Transitions: San Mateo County, CA; Charles County, MD; Santa Clara, CA and more

San Mateo County, California (population 727,209): County supervisors are putting their money where their mouth is, backing up plans to keep Interim County Manager John Maltbie around full time four more years with a roughly $300,0000 annual salary package, according to The Daily Journal. The Board of Supervisors will vote at Tuesday morning’s meeting on the agreement which would begin Dec. 23 and run through Dec. 22, 2016. The proposal calls for Maltbie to receive a bi-weekly salary of $10,393.60 but the board plans to bump the wage up to $11,538.46 to be more in line with other chief executive officer pay in the Bay Area. The current county manager salary of approximately $270,000 is more than 11 percent behind its counterparts, according to a board report by Human Resources Director Donna Vaillancourt. Maltbie, 65, will also receive a $1,000 monthly car allowance and 45 days of vacation per year which can be cashed out at the end of the contract. However, Maltbie intends to fully use the vacation time and will receive a 22.5-day advance, according to the agreement. In the case Maltbie is let go by the county, he will receive up to a year of salary and benefits depending upon what time is left on his contract. On his end of the arrangement, Maltbie must suspend his annual $133,000 pension to be reinstated as a full-time county employee because he cannot receive it simultaneously with a salary. Maltbie previously served as county manager for more than two decades before retiring in 2008. Succeeding county manager David Boesch resigned three years later before the end of his contract and Maltbie stepped back in on an interim basis. He was limited to work 960 hours in a fiscal year and did not receive any other benefits. In February, the Board of Supervisors decided to keep Maltbie longer and postponed recruiting a permanent replacement until 2013 but now will wait until closer to 2016. The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.

Charles County, Maryland (population 146,551): The Charles County commissioners hired a new county administrator last week, filling a post that had been vacant since a majority of the board fired the prior administrator in July, according to Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. Mark J. Belton, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserves, will leave his job as administrator of Page County, Va., to start work in Charles County on Dec. 17. Belton has held that post since 2005 and also served as administrator for Queen Anne’s County in Maryland from 1999 to 2002. Originally, Belton’s contract with Page County expired in January, but the county board of supervisors voted Nov. 22 to let him resign early, said supervisors’ Vice Chairman J.D. Cave. In “late summer,” the board voted not to renew his contract, but Cave would not say why. Belton said the supervisors were looking to replace someone hired by the previous board and to pay a lower salary. Supervisors’ Chairman Johnny Woodward had praise for Belton despite his vote, a decision he said he made because “the board just felt it was time for a change.” Education dominated his legacy in Page County, Belton said. He recalled his role in helping establish middle schools in a public school system that previously had only elementary and high schools, and in attracting a campus of Lord Fairfax Community College to a county that had been without any institution of higher education. He also assisted in the development of a small commercial airport, he said. It’s too soon to say what projects he’ll face in Charles County. Page County, like others in rural Virginia, often serves as a training ground for officials who then progress to more lucrative positions in larger, wealthier counties, said former Page County Board of Education member Gary Gibbs. The Charles County commissioners interviewed four candidates before settling on Belton, said commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D). Belton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1983 and served in the Navy for seven years. Since 1991, he has been in the reserves, from which he was mobilized and sent to Kosovo in 2001 and to Baghdad from 2009 to 2010. He serves as a supply officer, he said. He also holds a master’s of business administration from Regis University in Colorado, and served as assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for two years, according to the county government announcement. As a reservist, Belton could be recalled to active duty, but it is “highly unlikely” because he already has served several postings, Kelly said. Should he be called up, the county will manage “just the same as we always manage, with our deputy county administrator, and as we’ve managed previously when various different folks in leadership roles were out or pending a replacement.”

Juliio Fuentes

Santa Clara, California (population 116,468): Santa Clara has hired a new city manager, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Julio Fuentes has been hired for his track record of bringing economic development and fiscal stability to cities in Southern California, according to a statement by the City of Santa Clara. Fuentes, who has been the city manager for Alhambra, Calif., since 1992, was appointed to his new post unanimously at a city council meeting Tuesday night. His first day on the job in Santa Clara will be Feb. 4, 2013, and he will earn an annual salary of $290,000. Fuentes was selected after a nationwide search to find a replacement for Jennifer Sparacino, who retired in June after 25 years in the role. Fuentes’ experience managing Alhambra’s $114 million budget – that’s compared to Santa Clara’s $558 million annual budget – should come in handy as his new employer deals with an expected state claim of up to $350 million in former redevelopment assets.

Harnett County, North Carolina (population 114,678): The Harnett County Board of Commissioners wasted no time firing County Manager Scott Sauer once a new Republican majority was established, doing so shortly after swearing in two new Republican members on Monday, according to The Sanford Herald. The vote was 3-2, largely along partisan lines. Sauer, who was hired away from Sampson County in 2009, didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday. His temporary replacement, Interim County Manager Joseph Jeffries, wasn’t available on Tuesday, according to office staff. Hill, the lone Democrat on the board, said she considered the vote “revenge” for a lawsuit involving the county’s Public Utilities Department. Although she wouldn’t say more, the county did sue Republican commissioner Gary House last spring, alleging that he orchestrated the theft of private documents from the county by a former utilities employee who was fired in 2011. That employee has admitted to taking the documents, but House, according to a Fayetteville Observer story from last May, said there is more to the story than has been revealed. On Monday, he was voted vice chairman of the board — taking the position Hill had held for the past decade and a half — but didn’t respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. Sauer did elicit some controversy in 2011 when he accepted a raise included in the same budget that also required all county workers to take one day of furlough per month. At the time, he reportedly said he had declined a raise in 2010 but did feel that accepting the 2011 raise of 5 percent was appropriate because it was comparable to raises other employees had received. The vote to fire Sauer didn’t go entirely smoothly for the GOP bloc, though, with the newly elected Joe Miller breaking rank with his fellow Republicans in order to vote against dismissing Sauer. The other new commissioner, Gordon Springle, said he had no problem voting against Sauer on his first day on the job because he saw the recent election as a wider referendum on what Harnett County voters want. According to John Rankins, the Harnett County Human Resources and Risk Management director, the county will be accepting applications for county manager for the next two weeks or so. Also at Monday’s meeting, Republican Jim Burgin was chosen as chairman, replacing longtime Republican board member Tim McNeill, who was chairman during Sauer’s tenure as county manager. Neither he nor Burgin responded to requests for comment. McNeill and Democrat Dan Andrews, who served for years before being defeated by Springle in November, were also both honored and presented with the Order of the Longleaf Pine — North Carolina’s highest civilian award — at the meeting.

Pueblo, Colorado (population 106,595): Pueblo City Council this week named City Finance Director Sam Azad to be the new city manager, according to The Pueblo Chieftan. He is scheduled to take the reins of city government on Jan. 2. Mr. Azad succeeds Jerry Pacheco as manager. Mr. Pacheco stepped down in May due to personal problems. In the interim, former city official Jim Munch has been the acting manager.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (population 105,162): Members of the Cambridge City Council appointed longtime deputy city manager Richard Rossi Monday to the city’s top spot next year, according to the Boston Globe. The council voted 8 to 1 to promote Rossi to the city manager post once it is vacated by Robert Healy, who is retiring June 30 after 32 years on the job. Rossi, 66, who grew up in Cambridge and now lives in Watertown, promised hard work and good communication to the council on Monday.

Bartow County, Georgia (population 100,157): For 38 years, Steve Bradley has called Bartow County government home. On Tuesday, he will celebrate his retirement as county administrator, official Jan. 1. Bradley’s path to county administrator evolved, taking him through the tax assessor’s office and the district attorney’s office. He also served as treasurer under late Commissioner Frank Moore, which Bradley said is a position that evolved into the county administrator job. The Bartow County native became county administrator under retiring Commissioner Clarence Brown in 1993. Brown said Bradley’s experience was key in his hiring. Once he became county administrator, Bradley said he really never considered anything else. Bradley’s son, Stan, said his father’s passion for his work was a standard he himself has tried to follow. The father of two is a graduate of Cartersville High School, earning his bachelor’s from West Georgia College and his law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1979. He added that serving in a fast-growing community presented its own set of challenges in the past 20 years. Of his accomplishments as county administrator, Bradley considers the growth management plan as perhaps his greatest. Bradley said he has continued to look ahead for the county, coordinating with staff and incoming County Administrator Peter Olson. With retirement just weeks away, Bradley said he will shift his focus a bit closer to home. Stan Bradley said his father’s dedication to family is one of the gifts he passed on to his children.

Temecula, California (population 100,097): In a 3-0 vote, the Temecula City Council fired City Manager Robert Johnson Tuesday night, according to the TemeculaPatch. The vote came behind closed doors, in the closed-session portion of the regularly scheduled city council meeting, and no information regarding the reason for termination is being released. City Attorney Peter Thorson made the announcement Tuesday and after the meeting declined to comment about the firing. City Councilmen Jeff Comerchero and Ron Roberts were absent during Tuesday night’s meeting. When asked about Temecula Chief Financial Officer Genie Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this month with Johnson, Thorson declined comment. There was no mention of Wilson Tuesday night. Thorson told Patch last week that actions against Johnson and Wilson are based on “differences in management philosophy and goals.” City employee Aaron Adams was officially appointed Tuesday to serve as acting city manager; no fill-in has been named to serve as chief financial officer. Johnson’s appointment to City Manager came July 10, 2011 following news that then-City Manager Shawn Nelson was retiring effective Jan. 1, 2012. As part of his four-year employment contract agreed to in Sept. 2011 and commenced on Jan. 1, 2012, Johnson received an annual salary of $215,000 and $11,000 a year in deferred compensation for a savings plan, according to the city documents. Under his employment contract, which was officially terminated Tuesday night, Johnson is entitled to receive a severance payment equal to six months’ salary, as well as insurance benefits during the six months following his firing. However, if termination is the result of being charged or convicted of a felony, or engaging in corrupt or willful misconduct in office, Johnson’s severance benefits will not be paid, according to city documents. Wilson’s annual salary as of 2010 was $180,466, including benefits, according to the latest public salary information available from the California State Controller’s website. According to city documents, her role with the city encompassed overseeing various administrative services including human resources, strategic budgeting and operations, support services, information technology, and accounting and purchasing.

Floyd County, Georgia (population 96,317): The Floyd County Commission will meet next week to discuss the replacement of County Manager Blaine Williams, who is leaving Dec. 31 for Athens-Clarke County, according to the Rome News-Tribune. The board’s regular session is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 11. Williams — who took over Floyd County’s top slot on Jan. 1 — said he’ll work through the end of the year and take a week off before starting in Athens on Jan. 7, 2013. He’ll be one of two assistant managers for the consolidated government of Athens-Clarke County, which has 1,573 employees and a general fund budget of $104 million. Floyd County has about 650 employees and a $43 million budget. A “green” fire station and a government-backed arts center were two initiatives he mentioned, but another draw is Alan Reddish, the Athens-Clarke manager. Including a 7.5 percent deferred contribution, Williams was netting about $106,000 a year in Floyd and was part of the pension plan. In Athens-Clarke, he’ll have a base salary of $109,000 and his choice of either a 10-percent deferred contribution or participation in the pension plan. Williams hired on as Floyd’s assistant county manager in April 2007 and served as interim county manager after the Dec. 2, 2011, departure of Kevin Poe. The board named him as Poe’s permanent replacement after a nationwide search that drew 21 applications. Noah Simon, the former community development director for Fortney, Texas, replaced Williams as assistant county manager on March 26. In Athens-Clarke, Williams will hold the title of assistant manager for transportation and community services, overseeing the departments of planning, building permits and inspections, human and economic development, transportation and public works, public utilities, transit, airport and solid waste.

Moore County, North Carolina (population 88,247): James Layman Westbrook Jr., a veteran North Carolina government manager who had been tapped to be the interim Moore County manager, died Nov. 27 in a traffic accident near Vass, according to The Pilot. Westbrook was traveling east on Vass-Carthage Road when his 2007 Chevy SUV struck a tractor- trailer hauling logs that had pulled out in front of him. Westbrook died on the scene at approximately 5:35 p.m. Westbrook, who would have turned 69 Nov. 29, had a long and distinguished career as a local government manager for several cities, including Fayetteville, Asheville and Cary. He also had worked in various Moore County governmental departments as a consultant. Westbrook began his duties as interim county manager on Nov. 26. The Moore County Board of Commissioners had voted unanimously on his selection to succeed retiring County Manager Cary McSwain, who was set to retire Nov. 30. According to state retirement regulations, McSwain must vacate his position for at least 31 days following his retirement Nov. 30. Westbrook was a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He worked as a consultant for Moore County government from July 2007 through Sept. 2011, where he prepared and monitored a 10-year capital budget project and served in an interim capacity as the public works director, the human resources director, the public safety director and as the assistant county manager. A retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and a Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm veteran, Westbrook was city manager in Asheville. Before that, he was town manager in Cary and had worked with Catawba County, the city of Petersburg, Va., the city of High Point, and Burlington Industries, Inc. He received the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, and other awards and decorations for his military service. The Westbrook family experienced a more prominent tragedy last year when their daughter, 37-year-old Ashley Westbrook Turton, was killed in a bizarre accidental explosion and fire in the garage of her Washington, D.C., home. The incident made national news because she was ­married to senior White House aide Daniel Arthur Turton, and she was a major lobbyist for Progress Energy. Her death in January 2011 occurred on the day Progress announced its merger with Duke Energy.

Jefferson County, Wisconsin (population 83,686): Just two days after learning of the pending retirement of longtime Jefferson County Judge Jacqueline R. Erwin, Jefferson County officials this morning heard news of the upcoming retirement of county Administrator Gary Petre, according to the Watertown Daily Times. Petre, 61, began his work as administrator with the county Oct. 25, 2005. He succeeded a retiring Willard Hausen. Petre came to Jefferson County after serving as director of administration for the city of Franklin. Prior to work in Franklin in 2000, Petre was assistant manager for administration with the United States Census Bureau in Muskego. From 1993 to 2002, Petre served with the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors on its board of directors. Before that, he served as director of administration for the Milwaukee County Department of Administration, was acting zoo director at the Milwaukee County Zoo and was deputy director of Milwaukee County Parks, Recreation and Culture. Petre is a 1973 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with a bachelor of administration degree and a major in finance. He received continuing education at Marquette University and with the state of Wisconsin as a real estate broker. At the time he was hired, then-Jefferson County Administrative Search Committee Chairman Ron Buchanan said his committee was sold on Petre when they learned of his overall experience and heard recommendations. Making the final three along with Petre in 2005 were Jefferson County Corporation Counsel Phil Ristow and Diane Gard of the city of Oconomowoc. The search began with 45 candidates. Petre has lived in Franklin during his career with Jefferson County and said he and his wife Beth have no plans to relocate. The couple has four adult children and six grandchildren between the ages of 6 months and 7 years old. Petre’s retirement is effective April 1, 2013, because his current employee contract ends March 31, 2013. The Jefferson County Administration and Rules Committee met this morning with the subject of Petre’s contract renewal on its agenda. After hearing of Petre’s desire to retire in 2013, however, the panel decided against requesting renewal of the employment document. Petre’s list of accomplishments as county administrator during the past 7 1/2 years include teaming with others to engender a substantial reduction in the amount of tax levy support required by the county’s fair park. Petre said the county has undergone a classification and compensation study this year, a document that will go before the county board at its December meeting. He said he is pleased with the fact the county was able to develop a strategic plan for the county. Petre said he believes a lot was accomplished in county government during his time as administrator, but work remains to be done. Petre said he leaves the county with a few items of unfinished business. Among the highlights of his time with Jefferson County, Petre said, was helping coordinate the transition of Countryside Home from a public facility to a privately owned operation. Petre and his wife have travel plans in the making for his retirement. He also said work for him is really never done because his family views him as their own, personal handyman. Petre said he appreciates the support and encouragement he has received from county board members and department heads over the years.

San Clemente, California (population 63,522): After a 35-year career in municipal government, San Clemente City Manager George Scarborough will retire March 20, according to the Orange County Register. San Clemente hired Scarborough as city manager in 2003 after he had worked 15 years for neighboring San Juan Capistrano, the final 10 as city manager. He said he is proud of the performance of city staff during his tenure in San Clemente and of the city’s accomplishments, including the beach trail, Vista Hermosa Sports Park, projects to ease traffic, improved customer service in city offices, a strong financial foundation and a “can do” culture at City Hall. Council members reached by phone Monday congratulated Scarborough on his service and his retirement. Pall Gudgerisson, San Clemente’s treasurer and assistant city manager, will take the reins as chief executive of the city after George Scarborough retires in March, according to the SanClementePatch. The San Clemente City Council offered glowing praise for Gudgerisson before unanimously voting him in. Gudgerisson said he hopes to continue where Scarborough will leave off, shepherding projects to completion.

Gaithersburg, Maryland (population 59,933): After a national talent search of nearly five months duration, Tony Tomasello, Gaithersburg’s acting city manager since June 15, was chosen to fill the position permanently, according to The Town Courier. The city of Gaithersburg made the announcement Nov. 29, and the appointment was effective immediately. He was officially sworn in on Dec. 3. Prior to his new appointment, Tomasello held the position of deputy/assistant city manager for 11 years. He has worked for the city a total of 16 years. Tomasello said he has been gratified by support from every level of city employee — throughout the selection process and in the time since his appointment was announced. Gaithersburg’s city manager is appointed by the City Council and serves as the chief administrative officer for the city. Tomasello will manage Gaithersburg’s administrative operations in accordance with policies and procedures set forth by the City Council, with a professional staff of 272 full time employees and a city budget of $50.6 million. His starting salary is $165,000. Tomasello is looking to the challenges ahead with enthusiasm. A new budget process will begin soon. Since there is no assistant city manager in place, nor is there an executive assistant city manager to whom to delegate parts of the process, Tomasello anticipates being engaged fully in all aspects of drafting the city’s strategic plan and budget for FY ‘14. Undeniably, there is a lot of work ahead for Tomasello, and he seems to look forward to it. In an interview, his voice is filled with enthusiasm. It appears that longtime Gaithersburg employee and nouveau City Manager Tony Tomasello is home at last.

Somerset County, Maine (population 52,228): Somerset County Administrator Larry Post has abruptly resigned after a closed meeting with county commissioners, according to WABI. Commissioner Lynda Quinn says the 59-year-old Post resigned Tuesday because of “different management styles.” Post, who lives in St. Albans, tells the Morning Sentinel, that his resignation was a “mutual parting.” Post was escorted out of the county courthouse, where his office was located, by sheriff’s deputies, but Quinn says that is standard procedure. Post got a four-year contract with a $60,000 salary and the county paying 100 percent of his health insurance. He also got five weeks of paid vacation.

Bloomfield, New Jersey (population 47,315): Ted Ehrenburg began his career as the new Bloomfield administrator on Monday with a song, according to Bloomfield Life. His first taste as Bloomfield’s top professional started with the lighting of the holiday tree outside Town Hall and caroling. After that, he headed inside for his first Township Council meeting. After it was over, Ehrenburg told Bloomfield Life that he’s looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting down to business. He met with department heads earlier Monday and wanted to hear what they thought of how the municipality operates. Ehrenburg held the same job in Bloomingdale, with a population of 7,667, for seven years before putting in his resume for Bloomfield, which as 47,315. Prior to that, he served as a police chief in Morris County. He said residents are “very passionate” about their town. Ehrenburg’s seven-step salary range is between $150,000 and $180,000 a year, meaning after seven years, he will make top pay. His base salary in Bloomingdale was just more than $116,200. With longevity, it came to $119,800, according to the Bloomingdale borough clerk. The township received about 56 resumes for the position. Bloomfield was without an administrator since July when Yoshi Manale resigned. Manale had said he made $127,000 a year, although public finance records say he pulled in $110,000.

Essex County, New York (population 39,370): In a surprise action Monday, Essex County Manager Daniel Palmer and his wife, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Deborah Palmer, both announced their retirements effective at the end of the year, according to the Press-Republican. Mr. Palmer has been county manager since August 2008, and his wife was appointed board clerk in September 1996. County officials were informed of the decisions on Monday morning. Mr. Palmer and his staff had recently devised a three-year plan to restore Essex County to solvency. The plan, which would have had 26, 16 and 3 percent tax hikes for the next three years before stabilizing, was apparently rejected by the County Board of Supervisors at a budget workshop Nov. 29 in favor of a combination of cuts, reductions and greater use of the county’s fund balance to get to a 2.6 tax-levy increase in the proposed 2013 budget. Before he was named county manager, Mr. Palmer was county personnel officer, and before that he served as Minerva town supervisor. The retirements are effective Jan. 1, 2013. Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said it was with deep sadness that he learned of the Palmers’ retirements. He said he spoke with Mr. Palmer on Monday, as well as Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba), the vice chair of the board, about ensuring a smooth transition. Mr. Palmer also served as head of the County Information Technology Department. Douglas said he regretted that there were such sharp differences of opinion between the board and Mr. Palmer. Douglas said a 26 percent tax increase was too high, despite the eventual budget stability Mr. Palmer said it would provide. Mrs. Palmer has 38 years of service with Essex County. She started as a clerk in the County Attorney’s Office, moved to deputy clerk of the Board of Supervisors and finally clerk of the board when Peter Mends retired. The Palmers reside in Minerva, where he was elected town justice in the 2011 elections. Mr. Palmer said he can’t support the board’s decision to make major changes to the tentative 2013 budget he had filed. He said he could withdraw the retirement paperwork before the due date but doesn’t feel he’ll be swayed to do so. Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah), who chairs the County Finance Committee, said the Palmers’ decision was unexpected. Scozzafava has long insisted the county does not need a county manager. Mr. Palmer said he’ll decide after the first of the year what he wants to do with his life. Mr. Palmer was also unhappy that the Board of Supervisors removed department-head raises from the new budget since he believed they were doing a first-class job despite a fiscal crisis in the county.

Huntsville, Texas (population 35,548): After nearly a seven-month search, the Huntsville City Council unanimously approved hiring finalist Matt Benoit as Huntsville’s new city manager, according to The Huntsville Item. Benoit, 38, replaces Bill Baine, who resigned his position in April. Chuck Pinto has served as interim city manager  while council sought a replacement. Benoit, who was selected from a pool of four finalists, will begin his new job on Monday, Dec. 10. Councll chose Benoit on the basis of his experience,  education, and his interactions with council and city staff during the search process and final interviews, Mayor Mac Woodward said. Benoit is the former assistant city manager in Farmers Branch, Texas, an inner ring suburb north of Dallas in Dallas County with a population of 28,600, a position he took in September 2009. Before coming to Farmers Branch, Benoit was assistant city manager of Wichita Falls and city manager of Herington, Kan., a city of 2,526. In addition to seeking the top spot in Huntsville’s city government, Benoit also was a finalist for the city manager’s job in Melbourne, Fla. Woodward introduced Benoit to council after an hour and a half long executive session. After the council meeting, Benoit told The Item he had been selected following an “extensive selection process,” that included multiple interviews and visits to the city.  Benoit said he also is looking forward to getting to know Huntsville’s citizens. Benoit is married to Micki, a speech-language pathologist, and has two children, a daughter, 12, and a son, 9.

Cottonwood Heights, Utah (population 33,433): John Park, city administrator for Highland City, has been appointed the new city manager for Cottonwood Heights, according to the Cottonwood/Holladay Journal. The city council approved his appointment during their business meeting on Tuesday night. Park will begin his employment on Jan. 7. He will take the position of current city manager Liane Stillman, who is retiring after leading Cottonwood Heights for the eight years of its existence. Park has been Highland’s city administrator since June 2010. Previously, he spent more than 20 years working for the cities of Orem and Tooele in various capacities, including police officer, Director of Building and Development and assistant city manager. He also worked for many years as a business consultant in the private sector.

Wildomar, California (population 32,176): Wildomar’s first city manager, Frank Oviedo, announced Dec. 3 he is resigning to take a job as assistant city manager in the city of Santa Clarita, according to the North County Times. After Wildomar became a city on July 1, 2008, the City Council relied on a consultant to manage affairs until it hired Oviedo, who assumed the position Sept. 1, 2009. In accepting the job in Santa Clarita, Oviedo is moving to a city with a population of about 200,000, more than six times the size of Wildomar. Oviedo earned $179,000 in annual salary in Wildomar. Oviedo, 42, stated in a city news release that he has relatives living in the Santa Clarita Valley, which is situated along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. Mayor Ben Benoit praised Oviedo for the quality work he did in guiding the city through some difficult financial times. The release did not say when Oviedo’s last day of work with the city would be and city officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Eureka, California (population 27,191): The Eureka City Council has appointed William T. Panos to serve as City Manager, according to the Humboldt Sentinel.  Mr. Panos brings over three decades experience to the position. Most recently, he was the director of public works for the City of West Sacramento, responsible for overseeing community infrastructure, engineering, public utilities and the Port of West Sacramento.  As a member of the city’s executive and budget teams, Panos directed city financial strategies, government relations and regional partnerships. Mr. Panos was previously the school construction executive for the State of Washington where he directed capital finance, land use policy and local school construction throughout the state.  He was responsible for creating a $600 million annual capital program and oversaw 2.9 million acres of state trust lands. Mr. Panos has also served with local government in Northern Idaho and Los Angeles, as special advisor to the chancellor of the California State University System and as toxics director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Panos’ public sector experience came after a successful career with the TRW Corporation in its defense, space and automotive business operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  He was an advisor to President’s Council on Sustainable Development under the Clinton Administration and his work received the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation and the prestigious Harvard University-Ford Foundation Award for Innovations in American Government. Mr. Panos is scheduled to start January 1.

Upson County, Georgia (population 27,153): Upson County has a new County Manager, with the Board of Commissioners selecting Jim Wheeless to fill the position that has been vacant for the last two months at the Nov. 27 meeting, according to the Thomaston Times. Wheeless, an Upson County native, currently serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs for Savannah Technical College. However, he stated that he is looking forward to coming home. He will not have to wait for long as Friday marked his last day at Savannah Tech and he started his new role as County Manager on Monday, December 3. Wheeless is no stranger to local government, having served on the Board of Commissioners as well as the Upson County Board of Education and then the Thomaston-Upson County Board of Education after the two school systems merged. He also served in numerous positions at Flint River Technical College including adjunct instructor, Director of Operations, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President of Academic Affairs and most recently Acting President prior to the merger with Griffin Tech which formed Southern Crescent Technical College.

Weathersfield, Ohio (population 25,908): Township trustees have named former fiscal officer David Rouan as the new township administrator, starting Jan. 1, according to the Tribune Chronicle. Township Trustee Chairman Steve Gerberry said Tuesday that Rouan was selected from 18 candidates who sought the position. Current administrator David Pugh is retiring. He served the township for many years as both a trustee and administrator. Trustees approved the selection at a special meeting on Monday, with Rouan receiving a three-year contract at $50,000 annually. Rouan had served previously for 22 years as Weathersfield’s clerk / fiscal officer and township zoning inspector. He then worked at the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office with former engineer David DeChristofaro as director of administration. Gerberry said trustees were impressed with Rouan’s experience with budgets, engineering, road work and having worked at both the township and county levels. The administrator position oversees the police, fire, road and zoning departments and the day-to-day operations in the township. Gerberry said while the trustees are sorry to see Pugh leaving after his years to the community they are glad to bring someone to the position who is familiar with the community and the various township departments. Pugh, who has served as administrator since 1996, is among the candidates for the county’s road use maintenance agreement (RUMA) coordinator.

Oak Harbor, Washington (population 22,075): A doctor of philosophy is now officially running the day-to-day operations of the city of Oak Harbor, according to the Whidbey News-Times. The City Council confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Larry Cort as the city administrator during the meeting Tuesday. Cort has been serving as interim city administrator since June. City Council members and the mayor had glowing remarks about Cort, especially regarding his communication abilities. Cort replaces Paul Schmidt, the former city administrator. Dudley fired Schmidt and several other top people in city administration after coming into office in January. The move was criticized by council members, who were upset by the costs associated with severance packages and the lack of leadership at the city. But Tuesday, the council was happy. Cort will earn $133,00 a year, plus benefits. By comparison, Schmidt was making about $145,000 a year, according to Finance Director Doug Merriman. If he’s ever fired, he’ll receive a six-month severance package. Cort has been around the block on Whidbey Island. He grew up on North Whidbey and graduated from Oak Harbor High School. He left the island to pursue a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Exeter in England and a doctorate of philosophy from the University of London. He later returned to Whidbey Island and spent eight years as town planner in Coupeville and then worked for several years as a senior planner in Oak Harbor. He went on to became the planning director in Langley for five years and returned once again to Oak Harbor, becoming project specialist for the public works department.

Highland, Utah (population 15,523): If you are looking for a $90,000 annual starting wage, Highland might have a job for you, according to the Daily Herald. Just a month after the resignation of its city recorder, Highland’s city administrator is leaving too. John Park has accepted a position in Cottonwood Heights, Mayor Lynn Ritchie told the Daily Herald on Wednesday. Park’s resignation was announced to elected officials at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Park told the Daily Herald on Wednesday that he applied for the job after two and a half years in Highland. Living in American Fork, his new job will be a bit of a commute. His greatest challenge as city manager has been navigating the economy. Decreased tax revenues have meant struggling to cover the basics, such as road repair. The loss of the city’s two most important administrators means that the city is working quickly to fill the positions. The window for applications for recorder has just closed, and the city acted immediately to advertise the administrator job, said the mayor. Cottonwood Heights, with 40,000 residents, means Park will now be managing a bit larger city. His resignation is effective on Jan. 3. Interested in the job? A bachelor’s degree in business or public administration is required, and a master’s is preferred, along with 10 years of senior management experience.

Elizabethton, Tennessee (population 14,176): Elizabethton City Manager Fred Edens said that after a lifetime of service to his country, his state and his family, it was time to retire, according to the Johnson City Press. Edens discussed his plans with city staff Nov. 27. Edens is a retired major who served three tours in Vietnam as an enlisted man and he was twice wounded in combat. His tours in Vietnam included service as a member of the 75th Rangers. After retiring from the Army, Edens said he also served his state for six years in child services. His latest service will be for 4 years and 9 months as city manager of Elizabethton when he leaves that post in January. Edens said this retirement is not like the joy he felt when he left the Army. Mayor Curt Alexander said he learned of Edens’ decision over lunch on Nov. 26. Newly elected City Councilman Bob Cable said he had a “fairly long talk” with Edens on Monday afternoon. Cable occasionally was an outspoken critic of Edens when Cable operated a downtown business. Both Cable and Alexander said they thought City Finance Director Jerome Kitchens would be a good choice for interim city manager.

Graham, North Carolina (population 14,153): After nearly a quarter century of working as Graham’s city manager, Chris Rollins will be taking a job in Mebane, according to the Times-News. Rollins will become Mebane’s assistant city manager in January. He has been on Graham’s payroll for 23 years and has served as city manager since 2005. His resignation is effective Dec. 26. After a 66-minute closed session of the Graham council Tuesday night, assistant city manager Frankie Maness was unanimously selected to succeed Rollins and was sworn in as the new city manager with his wife and two daughters at his side. Maness graduated magna cum laude in 1999 from Western Carolina University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. He received his master of public Affairs, with a concentration in management, in 2001. He received certificates in municipal finance and in municipal administration from the Institute of Government at UNC Chapel Hill.
Maness has been assistant city manager of Graham since October 2005. Before that, he was town manager in Warsaw from 2000 to 2005 and a management
intern in the town of Troy for five months. He is a native of Star in Montgomery County. Rollins is a native of Virginia. The son of a military man, his family had homes in Virginia, Maryland, Texas and twice in Germany. Upon his father’s retirement, his family lived in Goldsboro and Rollins graduated from high school there and then from N.C. State with a degree in civil engineering. He was recruited by then-Graham city manager Ray Fogleman and Mayor Troy Woodard while in college. He was hired as an engineering and administrative assistant under Fogleman. Rollins committed to seeing the project to its fruition and then planned to move on. He liked the city, his co-workers and council, so he stayed on, moving through the ranks to become administrative development director, assistant city manager, and ultimately city manager upon Fogleman’s retirement in March 2005.
Rollins said he is proud of the way the city has survived over the past few years of “hard economic times.” He cited the fact that the city has not had a tax increase during that period, a sign of fiscal responsibility. Rollins also takes pride in the Children’s Museum, which opened this year not far from the city hall. He plans to take that same verve to Mebane, where he will work under city manager David Cheek, with whom he has been friends for many years. Cheek once served as Alamance County Manager, working within a stone’s throw of Graham’s municipal building. Rollins will serve as Mebane’s assistant city manager over public works, planning and zoning and inspections. Rollins said he did not make his choice lightly, but had begun to feel the need for a change. At age 48, he said he was within five or six years of being able to take retirement, and had been thinking about what he wanted to do. Rollins and his family will remain living in their Graham home. Rollins’ current annual salary is $112,321.79 and Maness’ salary of $93,911.01 will be bumped to about $102,000, said Mayor Jerry Peterman.
He will serve a six-month probationary term and his salary can be renegotiated after that.

Guymon, Oklahoma (population 11,442): The Guymon City Council terminated the contract of City Manager Ted Graham effective immediately during the Nov. 29 city council meeting, according to KSCB. The council went into an hour-and-a-half executive session to discuss the city manager’s performance, upon returning to open session, councilman Larry Swager moved to terminate the city manager’s contract effective immediately, which was seconded by William King. Council members Swager, King and Kim Peterson voted yes to terminate the contract, and John Van Meter voted no. Mayor Jim Norris was absent.

Berlin, New Hampshire (population 10,051): The Berlin City Council has begun its search for a replacement for City Manager Patrick MacQueen, who will leave city hall in September 2013 after over a decade of service, according to the Union Leader. The mayor and council won’t be going through the hiring process alone, but will have the assistance of Primex, the New Hampshire Public Risk Management Exchange. The city will advertise the position starting on Jan. 4, 2013, according to MacQueen, with resumes from applicants due Feb. 1. The salary range will be $75,000 to $105,000. The goal is to have a new city manager on board Aug. 1. Mayor Paul Grenier, who is also a Coos County commissioner, said the county used Primex to fill two positions. Carl Weber of Primex said the company does not participate in the interview process, but assists with structuring it and keeping it on track. MacQueen gave the council one year’s notice that he would be stepping down. The city contracts through Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith for his services. MacQueen has held city manager positions with MRI since 1995. Prior to that was the Keene city manager for 17 years. He has been with Berlin since spring 2002.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): Former Vineyard Haven town administrator Michael Dutton has been chosen as Bridgewater’s new town manager, and is now working out an agreement to take the helm of the town, according to the Boston Globe. Dutton, expected to start in mid-December, said he admires Bridgewater for its recent decision to change from a selectmen form of government to that of a town council. For Bridgewater, Dutton’s arrival comes at the end of several difficult months that saw the departure of former town manager Troy Clarkson, who had engaged in a power struggle with the Town Council since its nine members took office in January 2011, and a subsequent recall of two councilors. Adding to the list of challenges is the recently announced resignation of the town accountant just as budget season begins, and the need to find offices for town employees displaced from municipal buildings too dilapidated to provide safe space. In an interview Wednesday, Dutton, a lawyer, said he was unfazed by the town’s difficulties. Hiring a top administrator who values long-term planning was named as a high priority by the council. Dutton, who grew up in New York, is an attorney in private practice on Martha’s Vineyard. His municipal government experience consists of five years as Vineyard Haven’s town administrator, from 2006 until 2011. While in the private sector, he spent four years on the senior management team at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, helping to win back public confidence after the hospital had gone through a bankruptcy, and six years as vice president, senior trust officer, and trust counsel for Cape Cod Bank & Trust. Dutton’s introduction to municipal government came as a three-term member of Vineyard Haven’s Board of Selectmen. In 2006, he took the job as administrator, at the urging of some colleagues on the board, he said. While Dutton lacks public administration degrees usually held by town managers, councilors said Tuesday they favored his communication skills, ties to the business community, and proven personnel management ability. Dutton said Wednesday trust and confidence are won gradually by one’s actions. During Tuesday’s discussion, the Town Council didn’t mention a situation in Vineyard Haven that ultimately led to Dutton’s resignation in 2011. Dutton had been admonished by the state attorney general’s office for not following the Massachusetts procurement laws, which require all contracts for more than $5,000 to undergo a bid process. The only comment made Tuesday was by Councilor Paul Sullivan, who warned it would be important for the new town manager to be up-to-speed on procurement requirements. Dutton said Wednesday that the state’s principal point of concern had been over a contract to repair the library’s roof. utton said his mutually agreed upon resignation in Vineyard Haven shortly after the procurement flap was “rooted in politics.” While Dutton will start in Bridgewater later this month, his family won’t move from Vineyard Haven until his son finishes eighth grade in June. His stepdaughter is already in the area, a junior at Bridgewater State University. While Dutton’s salary is under negotiation, the Bridgewater position had been advertised as paying in the low-to-mid $100,000 range. Clarkson was paid about $92,500.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,655): By the time Atascadero resident Jim Lewis graduated from high school, he knew he wanted to become a city manager someday in his future, according to the Times Press Recorder. And starting early next year, he will finally get the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong career goal. Lewis, who has served as assistant city manager in Atascadero for the past eight years, will succeed Kevin M. Rice as Pismo Beach city manager, starting Feb. 20. Rice has served as Pismo Beach city manager for the past nine years and will retire at the end of February, handing the reigns over to Lewis, who said he looks forward to helping Pismo become an even more vibrant and financially stable city. Lewis will be paid a base salary of $156,885 a year in Pismo Beach, where he competed against 80 other individuals for the job. Currently, Lewis oversees economic development, human resources, labor relations, technology and special projects for the city of Atascadero. He said he is passionate about public service and committed to building quality and sustainable organizations that serve the public to their best and most efficient ability. That’s not to say, however, that Lewis doesn’t have ideas for helping the city create a more dynamic downtown area using both private and public resources, such as the city of Atascadero has done. He said he looks forward to assisting the city in developing more shopping and dining areas downtown, while building on the businesses already established in the area. In his role as Atascadero’s assistant city manager, Lewis has transformed the city’s downtown core by helping facilitate the construction of a new 10-screen movie theater and several new shops and restaurants and building pride among business owners. Lewis said during his time with Atascadero, and prior to that with the city of Claremont, he helped build a supportive, dedicated and entrepreneurial staff culture focused on offering high customer service to the community, something he plans to continue in Pismo Beach. He also wants to build on the city’s reputation of providing efficient and cost-effective customer service to its residents and business owners. Lewis said he also hopes to strengthen relationships with agencies such as the Coastal Commission. He said he is the type of person where “what you see is what you get,” and that he takes public service very seriously. Lewis served as president of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California in 2001 and currently serves on the Emerging Leaders Task Force for the International City and County Management Association and the ICMA Press Editorial Advisory Board. Additionally, Lewis is one of three ICMA credentialed managers in San Luis Obispo County and serves on the California-ICMA’s Committee on Ethics. He graduated with honors and received a bachelor’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern California. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the top-ranked school of government in the nation, the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. The California native and his wife, Debi, have a 4-year-old daughter, Gracie. They plan to relocate to Pismo Beach after Lewis makes the transition into the role of city manager. In his spare time, Lewis enjoys reading, hiking, biking, winemaking and cooking.

Belding, Michigan (population 5,757): For eight years, the city of Belding has been with the same manager in Randy DeBruine, but on Wednesday, after submitting his letter of resignation to members of city council, the search will now begin for a new leader, according to The Daily News. DeBruine will step down Dec. 28 — 30 days after submitting his letter, as is written in his contract, to accept a new position as the Kent County Sheriff’s administrative officer. In a letter written to city council members, DeBruine thanked all current and previous council members, department heads and city employees for making his eight years as city manager an enjoyable experience. DeBruine said although he is sad to leave a position he has invested much time in, he is excited to start a new chapter of his career with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. DeBruine will be overlooking a department that has more than 600 employees and operates with a $60 million budget. He said he is proud to have held the position of city manager for eight years, citing that the average tenure of a city manager in Belding since 1964 was only 3.9 years. He said he was also pleased to leave his position knowing that “Belding (is) in a very strong financial condition with healthy fund balances and also with cash on hand to undertake four large infrastructure projects in the next three years.” Those four projects include reconstruction of the Main Street bridge, road construction on Washginton Street to Hall Street, road construction on Crawford Street and the pathway project on Main Street between the Alvah N. Library and Ashfield Street bridge. All four projects received grants that were approved, with the exception of the pathway project, although DeBruine said he expects that grant to be approved next week. DeBruine said he is confident the city can continue to move forward, with assistance from those who are already in place to help do so. DeBruine said discussion of his replacement will begin at next Tuesday’s city council meeting. If the council is unable to find a suitable replacement before DeBruine steps down on Dec. 28, current Finance Director Sam Andres will be appointed to the position.

Hyde County, North Carolina (population 5,209): Hyde County commissioners terminated the contract of County Manager Mazie Smith during their meeting on Monday night, according to WCTI. The board voted, 4 to 1 to fire Smith. The firing was one of the first actions taken by the county’s newly-elected board.  Dick Tunnel cast the lone “nay” vote. A news release sent out by the county on Tuesday said the board gave no specific reason for the action, but that “several commissioners cited comments of disapproval from the public regarding Smith’s job.”

Broken Bow, Oklahoma (population 4,120): The Broken Bow City Council met in special session on December 5th, according to the Sandhills Express. The Council approved the City Administrator job description with a few changes. The changes include the fact that the City Administrator must live within the Zoning Jurisdiction, they must have 5 years’ experience and they may not terminate an employee without the Mayor and City Council’s review. The council then went in to closed session and after closed session approved hiring David Varley from Colorado as the new Broken Bow City Administrator. The contract information will be available at a later date.

Fairview, Oklahoma (population 2,579): Fairview City Council met in a special meeting Tuesday to hire a new city manager, according to the Enid News and Eagle. Garfield County native Paul Southwick will step in Jan. 1, 2013, to replace current Fairview City Manager Dale Sides, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the year. Southwick graduated from Garber High School and attended Rose State College and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, before embarking on his career in public administration. Southwick’s past work experience includes almost 16 years of service as manager of the Hunter Rural Water District, eight years on the Garber City Council, five years’ service as Garber public works director and five years as a conductor for BNSF. Southwick currently is the city manager for Mangum, in Greer County, where he has served since early 2010. Fairview Vice Mayor Vernon Hoehn said Southwick was selected for the job after a lengthy search process, that attracted applicants from as far away as Vermont and Washington. Hoehn said the quality and range of experience of the applicants “was amazing.” Twenty-nine applicants were screened and narrowed to a pool of 10 that were presented to the full city council. After a vetting process, four applicants, including Southwick, were called in for the final interview process. Hoehn said Southwick’s qualifications earned him a spot in the final four, and his interview quickly drove him to the top. Fairview Mayor Garen Martens said Southwick’s past experience in managing infrastructure projects makes him an ideal selection to meet the city’s needs. Martens said addressing Fairview’s aging water supply system will be a top priority in Southwick’s early tenure. Southwick said he is looking forward to moving to Fairview, where he will be closer to family in Enid and to his farm near Fairmont. He said Fairview’s school system also was a draw. He and his wife Michelle will enroll their children, 16-year-old son Baylor, 17-year-old daughter Danielle and 4-year-old son Cord, after moving to Fairview in January. Southwick said he is looking forward to working for and with the Fairview community. Sides said he doesn’t have any set plans after his retirement in January, but he is planning to stay in Fairview.

Cordova, Alaska (population 2,454): Cordova city manager Mark Lynch and his wife Patty are returning to the lower 48 this month, according to The Cordova Times. Lynch submitted his resignation just before the Thanksgiving holiday, after serving in the position for three years. The Lynchs are headed to Poplar Grove, Illinois, to be closer to their grandchildren. Lynch has accepted a position as village administrator for the community of five thousand. Earlier this week city staff reflecting on Lynch’s tenure in Cordova expressed appreciation for the broad array of expertise he brought to the job and also commented that his wife Patty was very well liked. One of his most notable achievements as city manager is a town-wide clean up of junk cars and scrap metal that littered streets and neighborhoods and clogged up the landfill. Lynch said he had been aware of the problem when he took the job as Cordova City Manager, but when he initially proposed to get the scrap removed at little or not cost to the city, his plan was greeted with skepticism. Nonetheless, drawing on his contacts in the scrap business in Illinois, Lynch knew it could be done. Sure enough, Lynch found a company in Alaska delighted to do just that. Lynch is also credited with working to clean up city code and implementing a new budget process. At the time of his resignation, the city was midway through the budget process. Asked to look out over the challenges with this budget cycle, Lynch says it boils down to a few basic points. Earlier this week, with a moving van parked in their front yard, the couple sat perched amongst packing boxes in their living room. The phone rang non-stop as friends both here in Cordova and the lower 48 called to wish them well or chat with anticipation of their return. In between calls they debated about which items they really wanted to keep, which to pack, which to give away. One prize possession that will not be making the cut is the couple’s Coronet Oceanfarer, a 32-foot power boat equipped with all the comforts of home, it is up for sale.

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Transitions: Fayettville, NC; Port St. Lucie, FL; Vallejo, CA and more

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.

Hamtramck, Michigan (population 22,423): Former Hamtramck City Manager Bill Cooper said Friday that he does not agree with the assertion that he willfully neglected his job and said he likely plans to seek more than $200,000 in severance under his contract, according to the Detroit Free Press. Cooper, 62, had been the city manager for more than three years when the City Council voted 4-3 during a special meeting Wednesday to fire him. Under his contract, Cooper earned $104,000 a year and is entitled to a severance of 18 months of salary and one year of both health care coverage and life insurance. Some City Council members disagree with Cooper’s firing. Cooper said he believes he has the support of the council members who voted against his firing. Councilman Tom Jankowski told the Free Press on Thursday that Cooper failed to have a plan to deal with city’s budget shortfall this year and the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Jankowski voted with two other council members and the mayor to fire Cooper. Councilwoman Cathie Gordon, who voted against firing Cooper, told the Free Press that it would have been fiscally responsible to give Cooper notice that his contract would not be renewed, instead of firing him. Cooper’s contract was to expire Oct. 1.
Carrboro, North Carolina (population 19,231): David Andrews, newly appointed Carrboro town manager, has been walking a lot during the past week, visiting local businesses and taking in the small-town feel of Carrboro, according to The Daily Tarheel. Andrews was sworn in at a Tuesday night Board of Aldermen meeting. Andrews, who has worked in local government for more than 20 years, applied for the position and was selected by the board and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton. The town hired Springsted Inc., a consulting firm based in Richmond, Va., to conduct a national search, involving more than 50 applicants, four of whom were chosen to be interviewed. Chilton announced the selection at a board meeting Feb. 7.Chilton said Andrews understood Carrboro and its values. Andrews comes to Carrboro from the Town of Paradise Valley, Ariz., where he was assistant town manager and budget director. Paradise Valley Mayor Scott LeMarr said he is happy for Andrews. Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell agrees. Chilton said the most immediate challenge Andrews will face is the town budget. LeMarr said Andrews managed the town’s budget well during tough financial times. Andrews said he has already started working on the 2012-2013 town budget and will use his background in economic development and finance. Andrews said many Carrboro priorities interest him, including environmental preservation and economic development.

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.