the village’s core values, those of family and integrity. Hammatt will receive a contract offer on Monday. Hammatt will replace Village Administrator Rick Hermus, who plans to retire at the end of April. Hermus has worked for the village for almost 30 years. Hermus became Kimberly’s first administrator when the position was created in May 1987.
Madison, Florida (population 3,006): After six days on the job, brand-new Madison City Manager Tim Bennett spoke with the Rotary Club members at their Feb. 24 meeting, to tell them a little about himself and why the City of Madison holds such a special place in his heart…and what he hopes to bring to Madison in return, according to Greene Publishing. Born in New Orleans, Bennett’s family moved to Graceville, near Marianna in Jackson County, in the mid-1950s. Somewhat smaller than Madison, Graceville was a little Florida Panhandle town “known for peanuts, preachers and good fried shrimp,” said Bennett. His father, a Baptist preacher, preached in Baptist churches up and down Highway 90 in the days before I-10 became a fact of life. Bennett and his wife were high school sweethearts, but they went their separate ways after graduation, only to find each other again 25 years later. Bennett attended Chipola Junior College and Florida State University; in his early 20s, he covered high school sports, first for the Tallahassee Democrat, and then for the Pensacola News Journal, traveling up and down the panhandle to dozens of little communities. Then one day, while transcribing a tape from an interview, he realized he wanted to do something different – so he joined the Marines. He described a scene where he walked into the USMC recruiting office, a bearded figure in a blue paisley shirt, much to the surprise of the recruiting officer. He wanted to be a marine, he told the surprised officer. He saw their ad in Reader’s Digest and liked it. Furthermore, he wanted the hardest job they could give him – that of infantryman, where he served for the next four years, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. For the following 16 years after that, he was transferred into the public affairs office, becoming the Marine Corps liaison with dozens of local communities. At one point during those 16 years, he was responsible for providing American radio and television fare for U.S. military families stationed in Japan. After 20 years in the Marines, he transitioned back into civilian life, and began to work directly with local communities, in varying capacities. He worked for a year putting welfare clients into jobs. He worked as a public information officer for Beaufort County, S.C., and then as the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce for Hilton Island. In the nearby town of Bluffton, he worked first as an assistant town manager, and then as the deputy town manager. While he was there, he saw that town, historically tagged with the adage “One Square Mile,” suddenly take off in late ‘90s, rapidly growing to 55 square miles within the next few years. His next position was in Allendale County, S.C., a small, rural, poverty-stricken area with a 25 percent unemployment rate and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancies. In such an environment, it took an outlook that was not just positive, but “aggressively positive…at every level. We got things done.” The guiding philosophy was “we may be a small, poor county, but we don’t take a back seat to anybody.” As the new City Manager for Madison, he brings to his new position that same outlook. The County and City of Madison have a lot in common with Allendale County, being small, poor and primarily agricultural, with a high teen pregnancy rate and a significant percentage of families living below the poverty line. The City of Madison has small businesses that struggle in tough economic times, and the city’s budget is tight, as is the county’s. These are the kind of challenges Bennett is familiar with. In his first six days as City Manager, Bennett has met with all the department heads to establish a rapport and start building dialogue. He has also had meetings with all the City Commissioners except one. He has attended county commission meetings and chamber of commerce meetings to get a sense of things, and would like to meet with the prison warden, the president of NFCC, the CEO of the hospital and several other officials. His first few days will be “Look, listen, feel…get a sense of what is going on.” He will be working with many departments and city services, but does not want to change anything unless such changes are warranted. Acknowledging the challenges ahead, he thanked the City Commissioners and the citizens of Madison for the opportunity to come back and serve in an area he loves. The City of Madison may be small and poor, he told everyone, but it will not take a back seat to anybody.
Ocean View, Delaware (population 1,882): The search for Ocean View’s new town manager is over, according to DelMarVaNow. The municipality will name current Fruitland City Manager Rick Konrad in the role following the November termination of Conway Gregory. Gregory was let go after he announced he would not seek an extention of his employment agreement with the town once it expired March 1. Konrad, who has worked for Fruitland since 2010, is expected to start at Ocean View on approximately April 15.