Transitions: Hennepin County, MN; Charlotte, NC; Lucas County, OH

Madison County, New York (population 73,355): The Madison County Board of Supervisors officially approved Administrative Assistant Mark Scimone’s appointment to the county’s top non-elected post at its meeting Tuesday, according to The Oneida Daily Dispatch. Scimone will become the county’s second administrator, a position that was created and filled for the first time by Paul Miller, who retired in 2010. Since Miller’s retirement, Scimone has acted as the county’s administrative assistant, promoted from his role as research and legislative affairs coordinator. Scimone currently makes $95,000 a year; in his new role he will earn $105,000. On Tuesday, several supervisors objected to the salary set for the position, saying it was too high. Lincoln Supervisor Darrin Ball expressed interested in requiring pay to be based on performance while Lebanon Supervisor Jim Goldstein said the salary was simply too much. Nelson Supervisor Roger Bradstreet disagreed, saying the figure was based on comparisons to what similar officials made in municipalities with similar attributes as Madison County. Besides the disapproval by Goldstein, Ball and Oneida Supervisor Lewis Carinci, the rest of the board was in favor of Scimone’s appointment. As administrator, Scimone will oversee the administration of county government, advise supervisors on the development of policies and legislation, evaluate proposals brought to the board, develop plans for capital projects, oversee the annual review of employee performances and act as the county’s chief spokesperson in union negotiations, among other responsibilities. Two local laws proposed at Tuesday’s meeting addressed the position’s duties and qualifications, requiring the appointee to have a Master’s degree in public administration or a related field and five years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree in the same field and at least seven years of experience. Scimone has a Bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He was first employed by the county as a personnel technician and then later promoted to assistant personnel officer in a five-year stint at the county that ended in 2004 when he left for a job at SUNY Upstate as a personnel recruiter. From there he was the assistant director of human resources at SUNY ESF before returning to the county in 2009 as a legislative affairs coordinator. Also proposed in a local law amendment was an extension of the positions term from two years to four. After two silent public hearings, those changes were approved by the board. The board also gave the go-ahead to create an executive assistant to the county administrator. The starting salary for the position was established as no more than $43,213. Scimone will appoint someone to fill the position and Tuesday said he had not selected anyone yet. The position will be advertised and an open recruitment will be held, he said.
New Braunfels, Texas (population 59,590): New Braunfels City Council voted late last night to sever ties with City Manager Michael Morrison, effectively firing him from the role he has served for the last 7 years, according to KGNB. The 5 to 2 vote came after a lengthy Executive Session discussion behind closed doors that totaled just over 3 hours in length where Council was discussing Morrison’s annual performance review. Council reconvened in Open Session and first voted to give City Attorney Val Acevedo a 3% pay raise before voting to sever ties with City Manager Morrison. Mayor Gale Pospisil and Dist. 4 Councilwoman Sandy Nolte were the two “no” votes, while Dist. 1’s Richard Zapata, Dist. 2’s Mark Goodner, Dist. 3’s Ron Reaves, Dist. 5’s Bryan Miranda, and Dist. 6’s Steven Digges voted in favor of firing Morrison. The decision is effective immediately, but Council made no announcement about a plan to name an interim City Manager. And there was no discussion from the dais as to why Council decided to take immediate action on Morrison’s employment with the city. But KGNB News had a chance to speak to several Council members following the March 11 vote, and they gave us an inkling of what the discussion was like behind closed doors. Again, no formal action was taken March 11 to name an interim City Manager, and so it’s unclear exactly who is running the city’s operations today. And it’s still to be determined on how Council plans to begin the process of looking for a new City Manager.

Walton County, Florida (population 55,793): Walton County commissioners have agreed to hire Robert Halfhill as their new county administrator, according to the NWF Daily News. Acting County Attorney Mark Davis announced at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting that an employment package had been presented to Halfhill and that he had accepted a salary of $114,000. Commissioners then voted unanimously to bring him in. His predecessor Greg Kisela was paid $132,000. Halfhill’s first day on the job will be March 1. His most recent job was as public works director for Charlotte County, where he had served since 2009. According to his resume, he oversaw 140 people and controlled a $36 million budget. Halfhill also had a brief stint as interim county administrator in Escambia County from Dec. 4, 2001, to April 21, 2002. According to the Pensacola Independent News, Halfhill served between Tom Forrest, who was run off by state senator turned County Commissioner W.C. Childers, and George Touart, who started the job just days before Childers was arrested and booted from the board. Halfhill also was a Marine for 14 years.

Colton, California (population 52,940):  After only three years as city manager, Rod Foster is heading to Laguna Niguel, according to the Contra Costa Times. Foster has accepted the position as city manager of the affluent Orange County city. Foster leaves behind a stellar track record in the working-class city of 53,000. He is credited with successfully negotiating labor contracts with unions, securing federal funding for essential services and consolidating city departments, which brought the city’s general fund reserves from a paltry $50,000 in 2009 to $2.3 million today. Foster’s last day with Colton is March 14. The City Council will begin discussing the appointment of an interim city manager at its next meeting on Tuesday and should have a successor announced on March 5, Foster said. Laguna Niguel City Manager Tim Casey said the city initially had 65 applicants. That number dwindled to 14, then to eight, then to three, he said.Casey said Foster was the only candidate who requested a complete tour of the city. He mined information from the city’s website and closely monitored council meetings to stay attuned to the city’s goings-on. The Laguna Niguel City Council approved Foster’s employment contract on Wednesday. It calls for an annual salary of $220,000, a 6 percent increase over what Foster is making in Colton. Foster said he will be making the move from Upland, where he resides with his family, to Laguna Niguel in the summer. He said he wants to wait until his 12-year-old son completes the school year. Colton Councilman Frank Gonzales credited Foster with quickly reversing a fiscal trajectory that was on a course to bankruptcy. Foster successfully negotiated concessions with the city’s police union totaling $1 million, and he got firefighters to agree to concessions that saved the city more than $1 million last year. In a city where an old guard stands close watch of local government and has doled out its fair share of criticism in years past, Foster entered Colton with an established sense of character, integrity and honesty that quickly earned him the respect and loyalty of many. Aside from the fact that Foster was willing to work more for less, Gary Grossich, a member of Colton First, a grassroots political and fiscal watchdog group, said he was especially impressed with how Foster continued improving the city’s financial condition even after losing $5 million in annual revenue when the city’s utility tax sunsetted in 2011.

Brookhaven, Georgia (population 49,000): The city of Brookhaven has finally chosen its city manager, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. Not new to the city’s happenings, Marie Garrett was appointed to stay on as the city manager for Brookhaven. She has been in the role on an interim basis since the municipality’s inception in December.

Muskegon, Michigan (population 38,401): Muskegon City Manager Bryon Mazade recently told city commissioners that he will retire on Oct. 1 after nearly 20 years of leading the community’s largest city, according to MLive. Mazade, 54, will take an early retirement and step down as the second longest tenured city manager in Muskegon’s history. He announced his retirement now to give city commissioners plenty of time to fill the city manager position, according to an email. The Muskegon City Commission is wasting no time in beginning to discuss the process it will go through select Mazade’s successor. Commissioners have a special work session Thursday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the selection of Muskegon’s next city manager, Mayor Steve Gawron said. Gawron said that he has seen few “apply himself with such great dedication to the city.” Mazade was appointed the city’s 14th city manager in November 1994 to replace David Wendtland, who left as city manager after four and a half years to become the president of the Muskegon Economic Growth Alliance – at the time Muskegon County’s umbrella economic development agency. Only George Liddle — who was city manager for part of a year in 1942 and from 1946 through 1967 — served the office longer than Mazade. Mazade took over Muskegon’s city manager form of local government after being assistant city manager for about six years. A native of Laketon Township and a Reeths-Puffer High School graduate, Mazade had been city manager of Coopersville and Newaygo prior to coming to Muskegon. He has a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration and master’s degree in public administration, both from Michigan State University. His first job out of college was as the recreation director in Coopersville, but he quickly learned he wanted a career in public administration. The early Mazade years at Muskegon City Hall were punctuated with political divisions on the city commission. Mazade was caught in the cross-fire as a Mayor Fred Nielsen-led commission tried to fire Mazade in mid-2001. But an outpouring of support from other municipal officials and community leaders forced Mazade’s commission opponents to back down. After 2001 and under the commission leadership of former Mayor Steve Warmington, Mazade enjoyed strong support from the city commission. Gawron and the current city commission will search for and select Muskegon’s next city manager. The selection process and final decision will come in a year in which Gawron’s office and two at-large commissioner seats are up for re-election with voters deciding those important elected positions Nov. 5. Thursday’s Muskegon City Commission work session on discussing how the city will find its next city manager will be in the commission chamber at City Hall, 933 Terrace St. The commission allows for public comment at its meetings.

Columbia, Tennessee (population 34,915): Anthony R. Massey will return to the town he once called home to serve as its chief executive officer, according to The Daily Herald. Columbia City Council unanimously approved hiring the former Columbia resident as city manager February 13 during a special called meeting at City Hall. Massey was the Lee County, Ga., administrator — a position he held since 2011, according to the Lee County website. Massey previously served as city manager of Frankfort, Ky.; Bristol, Tenn.; Savannah, Tenn.; and assistant city manager of Kingsport, Tenn. Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey said he was pleased with the decision and looks forward to working with Massey. Dickey said Massey graduated from Central High School then went on to Columbia State Community College where he obtained an associate degree in law. From there, Massey went to The University of Tennessee where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s in public administration. Under a contract approved by the city council, Massey will receive a base bi-weekly salary of $4,807.70 — which equates to $125,000 annually. He will also get $277 for a motor vehicle allowance and $35 for a cell phone, both payable bi-weekly. Until Massey purchases a house in Columbia, he will receive a $340 bi-weekly allowance for temporary housing for up to six months, according to the contract. The city will also pay for Massey’s relocation expenses, which includes moving his personal property to Columbia, the contract states. Dickey said Massey’s start date should be March 15, but he may choose to start on March 25.

La Vergne, Tennessee (population 33,389): The La Vergne Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted March 5 to appoint Bruce Richardson as the city administrator, according to The Murfreesboro Post. His appointment as city administrator of La Vergne is effective immediately. He has been working for the city since June of 1993. Originally, Richardson was hired as the assistant to the city administrator, but he was transferred to the Finance Department to work as the accounts payable clerk. After working in the Finance Department for almost a year, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen appointed him as the city recorder in August 1994. Richardson graduated in February as a certified municipal finance officer through a series of 11 courses offered by the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service. He is a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders, Tennessee City Management Association and the Tennessee Government Finance Officers Association. Originally from Plymouth, Vt., Richardson moved to Murfreesboro in 1984 and attended Middle Tennessee Christian School. He is a graduate of Harding University, where he graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Richardson and his wife, Becky, have four children. Richardson is city administrator of La Vergne, effective immediately.

Poughkeepsie, New York (population 32,790): Camilo Bunyi will serve as the City of Poughkeepsie’s next city administrator, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik, a Republican, cast the tie-breaking vote Tuesday night to confirm Bunyi, whom he appointed at the end of January. The Common Council vote split 4-4 to confirm Bunyi, who has been the city’s finance commissioner since 2008. Tkazyik then immediately voted to confirm him. Voting for Bunyi were Democrats Gwen Johnson, Joseph Rich and Ann Perry and Republican Thomas Parisi. Voting against him were Democrats Robert Mallory, who is council chairman, Nina Boyd and Mary Solomon and Republican Paul Herman.

Alabaster, Alabama (population 30,799): Alabaster City Administrator George Henry is now the city’s manager, and Marsha Massey is the city’s treasurer after the Alabaster City Council voted during a March 4 meeting to make several changes to the city’s staffing layout, according to the Shelby County Reporter. During the meeting, the council voted to separate the city clerk and treasurer positions into two city employees, created a city manager position and filled the city manager and treasurer positions. Massey previously served as both the Alabaster city clerk and treasurer. The council also voted to authorize Mayor Marty Handlon to hire a city finance director to help handle the city’s finances. Handlon previously said having a treasurer and finance director will help ensure a “system of checks and balances” when dealing with the city’s finances. Handlon also said separating the financial responsibilities into two positions will help offset the increase in work caused by the city’s growth over the past several years. Alabaster began advertising the finance director position opening on March 5. The staffing changes, which Handlon proposed shortly after taking office in November 2012, came after a few months of discussions by the City Council. Henry was appointed as city manager through 2016. Beginning in 2016, each City Council will have the authority to remove the city manager or reappoint the individual to another four-year term. The council also could agree to leave the city manager position vacant. Once appointed to a four-year term, it takes a two-thirds vote of the City Council to remove the individual mid-term. As city manager, Henry has the authority to appoint and remove city employees and appointees, and can make purchases up to $100 without council approval. Henry also will provide monthly financial reports to the council and help construct the city’s budget each year. Council members previously said Henry performed many of the actions of a city manager while he was city administrator. The council also named Henry as the acting city clerk. Council members previously said naming him acting clerk will allow the city to conduct a “trial run” with the city clerk and city manager positions combined before formally voting on the matter.

Wayne County, Georgia (population 30,327): It’s official—Jason Tinsley will be the new Wayne County administrator, according to The Press-Sentinel. The Wayne County Board of Commissioners had announced Tinsley as the sole finalist for the position two weeks ago but, under state law, had to wait until this week to formally hire him. Tinsley and his wife, Mary Lynn, were at a called meeting of the commissioners Thursday morning to hear the 4-0 vote. (The fifth commissioner, Jerry “Shag” Wright, arrived at the county offices late but stressed that, had he been present, he would also have voted for Tinsley.) “He’s very sharp,” Board Chair James “Boot” Thomas said of Tinsley after the meeting. Tinsley has served as the assistant county manager and finance director of Habersham County since 2006. For the past two years, he has also served as a consultant on local-government budgeting and finance for the the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, helping to develop on-line and distance-learning courses. Tinsley will start March 18 as an “at-will” employee of the Board of Commissioners. According to his contract, he will make $88,000 a year and receive $600 a month for travel and $50 a month for cell-phone use. Interim Administrator Nancy Jones said that she would stay on for a brief “transitional period” to help train Tinsley in his new duties. According to Tinsley, he has been carefully looking for “a great community” for “that next step” in his career, limiting his search to the type of community where he’d be comfortable “living for a long time.” He stressed that he sees taking the top administrative position here as a “long-term” move. Citing the “vital rec program” and “good school system,” Tinsley added, “Wayne County has all the amenities we’re accustomed to.” Tinsley—who will be moving here with his wife and three children—indicated that they plan to take part in community activities. Tinsley has worked as a recreation-ball coach and a Boy Scout leader, and his wife has been active in parent-teacher organizations.

Lee County, Georgia (population 28,575): Lee County commissioners are moving quickly to find an interim county administrator following the announcement Thursday that Tony Massey will be leaving to take a job in Tennessee, according to the Albany Herald. Massey confirmed that he has given his 30-day notice and will become city manager in Columbia, Tenn., his hometown. The town of approximately 35,000 residents is located about 45 miles south of Nashville. Massey, who has been county administrator in Lee County for about two years, said Columbia’s city government has about 400 employees. Massey, who was city manager in Frankfort, Ky., for seven years before coming to Lee County, said the move also allows him and his wife to be closer to a daughter who attends the University of Kentucky. Massey’s final day on duty in Lee County is March 15. Rick Muggridge, chairman of the Lee County Commission, said Massey’s announcement was not a surprise to commissioners, who discussed the matter during an executive session. Muggridge said no timetable has been set but that it may take six months or more to find a replacement. Job postings have already been placed on the county’s website, with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association. Regarding the interim replacement, Muggridge said he has already talked with qualified potential interim managers, including Bill Sawyer, Jack Krakeel and Lynn Taylor. Sawyer was county manager in Macon County and has experience in economic development work. He lives in Schley County and does interim work and special projects for governments. Krakeel does consulting work on public safety issues nationwide and retired a few years ago as county administrator in Fayette County. Lynn Taylor was county manager in Sumter County before her retirement. She also has worked in Athens-Clarke County. Lee County commissioners are tentatively set to meet with Sawyer at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Taylor at 4 p.m. Wednesday and Krakeel at 3 p.m. Feb. 22. Muggridge said no one within the county government had applied so far, but that current employees who do would be given full consideration.

Milford, Massachusetts (population 26,799): Richard Villani will become the new town administrator for Milford, according to the MilfordPatch. Selectmen voted 3-0 to appoint Villani as the town administrator, with a contract to be negotiated over the next several days. He will replace longtime administrator Louis Celozzi, who is retiring. Villani, 55, a Milford resident, is an attorney with a private practice in town. He was among five individuals interviewed for the position. The motion to appoint him as town administrator was made by Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis, who said he appreciated the strengths of all of the candidates, but felt Villani was the best choice. Brian Murray, the current chairman, seconded the motion, and also spoke to his qualifiations. Before the discussion and vote on Villani, Murray had advocated for Barbara Auger, the town treasurer of 16 years. But no other member made a motion to select her, and DeBartolomeis was then recognized, and spoke for Villani. The other finalists were: Noel Bon Tempo, a government teacher at Milford High School, and an attorney; William Kingkade Jr., a manager with the MBTA, and John D’Agostino, the town manager of Abington, a town on the South Shore. Villani has been a trustee of the Geriatric Authority since 1993. Prior to opening his business, he was a partner at Consigli, Brucato and Villani, and an associate attorney before that. From 1988 to 2003 he was an instructor at Newbury College in Brookline. He obtained his law degree at Suffolk University in Boston, and his bachelor of arts degree at Worcester State College (now University.) Villani was interviewed by the three selectmen on Feb. 12. The broadcast is now available on the Milford TV YouTube channel. In his interview, Villani emphasized his analytical and communications skills, and knowledge of the town. Last month, prior to the interviews of all finalists, DeBartolomeis had publicly disclosed that he and Villani are second cousins. He said the relationship was not one that required him to abstain from discussion or a vote, but said he wanted to disclose it publicly “so there is not perception of a conflict.” In his interview, Villani was asked how he would communicate with the Board of Selectmen. He described his communications style as “open, honest, direct. If you need information from me, I want to know. [The] Chairman will set the tone, and I respect that. [But] I feel if I get information, all of you get it at the same time.” He also said he wanted to know if the board felt he was doing something wrong. Negotiations will determine what Villani is paid, and when he begins. The Board had set the salary range when advertising the position as between $90,000 and $125,000.

Kingman, Arizona (population 26,068): City Manager Jack Kramer will resign effective July 1, according to the Daily Miner. No official announcement has been made, but according to Mayor John Salem, the longtime city employee said he would leave his post a couple of days ago. Salem had high praise for Kramer, who moved to Kingman in 1977. Kramer was attending meetings in Phoenix and was not available for comment. Salem said he expects the City Council to look at current employees and outside city government to find a suitable replacement. He would not speculate on what the City Council might do, but he expects the search to involve looking for someone with a background that meets the city’s needs in either economic development or administrative leadership. Salem said it’s possible the city might hire a third-party headhunting firm, but the cost might be prohibitive. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns, he said, has a more affordable program. According to his bio on the city’s website, Kramer began working for the city in 1979 when he was hired by the water department. He rose through the ranks. In 1985 he was promoted to Utilities superintendent and in 1996 to Public Works director. In 2007 he was named interim city manger – while still holding down his Public Works job. He was handed the job full-time the following year.

Milton, Massachusetts (population 26,062): Annemarie Fagan, interim town administrator, was chosen from a field of four candidates Thursday night to be Milton’s newest town administrator, according to Boston.com. Fagan, who has 18 years of experience working for the Town of Milton, has been the interim town administrator since the Selectmen voted not to renew Kevin Mearn’s contract seven months ago. Fagan said after Mearn’s termination, she made a point to meet with staff members and rebuild morale. Fagan has been Milton’s assistant town administrator since 2000. Prior to that she served four years as the Executive Secretary to the Board of Selectmen and a year as principal clerk of the Park Department. Fagan was the only Milton resident of the four remaining finalists and she was also the only candidate without a college degree or an advanced public administration education.

Inkster, Michigan (population 25,369): Inkster officials plan to launch a search for a new city manager after terminating Ron Wolkowicz from the position March 7 at a special City Council meeting, according to the Detroit Free Press. Councilmen Marcus Hendricks and Michael Canty, who both sided with the majority in the 4-1 vote, cited the city’s finances as a top concern. Hendricks said the city is expected to end the current fiscal year with a deficit in the ballpark of $750,000. The city’s annual budget is about $13 million, Canty said. Canty said Wolkowicz is still the director of the city’s Parks and Recreation and Public Services departments. Officials are looking to appointment someone who currently works for the city to fill the manager position on an interim basis. Wolkowicz did not immediately return messages left seeking comment. Canty said Wolkowicz became the city’s manager about a year ago. He previously served in that position on an interim basis, he said.

Woodstock, Illinois (population 24,785): The office soon to be vacated by City Manager Tim Clifton will be filled by his right-hand man, according to the Northwest Herald. Roscoe Stelford, who has served for 13 years as Woodstock’s finance director and treasurer and more recently as its deputy city manager, will take over the city manager role on May 1. The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to appoint Stelford to the position Clifton has held the past 20 years. Stelford, 45, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in accounting and finance, and is a certified public accountant. He worked at the Government Finance Officers Association in Chicago for nine years before landing a job as Woodstock’s finance director. The city has received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 12 of 13 years since Stelford was hired. Stelford will earn $140,000 a year. Sager cited Stelford’s intimate knowledge of and responsibility toward the city’s finances, as well as his ability to relay complex information in a simple manner, as contributing factors toward his hiring. He also praised Stelford’s creative outreach. Councilman Mike Turner provided the council’s lone “no” vote. He declined to comment after the meeting because the matter was about personnel. Councilwoman Maureen Larson said Stelford has accomplished a lot in his current position. Tuesday’s announcement ends a process that began in September and included 41 applicants. The search committee – which the city chose to assemble internally – narrowed that list to 10 applicants, interviewing those selections before forwarding four finalists to the city council. The city council conducted further interviews and background checks before cutting the list to two and approving Stelford’s contract Tuesday night. Stelford will take office on the first day of the new fiscal year. Clifton’s last day is April 30.

Reading, Massachusetts (population 24,747): Reading’s new town manager is a familiar face here: Robert LeLacheur, according to the ReadingPatch. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously March 12 to name LeLacheur, the town’s assistant town manager and finance director for the last seven years, the town’s top administrator after an hour of discussion about the three finalists for the post. The board interviewed the three on March 5. The board focused March 12 on two of the three finalists:  LeLacheur and Kerry Speidel, town manager of Lunenburg since 2007. Board members deemed the third finalist, outgoing Abington Town Manager John D’Agostino, too strong an agent for change here. D’Agostino described himself as a “change agent.” LeLacheur, who worked in the private sector — the finance industry, before moving into town government – a nontraditional career path, according to the selectmen, knows the community and could make improvements more quickly than a new-to-Reading manager, the selectmen said. Just because LeLacheur comes from “inside” the town and town government doesn’t mean he won’t have outside-the-box ideas, one selectman said in response to a resident who urged, by email, that the selectmen choose Speidel. LeLacheur himself and several selectmen emphasized that LeLacheur is not Peter Hechenbleikner, Reading’s first and only town manager, who will retire on June 1 after 26 years at the town helm. Selectman James Bonazoli said he would hate to see Reading lose LeLacheur if he did not become town manager. Selectmen Rick Schubert, Ben Tafoya and Bonazoli started the meeting “on the fence” between LeLacheur and Speidel. Selectmen John Arena and Stephen Goldy said they would select LeLacheur. Speidel has worked in municipal government for about 20 years, she told the selectmen, half in management and half in finance.  She has experience with regionalizing some town services. She attended a selectmen’s meeting before the finalists were interviewed. The selectmen said they did some follow-up research on the finalists after last week’s interviews, calling and talking with people in the finalists’ home communities. The selectmen also voted March 12 to form a two-member subcommittee of Arena and Tafoya to negotiate a job contract with LeLacheur. An audience of five people attended the meeting, whose only agenda item was a new town manager. Among them were Town Moderator Alan Foulds; School Committee Chairman Karen Janowski; Town Meeting members Phil Rushworth, who is also executive director of RCTV and Steve Crook; and one resident with no connection to town governance. Foulds had attended the meeting when Hechenbleikner was appointed, he told Patch. Rushworth wanted “to watch the Board of Selectmen make history” by choosing the town’s next manager. The selectmen said they received little input on the selection of a new town manager.

Hastings, Minnesota (population 22,359): Hastings City Administrator Dave Osberg submitted his letter of resignation to the city council on February 19, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. His last day is scheduled to be Friday, March 22. Osberg is leaving the City of Hastings to become the city administrator for the City of Eagan. He is set to begin his new job there March 25. The administrative committee of the Hastings City Council scheduled a meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, to discuss the vacancy Osberg will leave behind. The administrative committee includes Anthony Alongi, Danna Elling Schultz and Ed Riveness.

Lexington, North Carolina (population 18,912): Alan Carson, 51, will be Lexington’s new city manager effective Feb. 25 when his swearing-in will take place, according to The Dispatch. The interim city manager and former assistant city manager was awarded the position on Monday at the conclusion of the Lexington City Council meeting. When John Gray, former city manager announced his retirement in September, the city council decided to have an open process, searching for the best candidate for the vacant position. The field of more than 80 applicants was narrowed to five and then four were brought in for face-to-face interviews. Carson has held the position of assistant city manager/human resources director since 2003. Before this time he worked in human resources, customer service, but was hired in 1989 as the city’s first Utilities Marketing Manager. Carson received his bachelor’s of science degree from Radford University in Virginia, where he majored in business, according to a press release from city hall. Carson is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Davidson County, a 1998 graduate of the 170-hour municipal administration course from the Institute of Government and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 2007 graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the Institute of Government. Carson also currently serves on several boards throughout the city and county, such as the Lexington Tourism Board, the J. Smith Young YMCA Board of Directors and the Wake Forest Baptist Health—Lexington Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. As part of his interview, Carson said he wanted to see the city get involved in the council’s goals. The next few months will be filled with drafting the coming year’s fiscal budget along with incorporating the final draft of the city goals, once they are approved. Council approved the city manager’s salary as $120,000.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts (population 15,784): At its meeting Monday evening, February 11, 2013, the Longmeadow Select Board voted to appoint Stephen Crane as Town Manager, effective April 2, 2013, for a term ending June 30, 2016, at a salary of $105,000, according to the town’s web site.  Mr. Crane, currently the City Administrator in Lancaster, Wisconsin, since 2009, had previously signed his contract, and the Select Board signed the contract following its vote. Mr. Crane has a Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University.  His previous experience was with the cities of Lowell and Worcester.

Jasper County, Georgia (population 13,885): The Board of Commissioners (BOC) for Jasper County voted to hire Lorri Smith as County Manager at their regular meeting February 19, according to The Monticello News. Ms. Smith has been working in the role as interim county manager since Greg Wood was fired in August. This decision came after a public hearing was held and the ordinance passed that had previously stated that the county manager must reside in Jasper County. This requirement was removed in order for the vote to be taken in the regular meeting. In the public hearing, Skip Nowetner commented that “although I have nothing against Lorri, I don’t understand why we can not find someone qualified for this position in this county. We’ve had three previous managers from out of town and you see where that got us. I just can’t believe that there is not one local, especially with one of the highest unemployment rates.” After the public hearing ended, and old business complete, a motion was made and seconded. Before the vote, Commissioner Bruce Henry said, “I am strongly in favor of keeping our positions in Jasper County, the only exception being with Lorri Smith. I’ve been watching her work for the previous year and a half and she does a great job.” Before the vote was called, County Attorney, Jim Alexander told the board that this could be changed back at any time if that was their wish.

Portage, Wisconsin (population 10,336): Interim City Administrator Shawn Murphy has been asked to stay on in the permanent role, according to the Portage Daily Register. A contract agreement between the Portage Common Council and Murphy still needs to be signed, but both sides are in the process of working out the details. Murphy was chosen out of a pool of more than 30 applicants and was one of four final candidates who were invited to the city for extensive interviews over the weekend. Jahn said that the city’s Human Resources Committee, which handled the interview process, prioritized financial accountability, human resources and economic development expertise.

Hanson, Massachusetts (population 10,209): Town Administrator Rene Read plans to become town manager in his hometown of Duxbury after the completion of Hanson’s May 6 annual Town Meeting, according to the Boston Globe. The Duxbury Board of Selectmen on Feb. 25 appointed Read to succeed Richard MacDonald. Stephen Amico, chairman of the Hanson Board of Selectmen, said Read’s departure will be “a big loss” for Hanson, where he has been town administrator since December 2009. Amico said selectmen plan to form a search committee for a new town administrator. “I’ve had a terrific time working here in Hanson,” Read said, expressing his gratitude to selectmen, other officials, and staffers “in helping me accomplish all the work we were able to achieve in the three years I was here.”

Georgetown, South Carolina (population 9,138): Chris Carter spent the week of February 18 continuing to learn more about the City of Georgetown, meeting more of the city staff and planning for his first Georgetown City Council meeting which was held February 21, according to the Georgetown Times. Carter is Georgetown’s new administrator, replacing Chris Eldridge who left last May when he was hired as Horry County administrator. He assumed his new role on Feb. 7 and spent the first week being shown the ropes by interim Administrator Carey Smith whose final day was Feb. 14. Carter is the sixth full-time administrator in the city’s history. The first administrator, who began in October 1977, was David Treme. The others have been Mitchell Sizemore, Boyd Johnson, Steve Thomas and Eldridge. There have been two interim administrators — Miles Hadley and Smith. In an interview with The Georgetown Times this week, Carter said he has found a place to live — an apartment on Highmarket Street. But he will likely find a bigger place when his wife, Joan, joins him this summer. She is a teacher at Flat Rock Middle School in North Carolina. She has agreed to complete the current year and then hopes to find a teaching job in Georgetown County. Carter has nearly 25 years of experience in government work. He began in 1988 as the town administrator in North Wilkesboro, N.C., a position he held for six years. Carter said that era of his career provided him with experience working with different types of businesses because it was the national headquarters of both the Lowe’s Corp. and the bank that is today Wells Fargo. In 1994, Carter accepted the position as the administrator in Hendersonville, N.C. He said his time there provided him with experience in two key areas that will help him in Georgetown. He said Hendersonville, like Georgetown, is a “full-service city,” meaning it has city-owned electric, water and sewer service. It also has a thriving historic district. One year after being hired in Hendersonville, Carter helped create the city’s first historic preservation plan. He said during his tenure, several locations were placed on the National Register of Historic Places and some were designated as National Landmarks. He said, like Georgetown, the city had periodic tours of historic homes. He said Hendersonville also gave him the opportunity to oversee police and fire departments that, at the time, were similar in size as the ones in Georgetown. In 2008, Carter left Hendersonville and spent about a year as the interim administrator in Sylva, N.C. His final job before moving to Georgetown was the administrator for the town of Williston, S.C., a position he held for a little more than two years. Carter said in his brief time in Georgetown, he has discovered it has some great attributes. He said he would like to see Georgetown become a more popular stop for boaters. Carter said even though he has been in Georgetown for only two weeks, he has given a lot of thought to areas he hopes to help improve. Carter said during his walks downtown and his tours of other parts of the city, he has noticed the number of vacant buildings. He said it is his goal to not only get the buildings occupied but to have a waiting list of businesses wanting to come into the city. Carter said he hopes he will be able to stay in Georgetown until he retires.

Rincon, Georgia (population 8,906): Rincon City Council members unanimously chose Wesley Corbitt as city manager March 11, according to the Savannah Morning News. Corbitt, of Guyton, was appointed as interim city manager after the resignation of Michael Phillips in August 2011. He was finance director for Rincon before that. The other two finalists for the job were Karen Degges of Baldwin, Ga., and MarRonde A. Lumpkin-Lotson of Savannah. Degges is the former city administrator of Baldwin, Ga., which is northeast of Gainesville, Ga. Lumpkin-Lotson is administrator for international affairs and governmental relations for the City of Savannah. Phillips was hired in April 2009 to replace Donald Toms, who resigned in December 2008. Phillips was the city’s fourth city manager since 2006.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine (population 8,624):  A split Town Council voted March 5 to terminate the contract of Town Manager Mark Pearson, according to the Portland Press Herald. Before the vote, they debated for hours as residents and town employees alternately defended the manager and cheered the councilors who want to fire him. Councilors Linda Mailhot, Dana Furtado, Laura Bolduc and Sharri MacDonald voted to terminate the contract. Councilors Michael Coleman, Robin Dayton and Robert Quinn voted against the termination. In December, Pearson was asked by MacDonald, the council chairwoman, to resign. That touched off heated debates and revealed tension between the manager and a deeply divided Town Council. Pearson, who started his job in February 2012, is the town’s fourth manager since 2003. Mailhot made the motion to terminate his contract effective April 3, “given the fact the town manager filed a lawsuit against the town.” Pearson filed a request in York County Superior Court this week seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the council’s authority to override Pearson’s decision not to renew the contract of Public Works Director Bill Robertson. The council voted two weeks ago to rescind the letter notifying Robertson of Pearson’s decision not to renew the contract – a decision that Pearson’s attorney said the council does not have the authority to make. In the complaint, Pearson cites the town charter, which says the town manager is the chief executive and administrative officer so Town Council confirmation is not required for the non-renewal of an employee’s contract. Pearson asked the court for a declaration “that under the town charter the plaintiff has the sole authority to make the decision not to renew an employee contract.” The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting included an executive session to discuss “personnel matters” related to the town manager. Before the vote on the executive session, Pearson presented MacDonald with a written request that any discussion of his job be held in public. The closed session did not occur because three councilors voted against it. Five votes are needed to move into executive session. Mailhot then made a motion to allow councilors to notify Pearson of their intention to terminate his contract for no cause effective April 3 and have him take paid leave with full benefits for the next month. Mailhot, who said she was “dismayed and disheartened” by the council’s rejection of the executive session, said she would not publicly discuss personnel issues related to Pearson. Councilors Coleman, Quinn and Dayton questioned whether it was legal to consider a motion that wasn’t on the agenda. Dayton repeatedly asked fellow councilors for the reason behind the move to oust Pearson, only to be met by “stone silence.” Town attorney Rob Crawford said he believed it was appropriate for the council to consider the motion and to allow public comment on the issue. Before deciding to allow public comment, the council voted 4-3 to move for a vote without public comment. During the public comment session, opinions were split on Pearson’s employment. The town attorney read the council rules about public participation after comments were yelled from the audience. One man stood near the council holding a sign that read “Recall 4,” referring to councilors MacDonald, Mailhot, Bolduc and Furtado. Neal Weinstein, a town resident and the attorney who represents Robertson, questioned Pearson’s loyalty to Old Orchard Beach because he doesn’t live in town and ran for a school board position in New Hampshire. Kathy Smith, a town employee in the codes department, spoke in defense of the town manager, whom she called “great” for Old Orchard Beach. She said she is tired of the ongoing debate about Pearson.

Doraville, Georgia (population 8,330): Doraville has hired a city administrator from Minnesota to serve as its first city manager since it switched to a strong mayor form of government in 1981, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. City voters agreed to switch back to having a professional manager handle day-to-day operations last year. Shawn Gillen, who has served as city manager in the Minnesota town of Grand Rapids since 2007, will begin his new duties April 17. He will earn $113,000 annually in the role. Gillen holds a master’s degree in public administration and doctorate in public finance from the University of Kansas. He served as an assistant finance professor at the university before his job in Grand Rapids, which with 10,000 residents is about the same size as Doraville. Mayor Donna Pittman, who had been working full-time, will assume a part-time role when Gillen begins work.

Flushing, Michigan (population 8,316): Flushing officials have said they will explore all options in finding a replacement after Dennis Bow  announced his retirement as city manager, according to Michigan Live. Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Parks has been named interim city manager following more than 16 years of service by Bow who retired with little fanfare. It’s been “about two years,” joked Bow of previously announcing his retirement before formally stepping down in late January. With no current major projects taking place in the city, Flushing Mayor George Kozan said “Dennis left the city in very good shape.” Bow came to Flushing after holding previous city manager positions in Keego Harbor and Pickney, as well as working as a public accountant for 15 years. He said one of his biggest accomplishments was “seeing the city proceed smoothly at both the political and economic level. It was quite difficult the first few years I was there.” As economic turbulence began to grow in recent years, Bow said he was worried about the impact on the city as staffing levels were eventually reduced in every department. Bow may not  be riding off into the sunset entirely, though, as he’s shared some interest in coming back on a part-time basis as the city makes a decision on what direction its leaders would like to take the position in the future.

Spotswood, New Jersey (population 8,301): One of the first steps for a newly hired administrator is to become familiar with the community, according to the Sentinel. For Dawn McDonald, who was appointed borough business administrator in Spotswood last month, familiarity is not an issue, as she served as Spotswood’s deputy borough clerk from 2006 to 2009. But that’s not to say she thinks serving in her new capacity will be easy, especially with budget season already under way. The transition into the position can be difficult just due to the nature of being the administrator for a municipality. Like the borough’s new mayor, Nicholas Poliseno, McDonald, who most recently served as administrator for the borough of Interlaken, Monmouth County, said one of her major priorities is addressing the Spotswood EMS building and the water treatment facility, which were both destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. McDonald said she wants to bring fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency to Spotswood while streamlining communication with municipal employees. She also identified the long-sought dredging of Lake DeVoe as another significant initiative. Noting the great amount of community involvement among residents of Spotswood, she said she is very happy to be back in the borough. She said she looks forward to helping out beyond the scope of her requirements. Acknowledging that she is serving in a new capacity, she said her previous experience with the borough will be helpful, and noted that her mentor, Patricia DeStefano, is still the municipal clerk. McDonald said one of her strengths is in grant writing. In addition to her previous service in Spotswood, McDonald has municipal experience serving a variety of roles in East Brunswick, where she worked in the public works and parks and recreation departments. She said her time in Spotswood, East Brunswick and Interlaken has helped to equip her for her new role.

Elwood City, Pennsylvania (population 7,921): The time was right. For Dom Viccari, that was reason enough to support his resignation from the post as Ellwood City’s manager, according to the New Castle News. Viccari, now 80, has been working since he was 12. That’s when he began working in Steve Rubino’s The Korner Store at Franklin and Second streets. At the time, Rubino was a borough councilman. Viccari joked that his initiation into public service began then. He also has served on borough council as well as various committees. But now, he said, it’s time to allow a younger person to take over. He told council he will continue to work with the members “on the many exciting projects we’ve been developing and discussing over the past months.” He added he will stay on the job until council has appointed his successor and to help with his or her orientation “to make the transition as smooth as possible.” Among the projects is the downtown renewal, which council moved forward by approving the demolition of a structure at 629-631 Lawrence Ave. The work will be completed by Unis Demolition for $38,000. Council also approved the purchase of 312-214 Lawrence Ave. for $59,000. Another project Viccari plans to continue working on after his retirement is the reforestation of Ewing Park and other improvements there.

Signal Mountain, Tennessee (population 7,575): The Town of Signal Mountain reported today that Honna Rogers has announced her intent to resign her position as town manager, according to the Times Free Press. In an email, Rogers said that she has a young child and wants to spend more time with her family. Mayor Bill Lusk wished Rogers and her family well. Rogers said she will stay on the job until the budget for the coming fiscal year is drafted. Meanwhile, Lusk said the council will begin looking for her replacement.

Guadalupe, California (population 7,132): The paths of three men converged February 12 in Guadalupe, and together they are changing the direction the city is going, according to the Lompoc Record. City Council members officially hired Andrew Carter as the new city administrator and Gary Hoving as the interim public safety director. Members also thanked Tim Ness for his work as interim city administrator. Ness, who was Santa Maria city manager for 16 years, stepped in to run Guadalupe six months ago, when Regan Candelario resigned in August to accept a similar position in Fortuna, Calif. In those six months, Ness developed a budget reduction plan, instituted new employee policies, worked to jumpstart the DJ Farms residential and commercial development, and helped the council identify Carter and Hoving as the city’s next full-time administrators. Mayor Frances Romero and former mayor Lupe Alvarez both thanked Ness for his work. Alvarez said Ness was worth more than 10 times the $38.47 per hour he was paid. Romero said the hirings proved critics wrong who say Guadalupe can’t get quality employees because of the low salaries it offers. Carter’s annual salary will be $80,028, the same amount Candelario earned in his last year with the city. Carter, whose contract was unanimously approved, was chosen by the council Jan. 23 as its choice for the position following a nationwide search led by Ness. A resident of San Luis Obispo where he serves as a city councilman, Carter will go to work for the city Feb. 20. He is set to resign his council seat Feb. 19. Carter has 20 years of business management experience with the bulk of it in marketing and advertising with companies such as Nestle Waters North America, Dioptics Medical Products and Cellular One. From 1985 to 1988, he served as an account executive at Young & Rubicam, one of the largest advertising agencies in the country at the time. He has also taught business classes at Cal Poly, Cuesta College and the University of LaVerne. In addition to his business experience, Carter has served as a board member of the Economic Vitality Corporation, Workforce Housing Coalition and Residents for Quality Neighborhoods, all in San Luis Obispo County. Carter earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in New Jersey and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. For all his big city credentials, Carter said he grew up in a small farming community, so he believed Guadalupe was a good fit for him.

Live Oak, Florida (population 6,848): Live Oak City Administrator Joe Miranti resigned March 4 after just a few short weeks on the job, according to the Suwanee Democrat. Miranti resigned via a memorandum to all five council members and Mayor Sonny Nobles. The resignation was effectively immediately. 
In the memorandum Miranti cited city policy regarding his lack of authority to terminate department heads. 
He wrote that he wasn’t aware until after being hired that the city council retained the right to terminate a department head by a majority vote at a meeting and not the administrator. 
Miranti was hired as city administrator in December.

Grafton, Ohio (population 6,639): Patrick Mudge resigned Monday as Grafton village administrator, according to The Chronicle-Telegram. Mudge, who was on the job less than a year, said while he wishes the village well, he disagreed with some of the things that were happening there. Mudge said he successfully pushed to have leaf collection implemented in the village. He also wasn’t pleased with how the village was handling discussions about having the county’s 911 Call Center take over police dispatching duties. The Call Center already handles dispatching services for the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and several fire departments. Mudge said he understands the concept, but didn’t feel the discussions between the county and Grafton were handled as delicately as they should have been, given that the current dispatchers’ jobs were on the line. Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan said she was unaware of any tensions between Mudge and others in village government. But Mudge said he didn’t see eye-to-eye with some of the elected officials in the village, including Flanigan. He also said that he thought some of the issues facing the village should have been addressed sooner. He said his own secondary role as safety-service director, a role traditionally filled by the mayor in Grafton, was likely to have ended soon as part of the village’s efforts to save money. He said he didn’t necessarily disagree with that reasoning. Flanigan said Mudge sent an email formally leaving his job on Monday, although she indicated that Mudge had expressed his plans to do so in the days beforehand. She said she isn’t certain what prompted Mudge to quit. Mudge’s departure comes in the wake of several controversies that have swirled around the village in the past year. The village’s police chief, Lonnie Carroll, was fired by Flanigan with the backing of Village Council in August and has filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement. Flanigan has declined to say why Carroll was fired and replaced with Dan Clark, who was a part-time patrolman for the village until being elevated to the chief’s job after Carroll was ousted. Mudge also was involved in a controversial proposal that the village offer extra police protection in Eaton Township, something that was condemned by Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, who is responsible for law enforcement in the townships and whose deputies Eaton Township paid for extra patrols.

Shirley, Massachusetts (population 6,373): Selectmen on Friday morning accepted the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer David Berry, effective March 31, according to Nashoba Publishing. Selectmen Dave Swain and Kendra Dumont emerged from an executive session to say they had voted to accept Berry’s resignation. Andy Deveau, who was on the board and supported Berry, has resigned from the board and his spot has not been filled. Selectmen asked Berry in January to resign, but when he told selectmen he would not, they began to draw up charges to fire him. Berry had a “just cause” clause in his contract that the town could execute if they deemed Berry was not measuring up. Berry was placed on administrative leave by selectmen earlier this year, and he will use the remainder of his vacation time between now and the date his resignation becomes effective. He was hired in 2010 to replace interim Town Administrator Ron Marchetti, who was filling in for the town after the arrest and firing of Kyle Keady. Keady was arrested on a slew of wiretapping and other charges. Swain previously said he felt that because Berry had not been an effective manager, he and the other members of the board had enough reason to execute the clause. That next step, Swain said, could be working with the Massachusetts Municipal Association to hire an interim administrator. Dumont said she did not sign on to Berry’s contract because she could not support spending $90,000 on Berry’s salary, and she’s happy at this outcome. Swain, who did vote for Berry to be hired, said that situations like this are never easy, but it’s what had to be done. Berry attended Friday morning’s executive session but left before the meeting was adjourned. Messages left at his Lexington home were not returned Friday. Selectmen did not convene the meeting in open session before going into executive session, as is required by the Open Meeting Law. They also did not announce the reason for the executive session before they went behind closed doors, although their posted notice of the meeting stated they would be going into executive session under Section 21 (1) — which includes discussion of a dismissal of an employee.

Union Gap, Washington (population 6,145): It took two hours of interviews and only 15 minutes of discussion for the Union Gap City Council to name its new city manager Monday night, according to the Yakima Herald. Rodney Otterness, the current city administrator of International Falls, Minn., was chosen unanimously by the seven council members present. Temporary council member and former mayor Jim Lemon was absent for the vote. Otterness was chosen over former Port of Douglas County executive director Pat Haley of East Wenatchee. Council members said they picked Otterness because he has more than a decade of experience in city administration, including experience with labor negotiations, supervising various departments and financial management skills. Otterness said he will spend Tuesday in Union Gap to begin discussing the terms of his contract with the city, which require council approval. He said he hopes to enter office by the beginning of April after making the 1,600-mile relocation from his small Minnesota community on the Canadian border. International Falls has a population of 6,424, according to the 2010 census. It has a five-member city council and, according to the Weather Channel magazine, it is coldest city in the continental U.S. Council members were all smiles after the vote. Councilman Dan Vanover said he is excited about what the change in government means for the future of the city. Mayor Roger Wentz said Otterness’ direct knowledge of the office of a city manager was the deciding factor. He said naming a city manager was a “reinvigorating” feeling for the council. Monday night’s vote is the next to last step in transitioning to a council-manager form of government after voters did away with the city’s strong mayor system in a proposition on the November ballot. The measure was approved only a year after the former mayor Lemon had been re-elected, but it was a year in which Lemon’s office was dogged by controversy over staff turnover and accusations of abuse. The council members interviewed Monday night said they did not know why Lemon missed the vote. Phone numbers previously used by the Yakima Herald-Republic to contact Lemon appeared to be disconnected. The man who wrote the proposition that changed the city’s form of government, Councilman Dan Olson, said the city now must make their candidate a good offer.

New Ipswich, New Hampshire (population 5,099): Richmond’s town administrator is headed for a top leadership job in New Ipswich, according to the Sentinel Source. Roberta A. Fraser, who is also Winchester’s selectmen chairwoman, was offered the job of town administrator last week, conditional on the completion of a background check, said Selectmen Chairman George H. Lawrence. She was one of 30 candidates who applied, he said. Fraser will replace Marie Knowlton, who retired on Feb. 5 after seven years on the job. Fraser’s starting salary for the full-time position would be between $45,000 and $50,000 annually, Lawrence said. There is no requirement that the town administrator live in New Ipswich, he said. Fraser said this morning she plans to start the new job on March 18. After three years as Richmond’s town administrator, which is a part-time position, she was looking for something full-time, she said. She does plan to complete the final year of her three-year term on the Winchester Board of Selectmen, she said.

Peñitas, Texas (population 4,537): Citing health problems, the city manager here resigned Friday after a little more than two years on the job, according to The Monitor. Noe Cavazos said while he enjoyed his time with the city, after having quadruple bypass open heart surgery and diabetes, it was time to leave the demanding job. Cavazos, 58, started as the city manager in December 2010 after retiring from working for Hidalgo County for 30 years. The Peñitas City Council appointed Oscar Cuellar, the city’s chief financial officer, as the interim city manager Monday. Mayor Marcos Ochoa said they chose Cuellar to temporarily replace Cavazos because he’s familiar with the city. Cuellar, who is in charge of the Finance Department, also was the Peñitas city manager for about two years before leaving for a job in Donna in 2008. Ochoa said city leaders want Cuellar to work on existing projects, including plans to expand and extend Liberty Boulevard and plans for a new city hall, police station and fire station. Cuellar said he will continue his financial officer duties while working as the interim city manager. Before submitting his official resignation letter, Cavazos said, he had spoken with the City Commission about his health issues and let them know his wife wanted him to retire. Cavazos said he enjoyed working with the city commission particularly on economic development projects.

Millinocket, Maine (population 4,466): After more than 30 years in town government, the last thing Peggy Daigle wanted was another government job, she said Wednesday. But the Town Council has made an offer that Daigle thinks she cannot refuse. Councilors offered Daigle the opportunity to succeed Town Manager Eugene Conlogue and interim Town Manager Charles Pray as the town’s next top government official, council Chairman John Davis said. The offer was made Tuesday. If all goes well, the council will vote on March 14 to ratify Daigle’s tentative contract, Davis said. She and Davis declined to give contract details. Negotiations are progressing “but there are still a few things we need to talk about,” Davis said. Daigle has served as an interim city manager in Caribou and was town manager in Enfield, Houlton, Old Town and Patten. An East Millinocket resident, she was East Millinocket’s administrative assistant in the 1990s and served as director of Municipal Geographical Information Systems for the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town. Daigle resigned in May 2011 after seven years as Old Town’s manager. City Council Chairman David Mahan said at the time that Daigle’s resignation “was not for cause, simply a choice on the part of the City Council to take the city into a new direction with new leadership.” Millinocket’s councilors chose her out of 32 candidates, including Pray and five other finalists, Davis said. Her economic development experience helped make Daigle the strongest candidate for the job, Davis said. The new Great Northern Paper Co. machine on Katahdin Avenue has been dormant for several years and the Katahdin region has suffered a declining population and an unemployment rate double the state average. GNP and parent company Cate Street Capital are razing several GNP buildings as part of plans to build an industrial park on site. The park will complement a torrefied wood machine and a natural gas pipeline proposal that the LePage administration supports. Daigle has served as the part-time executive manager of the Bangor Target Area Development Corp. since October 2011. The regional economic development agency has helped businesses from Hampden to Old Town since 1972, helping to develop successful parks in Bangor, Hampden, and Hermon. It owns the Target Technology Center, an industrial park that is home to several fledgling enterprises developed with the University of Maine, Daigle said. Daigle is experienced, she said, at helping entrepreneurs “who are traveling through the Valley of Death on their projects and trying to get nontraditional financing to advance their projects to a state where they can get financing from more traditional means.” If her deal with Millinocket is made, Daigle said she plans to first meet with councilors, town government staff and local businesses to see how she can help. Given her business experience and Millinocket’s economic needs, Daigle said that it “seems a bit selfish” to retire when she could help the area.

Linden, Michigan (population 3,957): The Linden City Council picked Paul Zelenak on Saturday, Feb. 23, as the new city manager, according to MLive.  Zelenak, who currently serves as the Lake Orion village manager, was selected after thecity council interviewed him and three others on Saturday. Mayor David Lossing will begin contract negotiations with Zelenak and said he hoped to have a contract to bring back to the city council for approval at its March 11 meeting. Police Chief Scott Sutter has been serving as the interim city manager after the city’s previous city manager, Mark Tallman, resigned in September. At the time, all the city council would say was that Tallman wasn’t a “good fit.” Tallman was hired in April and had been on the job for four months.

Saluda, South Carolina (population 3,566): In a little more than a year, Tom Brooks, 40, has risen from a “half-day-a-week” employee with the Town of Saluda to its top municipal employee, according to the Index-Journal. Brooks, originally hired in January 2012 as Saluda’s director of economic and community development was appointed town administrator Monday by the Saluda Town Council. The appointment came following the resignation of former Town Administrator Randy Cole. Both Cole and Brooks said the transition was long-planned.

Rockport, Maine (population 3,330): Rockport’s town manager has resigned, according to WABI. Robert Peabody has been on paid leave for the three weeks prior to February 19. The town select board worked out a deal for Peabody to go the previous week, but it wasn’t signed off on until February 19. Peabody has been the town manager since March of 2004. His contract was set to run out in June of next year. Selectboard Chairman Bill Chapman says he can’t say what lead to Peabody’s resignation but that town clerk Linda Greenlaw is the acting town manager for now. The select board was scheduled to appoint an interim town manager at a regular meeting February 20.

Nash, Texas (population 2,968): After 18 years as Nash city administrator, Elizabeth Lea will be turning in her keys in early April, according to the Texarkana Gazette. Nash City Council members agreed to February 11 to accept a retirement letter submitted by Lea, effective, April 5.

Southport, North Carolina (population 2,899): Pat Thomas has resigned as City Manager in Southport, according to Mayor Robert Howard and WECT. Howard tells WECT he received Thomas’ letter of resignation on Friday, just one day after a Board of Aldermen meeting and town celebration over the release of the movie “Safe Haven.” Thomas took the job in Southport in April of 2012 after serving as Town Manager of Swansboro, in Onslow County.  His resignation in Southport is effective on April 16. Howard says Thomas’ letter did not include a reason for the decision, and did not specify any details on his immediate future plans.

Jaffrey, New Hampshire (population 2,757): Selectmen have chosen David R. Caron of Belmont to be Jaffrey’s new town manager, according to the Sentinel Source. Caron began his new job today. Town officials started the search in December, when then-Town Manager Michael J. Hartman accepted a similar position in Stoughton, Mass. Hartman held the position for five years. Caron has more than 30 years of municipal management experience, and previously worked in Belmont, Gilford, Londonderry and North Hampton. He has also served on state and regional organizations, such as New Hampshire’s Enhanced 911 Commission, the Local Government Center and the state’s Municipal Association Municipal Advocacy Committee. He has served as town manager in Londonderry, Gilford and Belmont. When Caron was offered the position by Jaffrey selectmen, he had been working as an interim town manager in North Hampton, said Selectmen Chairwoman Jeanne L. LaBrie. Caron said he applied for the Jaffrey position because he was impressed by how much residents felt a civic responsibility in the small town. Town officials hired the consulting firm Massachusetts Municipal Association to help with advertising and winnowing applicants. The firm received nearly 40 applications and was paid between $12,000 and $14,000 by the town. While the advertisement for the job said the salary would be $100,000, Caron will be making $108,000 during his three-year contract because he has chosen not to receive medical insurance through the town, LaBrie said. And although Caron started his job Monday morning, it’ll be some time until he has a desk and office. Structural issues a couple weeks ago at the town offices led to the town’s financial director using the then-vacant town manager’s office. Caron is currently using the conference room, and LaBrie said she hopes the space issue will be resolved within a week. Caron has a bachelor’s degree in public management from the University of Maine. He will be commuting from Belmont during the week, as his wife still teaches there, he said. Caron will also be at the town meeting Saturday morning. Department of Public Works Director Randall W. Heglin has been acting as interim town manager since Hartman left.

Croswell, Michigan (population 2,418): Croswell City Council chose Samuel Moore for Croswell city administrator, according to The Times Herald. Moore and four other candidates who were selected by the Michigan Municipal League interviewed for the position of city administrator on Sunday. Karl Tomion, executive search facilitator for the MML, said Moore must pass a background and reference check before starting as administrator. Currently, Moore serves as the community development director for Cass City, which is essentially an assistant village manager, he said. Moore, 28, said he was surprised by the number of grant projects the city has scheduled over the next couple of years. Moore will meet with the city attorney Monday evening to go over the details of his contract. Mary Willis, mayor pro tem for Croswell, said the Croswell streetscape project will be one of Moore’s biggest responsibilities in the coming year. Willis said Moore stood out from other interview candidates for his straightforward answers and commitment to transparency. Willis said the MML’s help in the selection process provides insight and expertise. The fact that Moore is not from Croswell should provide an interesting perspective to the city, Willis said. The position of city administrator for Croswell was left vacant in December when John Espinoza retired for health reasons. Amy Planck has served as interim city administrator during the search process. Moore currently lives in Cass City but plans to move to Croswell.

Landrum, South Carolina (population 2,400): Landrum City Administrator Steve Wolochowicz notified council Tuesday, Feb. 12 that he would be retiring later this spring, according to the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Mayor Robert Briggs said Wolochowicz, who began working as Landrum’s city administrator eight years ago, would be hard to replace. In a letter to council, Wolochowicz said he felt proud of the accomplishments the city has made in the almost decade since he took the position. Several of those accomplishments include developing a city website to promote the city as a tourism destination, to complete the development of Brookwood Park and to secure funding and begin construction of the N. Randolph Avenue sidewalk project among other tasks. Since Wolochowicz took on the job Landrum has developed a website, which now averages 138,000 hits per month. The city also transformed a middle portion of Brookwood Park that was overrun with kudzu into a paved walking trail and has seen the first phase of the N. Randolph sidewalk project completed. The second phase of the sidewalk project will go out to bid in June 2013. The city has also moved forward with plans to renovate the historic railroad depot. Councilman John Carruth said though he’s only worked with Wolochowicz for the past year, he feels more was accomplished than had been under past administrators. Carruth said Wolochowicz took on a leadership role that many others did not in the past. Mayor Briggs said he hopes the city can find a replacement that can handle the daily stress of a city administrator’s job. Wolochowicz leaves the position April 30.

Lake Placid, Florida (population 2,219): At Monday night’s town council meeting, three new people were sworn in or promoted to new positions, according to Highlands Today. Former Chief of Police Phil Williams was sworn in as the new town administrator, while Vickie Bollinger was sworn in as deputy clerk. She will shadow longtime outgoing clerk Arlene Tuck for the next couple of months, until Tuck retires. James Fansler was promoted to interim chief of police. Williams requested this be a temporary arrangement, to be reviewed after being in his new position for one year. Fansler’s new position will be reviewed for performance in three months. His salary will increase by $5,000 a year. He thanked Williams and the council for putting their trust in him and promised to give the people of Lake Placid his best.

Tryon, North Carolina (population 1,625): Tryon Town Manager Caitlin Martin was terminated on Friday, Feb. 8 after working with the town for five months, according to the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Council met Friday morning in a special closed session where they made the decision to terminate Martin. Mayor Pro-tem Roy Miller said the town decided to go in a different direction. At the time the vote occurred in open session, commissioners Miller, Doug Arbogast and Wim Woody were the only ones present and the vote to terminate was unanimous. All council members, including mayor Alan Peoples and commissioner George Baker attended the closed session meeting for discussion. Martin was the first female manager to work in Polk County and began working with the town on Sept. 10, 2012. Tryon’s manager position was the first for Martin as she graduated with a masters in public administration from the College of Charleston in May 2011. Tryon has appointed fire chief Joey Davis as the interim manager, a position he held prior to the hiring of Martin. Davis is also the planning and zoning administrator and code enforcer. Davis was appointed interim manager following the town’s firing of former manager Justin Hembree. Hembree was the town’s manager for almost three years, being hired in January 2009 as the interim, then being appointed permanent manager in June 2009. He was fired on Jan. 3, 2012. The town has struggled finding a permanent manager since former manager Jim Fatland resigned in December 2007 after working with the town for approximately five years. Following Fatland, the town hired Dr. Jack Miller, who only Board of Aldermen appointed Stuart Turille as its new Town Manager at its regular meeting last night, according to WWAY. Turille most recently served as Town Administrator for St. Pauls, where he managed five departments and was responsible for successfully obtaining approximately $2 million in grants for the town within five years. Turille’s professional goal is to work with a coastal community with the understanding that they have unique issues from inland communities such as beach nourishment, hurricane preparedness, seasonal tourism, and absentee property ownership. He has prior coastal experience having previously worked for Broward County, FL. Turille holds a Master of Public Administration from Florida State, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia. Turille will begin working for the Town of North Topsail Beach on April 1, 2013.

Westminster, Vermont (population 289): Town Manager Matt Daskal got his “Welcome to the Job” moment just 30 days into his tenure, according to the Brattleboro Reformer. The young Connecticut native took the job in July 2011, one month before Tropical Storm Irene took an unusual path up the East Coast and make a beeline for Vermont, causing widespread damage the state had never experienced before. Just more than a year and a half later, the Westminster Selectboard has accepted Daskal’s letter of resignation. Daskal, 25, told the Reformer his final day in Westminster is set for the end of March, as he will begin his new job in Manchester on Monday, April 1. He said the selectmen accepted his resignation on Tuesday, March 5. A statement released to the Reformer said Daskal wishes the community well and wants to thank the many people that pitched in their support and dedication during his term. According to the statement, Daskal guided the town through the response and recovery of Irene and the flooding of May 2012. Selectboard member Craig Allen said he is happy with Daskal’s performance and was impressed he was able to secure roughly $1.1 million from FEMA to reimburse the town for bridge and road repairs following the disaster. He said brand-new Selectboard member Paul Banik will be introduced at today’s Selectboard meeting and the board will talk about how to replace Daskal. Allen said there will be a discussion about whether to hire an interim town manager and about  possibly forming a committee to appoint a permanent one. Board members also will discuss picking a new administrative assistant to the town manager, as the one under Daskal announced her resignation when she found out she was moving. The meeting is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Paul Harlow, who just vacated his Selectboard seat, has seen several town managers since he joined the board in 1997 following the death of member George Cote. He said Daskal handled the job with grace, especially after Irene struck. Harlow said the Selectboard is essentially the town manager’s boss and is in charge of filling the position. He said Daskal had the proper training and enthusiasm, making him by far the best candidate a year and a half ago. He told the Reformer the Selectboard requested help from the Vermont League Cities and Towns, which provided a job description and potential candidates. Daskal was chosen following an interview because he excelled at the technical aspects of the field and seemed to be good with handling financial issues. Harlow said it is not unusual for a town manager to leave Westminster after a short time, calling it the “nature progression.” He said he thinks the average tenure is about three to five years. Daskal said his work in Manchester will be similar to what he has been doing in Westminster. He told the Reformer he is originally from Wethersfield, Conn., and attended Connecticut College, where he double-majored in history and sociology and earned a certificate in community action. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University before working on special projects for the Capitol Region Council of Governments in Plainville, Conn. Daskal said he will still be available to the Westminster community for several months after assuming his new post.

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