Transitions: San Diego County, CA; Henrico County, VA; Greenville, NC and more

Picture of Walt Ekard

Walt Ekard

San Diego County, California (population 1,301,617): The longtime chief administrative officer for San Diego County announced Wednesday that he will step down on Dec. 1. Walt Ekard made the announcement during the afternoon session of the Board of Supervisors meeting. Ekard said he is not retiring, but will seek other challenges. He has led the county government since 1999, making him the longest-serving person in the position in modern times. Board Chairman Ron Roberts said Ekard helped make the county one of the best managed local governments in the country. Ekard, whose wife and three daughters were in attendance, said he was privileged to have led the county staff. The chief administrative officer oversees 40 departments, manages around 15,000 employees and implements directives by the supervisors. No successor was immediately announced, but the board was expected to go into closed session later Wednesday to discuss how to proceed.

Henrico County, Virginia (population 306,935): At a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday evening, John Vithoulkas was appointed as the new county manager of Henrico County, according to WRIC. Vithoulkas, who has been an employee of Henrico County since 1997, will succeed Virgil R. Hazelett, who served in the county manager position for 20 years. Vithoulkas will begin his term in January 2013. The Henrico County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Vithoulkas into the position, and explain what it entails: “As county manager, Vithoulkas will serve as Henrico’s chief administrative officer, responsible for implementing policies established by the Board of Supervisors and for overseeing the daily operations of the county and more than 35 agencies with approximately 4,000 general government employees. Duties include preparation and oversight of the county’s annual budget, which tops $1 billion in operating and capital expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and preparation of the county’s annual legislative program before the Virginia General Assembly.” Vithoulkas has served in several positions during his tenure at Henrico County, including budget analyst, Acting Director of Finance, deputy county manager, and special economic advisor. Vithoulkas’ contributions to Henrico County are numerous: during the recession, Vithoulkas introduced policies which allowed the county to balance its budget, even while absorbing revenue declines of more than $92 million. He also lead an effort which established Henrico, VA as an official mailing address with the U.S. Postal Service, garnering $5 million annually in tax revenues previously misdirected to other localities. Vithoulkas is a native of Greece, and immigrated to Virginia as an infant. He was educated in Henrico County Public Schools, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989. He also received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1992. He is a member of numerous organizations within the metro Richmond area, including Virginia Local Government Manager’s Association and the Richmond Association of Business Economists.

Greenville, North Carolina (population 84,554): For the first time since the resignation of Wayne Bowers left Greenville without a city manager, that critical post will again be filled as Barbara Lipscomb begins work, according to The Reflector. The new city manager comes to this community with a host of experience in several cities, strong recommendations and the unanimous approval of a rarely united City Council. This is a unique community, one anchored by a large state university, a tremendous health care infrastructure and a population eager for Greenville to fulfill its tremendous opportunity for growth and commerce. However, some persistent ills — among them crime, planning and a need for more diverse economic development options — continue to hold it back and demand Lipscomb’s concerted attention in her new post. It came as a surprise to many observers when Bowers used the occasion of the City Council’s annual planning retreat to announce his intention to resign, effective at the end of February. Though he had submitted retirement papers six months prior, the former manager’s decision became public only one week after the departure for Greenville Police Chief William Anderson. That change at the top promised a significant shift in the identities of those holding key posts in city leadership. But, if handled correctly, that potential crisis could instead represent a tremendous opportunity for Greenville to inject new ideas and fresh perspective into the process that guides decision making. The City Council moved swiftly to identify a new manager and ultimately selected Lipscomb, the former manager of Casselberry, Fla., to lead city staff. Her management experience in several Florida cities coupled with a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill education won her unanimous support from an oft-divided council. For Greenville, so lengthy a resume must translate into action quickly if Lipscomb’s term is to be judged a success. Despite its many positive attributes, the city still has its faults, and many will be accentuated by the return of East Carolina University’s student population. The new manager will need to hire a police chief and improve public safety. Growth and planning issues are a constant concern and problems are poised to worsen with the council’s recent decision to allow greater population density in already crowded neighborhoods. And other worries — parks and recreation, traffic, infrastrucutre, etc. — will command attention as well. Libscomb has a tall order ahead, but she inherits a city eager to fill its expectations. She should be welcomed with best wishes for luck in her new job.

Bryan, Texas (population 76,201): After more than a year of holding the job in the interim, Kean Register has been named city manager of Bryan, according to The Bryan College Station Eagle. The unanimous decision was made at Tuesday’s meeting of the Bryan City Council. Register was appointed interim city manager in 2010, following the resignation of David Watkins. At the time he was hired, the council said it was choosing him because he didn’t want the permanent job. Register has spent most of his career in electric utilities and indicated that he wanted to return to that job soon. Prior to his appointment as interim city manager, he was a group manager at Bryan Texas Utilities. He said he hoped to eventually be the general manager of BTU, which is owned by the city. But now, he is the general manager’s boss. During Register’s tenure as interim city manager, the city took a larger role in the oversight of BTU and clarified that the general manager reports to the city manager. Meanwhile, Register worked to make cuts in staffing and expenditures during difficult economic times. Last year, his staff reduced $2.1 million from its general operations. Much of that came from 20 job cuts, including the outsourcing of some janitorial and landscaping work. As Register’s tenure lengthened, council members began saying that they would like him to make the job permanent. Eventually, Register agreed. Register said he initially wasn’t interested in the job because of the quick turnover at the city manager position. In his 11 years at the city, four people have held the job, he said. But he has grown accustomed to the staff and enjoyed working with the council, he said, so he changed his mind. Salary information for Register wasn’t immediately available Tuesday night.

Morgan Hill, California (population 37,882): Morgan Hill city manager Ed Tewes announced to City Hall employees Monday that he will resign as of Dec. 28, according to the Morgan Hill Times. Tewes, 61, has been the city manager of Morgan Hill for 13 years. He sent a private letter to the five City Council members Friday notifying them of his intent to resign, and made the decision public Monday with an e-mail to all city employees.

Belmont, Massachusetts (population 24,729): After 10 months of searching, the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved an employment contract with David Kale to become Belmont’s Town Administrator at its Wednesday night meeting, Aug. 16, according to the BelmontPatch. Details of the contract, including salary, other compensation and duties, will be released once Kale agrees to the terms of the document. While the contract is not yet signed, Mark Paolillo, chairman of the Board, did say that Kale’s first official day in Belmont will be Monday, Aug. 20. Kale, Cambridge’s budget director and deputy finance director since 2003, was chosen in June by the Board to replace Thomas Younger who resigned in October of last year.

New Kent County, Virginia (population 18,429): New Kent County has lost its county administrator, but county officials aren’t saying why, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. G. Cabell Lawton IV resigned July 23, a little more than two years after taking the job as administrator. Previously, he had served as county administrator in Fluvanna County. The Board of Supervisors appointed Deputy County Administrator Rodney A. Hathaway as acting administrator on July 25, when the board formally accepted Lawton’s resignation. Hathaway, a Quinton native and eight-year veteran of county government, said Wednesday that he could not comment on Lawton’s resignation because it occurred in a closed session of the board that he did not attend. Supervisors C. Thomas Tiller Jr. and Ron Stiers said Lawton gave no reason for the resignation and they declined to discuss it further. In addition to deputy administrator, Hathaway has been New Kent’s planning manager and economic development director.

Holden, Massachusetts (population 17,346): Town Manager Nancy Galkowski last night announced that she will not seek consideration for a new contract, according to the Telegram. The Board of Selectmen was required to notify Ms. Galkowski before July 31, six months before the end of her three-year contract, whether it would extend her contract. The board met in executive session several times with the stated aim of discussing contract negotiations, but never entered into negotiations with Ms. Galkowski. Board of Selectmen Chairman Anthony Renzoni said town counsel is reviewing when the minutes of those meetings will be released. The board last night postponed a decision on how to proceed with the impending vacancy in the position. Ms. Galkowski made public a July 27 letter removing herself from consideration for contract renewal. Ms. Galkowski, whose contract is up in January, can leave at any time. The letter also said Ms. Galkowski was disappointed not to continue to lead the community, though she listed several accomplishments with pride, including several efficiencies she implemented. Mr. Renzoni thanked Ms. Galkowski and lauded her financial knowledge, which resulted in bringing the town budget in under the constraints the board indicated. Ms. Galkowski, a longtime Holden resident, was the assistant town manager in Arlington when she applied for the Holden position after a dispute over his contract resulted in the departure of Town Manager Brian Bullock. Selectman Mark Ferguson immediately requested that the board avoid the cost and time involved in a lengthy search and appoint assistant town manager Jacquelyn Kelly as the town manager. Ms. Kelly was one of the three finalists when Ms. Galkowski was chosen in 2008 and took office in January 2009, and continued as assistant town manager after the Board of Selectmen made her its second choice. Ms. Kelly has been assistant town manager for 13 years, and was also assistant light department manager for part of that time when the town manager position was joined with the light department manager position. Those positions were separated in 2008. Ms. Kelly also worked for the Planning Department for two years before becoming assistant town manager. Selectman James Jumonville agreed with Mr. Ferguson, arguing to save the town the expense that was incurred in previous searches, to hire a contractor to screen candidates. Mr. Ferguson also argued that, by appointing Ms. Kelly, the town would save the money spent on the assistant town manager position as Ms. Kelley could handle both. Mr. Renzoni cautioned that the town’s strong town manager form of government left the staffing decisions to the town manager, and that the Board of Selectmen was not in the business of changing the form of town government. Mr. Renzoni and Selectman Robert Lavigne argued that, with Ms. Kelly already on board, the town would not be without leadership should Ms. Galkowski leave before a decision about the next town manager is made. The board agreed to table the decision on how to proceed with the selection of a new town manager until the next meeting Sept. 4.

Dukes County, Massachusetts (population 16,535): Martina Thornton was sworn in as the new county manager on Wednesday evening, according to the Vineyard Gazette. Mrs. Thornton, who served as executive assistant to the county manager for four years, said she is pleased with the contract she negotiated with the seven-member elected commission last week in executive session. The terms of Mrs. Thornton’s contract include an annual salary of $67,709. Dukes County government has come under scrutiny in the last few years as county government has gradually been taken over by the state. But Mrs. Thornton defends the niche of county government. Mrs. Thornton, 36, a Czech Republic native, has a law degree from the University of Prague. Before moving to the Island in 2000, she worked for the Department of Finance in Prague. On-Island she worked as a paralegal for two law offices in Edgartown, and ran her own business, bookkeeping and preparing taxes for small businesses for several years. She has worked as a treasurer and clerk for Island Fuel since 2007. After spending summers here for a few years, Mrs. Thornton moved to the Island in 2001 to marry her husband. They have two children, both boys. She will hire an assistant to replace herself, but said she plans to modify the job description to make it more of a clerical position, with less responsibility in some areas. In her new post, she will work closely with county treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders and county commission chairman Melinda Loberg, as well as Sean Flynn, manager of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, and the other county and airport commissioners. She described her working relationship with the seven-member county commission as “very good.” The county commissioners have begun their discussion of priorities for Mrs. Thornton’s term. Immediate priorities include reviewing and revising the 2013 budget, as well as working with the six Island towns to create memorandums of understandings for county programs including the Integrated Pest Management program and the Vineyard Health Care Access Program. She also plans to oversee a grant-writing initiative on behalf of the county and the towns, in accordance with the county commissioners’ stated expectations during the county manager search process. In fiscal year 2014, pest management and health care access, regional programs managed by the county, will be financed exclusively by the towns. Mrs. Thornton is charged with meeting with town government leaders to figure out how they want the programs to be managed. Russell Smith, Mrs. Thornton’s predecessor, resigned from the position May 1. The search for the new county manager, which began in mid-April, was delayed when the initial pick for the position, New Hampshire attorney Katherine Rogers, declined the offer in early July, citing personal health reasons. Nineteen people applied for the position last spring.

Green River, Wyoming (population 12,515): The City of Green River will have a full-time city administrator starting Sept. 24, according to The Green River Star. On Monday, the city released a statement announcing that Martin Black of Sarasota, Fla., will take the position. According to his LinkedIn profile, he currently is the senior practice builder – project manager for Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. He also lists himself as a consultant. He previously served as the deputy city manager and city manager in Venice, Fla. He also worked as a community services manager in Longboart Key, Fla., and the utilities support manager and zoning administrator in Tallahassee, Fla. Councilman Gary Killpack said he believes Black will bring a total package in being able to deal with residents personably while handing other administrative aspects of the position. Killpack described Black as vary likable and proactive while being very direct.

Cocoa Beach, Florida (population 11,231): A government administrator from another Florida beachfront tourist town will take over as city manager this fall, according to Florida Today. Bob Majka of Panama City, who works as assistant county manager of Bay County, was picked Monday from a field of 124 applicants to succeed longtime Cocoa Beach City Manager Chuck Billias, who is retiring. Majka, who turned 42 last week, has racked up 23 years of service with Panhandle government. Hired as a Panama City firefighter-EMT in 1989, he advanced to Bay County hazardous materials program manager in 1993, emergency management director in 1995, chief of emergency services in 1998 and assistant county manager in 2006. During a special meeting Monday afternoon — after only 3 minutes of discussion — the Cocoa Beach City Commission unanimously picked Majka over three other finalists. Billias is retiring after serving at Cocoa Beach City Hall in various capacities since 1971. He earns $113,797 per year. Beeler will now negotiate salary, pension, moving allowance and other details of a proposed employment contract with Majka. Participants will include City Attorney Skip Fowler and Colin Baenziger, who heads the Wellington firm that conducted the job search. Baenziger estimated it might take two weeks to negotiate a deal. Commissioners will then vote on the contract. Beeler said he hopes Majka starts work by October. The quartet of finalists mingled during a business-casual reception Friday night at the Cocoa Beach Country Club, then attended 30-minute interviews Saturday and Sunday. Majka said it will be “bittersweet” to leave Bay County, but he seeks professional advancement. His girlfriend is originally from Brevard County and has relatives on the Space Coast. His father attended Brevard Engineering College, the predecessor of Florida Tech, during the 1960s.

St. Albans, Vermont (population 6,392): The town of St. Albans needs a new manager, according to WCAX. Gerry Myers is leaving his post to take a job in the private sector. He’ll be leaving at the end of September.

Brunswick, Maryland (population 5,870): Brunswick City Administrator Rick Weldon has resigned, making him the second city official to do so in the wake of last week’s mayoral and city council election, according to The Frederick News-Post. Weldon said Monday he has diverging views on a variety of issues, including the role of government, with Mayor-elect Karin Tome. He said he did not want to potentially make Tome’s job more difficult by going into detail. Tome takes office today. Weldon officially resigned Friday. He said he planned to put in his last day Aug. 24, though he told Tome he would be willing to stay on longer, albeit not indefinitely, while a replacement is found. The decision has disappointed some residents and city officials, including Tome. She said she had a sense Weldon might resign after speaking with him several weeks ago about the issue. During her door-to-door campaigning, many residents asked her if Weldon planned to stay on, she said. Tome said Weldon was a good mediator and will be missed. Rumors spread online and elsewhere that Tome was seeking former Frederick County Commissioner Kai Hagen to fill the slot, but they are false, she said. No definite plans for a replacement have been made, she said. Tome said there will likely be a few local candidates for the job, and she believes the city should also open up the search outside of Brunswick. Weldon has been the city administrator since January 2011, his second time in the position, he said. He also worked as the Brunswick city administrator from 1994 to 1999. Before his most recent stint in Brunswick, Weldon spent a year as Frederick City Mayor Randy McClement’s executive assistant. He represented portions of Frederick and Washington counties in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2003 to 2009, when he left a year early in his last term to work for McClement. From 2001 to 2003, Weldon served as Frederick County commissioner. Apart from his legislative duties, he worked as the executive director of the United Way of Frederick from 2008 to 2009. Although he did not specify, Weldon said plans for his future could include a role outside politics. He said he would also be interested in becoming a county executive, though he didn’t believe a county executive form of government would be approved by Frederick County voters in November. Councilwoman Angel White, who was re-elected to a four-year term last week, said she believed Weldon had the best interest of the city at heart. White said Weldon was a good person with a strong work ethic. She said she understood that some residents will be disappointed. Last Wednesday, city Councilman Tom Smith also stepped down, two years early from his position to spend more time with his family, he said. He also said Tome’s election played a role in his decision. Carroll Jones, who was packing his belongings Monday during his last day in office as Brunswick’s mayor, said Weldon brought a lot of knowledge, as well as a long list of contacts, to his position. Melanie DiPasquale, owner of Beans in the Belfry, said Weldon’s decision came as a surprise. She said she’s always had an excellent working relationship with Weldon. Weldon has been a regular customer at the restaurant, which is located within a block of City Hall, she said.

Broken Bow, Nebraska (population 3,559): Mayor Cecil Burt received a resignation letter from City Administrator Tony Tolstedt, according to the Kearney Hub. Tolstedt told the Hub he has accepted a job as city administrator in Douglas, Wyo., and begins there on Sept. 17. Until then, he will remain on staff at Broken Bow.

Cherryvale, Kansas (population 2,367): Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard has his post election plans set, according to the Cherokee County News-Advocate. Bullard, who decided not to run for a second term, will be the new Cherryvale city manager. Indeed, he’s already started. Depending upon the results of the Nov. 6 general election, either Republican Nathan Coleman, or Democrat Melanie Bingham will be the new county attorney come January. Bingham was recently hired to be special assistant county attorney by Bullard to take up some of the slack caused by his split duties. In a press release Bingham said she was looking forward to working in the office. Bullard said the Cherryvale job is a good fit for him. Bullard said he is excited about his new job, but is sad to leave Columbus.

Jefferson, Texas (population 2,106): Jefferson’s city administrator Shawn Farrell turned in his resignation — again — effective Monday morning — nearly four months after he tried to resign in March, according to The Marshall News Messenger. During that time, Mayor Jeff Fratangelo asked Farrell during a public meeting to reconsider his decision, and at least stay until the end of his contract, Sept. 5. Farrell agreed at the time, but decided on Monday that it was time to leave. Although the resignation comes a month earlier than expected, Ward 3 Alderman Carey Heaster said the city is in a good position and have already received applications in lieu of Farrell’s earlier resignation. The Jefferson City Council has been advertising for the position, posting it on various websites for a while now. Heaster noted that they have received about a dozen applications so far. He said the council is not in a rush to replace Farrell, however. Since his initial resignation, Farrell has been tight-lipped regarding his decision to leave. Farrell was hired last September, following the resignation of former city administrator Tony Williams who verbally resigned last January, a day after the council denied his recommendation to fire City Secretary Doris Hines. Williams had served in that capacity for the city for only 10 months. Mayor Fratangelo served dual roles as both mayor and city administrator until Farrell was hired.

New Buffalo, Michigan (population 1,883): After less than 18 months on the job, Michael “Mitch” Mitchell has resigned from his position as the city manager of New Buffalo, according to The Harbor County News. New Buffalo Mayor Rusty Geisler made the announcement shortly after he and three members of the New Buffalo City Council (council member Susan Maroko was absent) reconvened an Aug. 10 special meeting at City Hall following a brief closed-session discussion regarding the city manager in what was simply described as a “personnel” matter on the agenda. It was then that Mayor Geisler read aloud Mitchell’s letter of resignation, which simply stated that, “I, Michael D. Mitchell, hereby resign effective at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.” The letter was dated Aug. 9. Mitchell’s resignation letter offered no clues as to the reason for his decision, which the mayor said was “unexpected.” Subsequent attempts to reach Mitchell by phone were unsuccessful. Asked, after the special meeting, if there were any job-related issues with the city manager that might have led to his voluntary departure, Geisler stated that, in his opinion, Mitchell had been doing “a good job.” Several weeks earlier, however, during a July 17 meeting of the council, Geisler had commented that he was “truly disappointed” by the city manager’s failure to meet a Pokagon Fund grant application deadline that could have provided $31,000 for the purchase of new turnout gear for the city’s Fire Department.(Mitchell is said to have missed the deadline by more than a month.) The mayor quickly moved on to address other matters that day. It was the first time since Mitchell’s hiring last year that the mayor had voiced dissatisfaction with something the city manager had done — or, in that case, had not done — at a City Council meeting. After returning from their closed-session meeting on Aug. 10, the council voted unanimousy (4-0) to accept Mitchell’s resignation, but also to continue his health and dental insurance until the end of the year or until he finds another job, whichever comes first. Mayor Geisler said that the search for a new city manager will probably begin at the next regular meeting of the City Council, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Hallsville, Missouri (population 1,478): Hallsville’s controversial city administrator is out of a job after city leaders voted Monday night to eliminate the position, according to KRCG. Joe Smith was told Tuesday this morning that it was his last day. Smith then resigned. The move came in a closed door meeting Monday night. With three yes votes and one city alderman abstaining the position was eliminated to save the city money. Aldermen Mickey Nichols, Hugh Carney and Darren Maher voted in favor of getting rid of the position, Alderman Carl Daly abstained. Mayor Cheri Reisch said the move will save Smith’s salary and benefits totaling around $60,000. She said the money is needed for the city’s general fund to balance the budget. That fund pays the salaries of the city’s seven other full-time employees and several part time ones. Smith has been under fire since firing Reisch last December. Reisch had served 30-years as Hallsville City Clerk. She ran for mayor and won last April. Reisch did not get to vote during the closed meeting, the mayor’s vote only breaks ties. She says the move to remove Smith was not about her, but was in the best interest of the city. The city budget, minus the administrator position will now be up for vote during the next aldermans’ meeting August 27th.

La Grange, Missouri (population 931): Mayor Ronnie Powers of LaGrange said Wednesday neither City Administrator Mark Campbell or police officer Jason Powell knew they were going to be relieved of their duties before Monday night’s City Council meeting, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig. Campbell and Powell were relieved of their duties in a decision made by the council, Powers said. Powers, who has been mayor since 2009 and a North Ward councilman before that, said economics played no factor in the dismissals. Powers also said the dismissals were immediate. Attempts to reach Campbell and Powell were unsuccessful. Campbell had been city administrator since June 2004. Campbell succeeded Drew Bontrager, who was LaGange’s first city administrator.

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Transitions: Henrico County, VA; DeSoto County, MS; Cupertino, CA and more

Henrico County, Virginia (population 306,935): Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazelett, who has helped guide the county with a firm and steady hand since 1992, announced at the July 24 Board of Supervisors meeting that he will retire in January, according to The Henrico Citizen, Hazelett has spent 40 years in the county’s administration, beginning in 1972, when he was named Henrico’s first traffic engineer. He is credited with strengthening the county’s reputation as one of the most a fiscally sound localities in the nation and has helped Henrico weather difficult economic times without any layoffs or real estate tax increases. Hazelett’s retirement will complete a turnover of the six top appointed officials in the county’s administration during a five-year period. Deputy county managers George Drumwright and Angela Harper announced earlier this year that they would retire, joining three other longtime deputy managers – Harvey Hinson, Leon Johnson and Bob Pinkerton – who had retired since 2008. Hazelett is Henrico’s seventh county manager since the county instituted the form of government in 1934; all seven have been civil engineers. Deputy County Manager for Administration John Vithoulkas, the county’s former director of finance, is viewed as one possible candidate to replace Hazelett.

DeSoto County, Mississippi (population 107,199): DeSotoCounty administrator Michael Garriga has announced he is resigning to take a governmental affairs post in the private sector, according to The Commercial Appeal. Garriga said he plans to remain in his position until Aug. 16. Garriga did not specify what his next career move will be but alluded to a governmental affairs role in private industry. He said he would assist the supervisors in developing an interim leadership strategy to ensure a smooth transition for the county’s management as well as continue working toward the preparation of the county’s 2013 fiscal year budget, estimated in the $110 million range, before his departure. The Mississippi State University graduate joined DeSoto County government in 2001 as deputy director of planning and was appointed in 2004 as county administrator, DeSoto government’s top nonelected post. The Clinton native received a bachelor’s degree from MSU in 1996, followed by a master’s in public policy and administration in 1998. Russell said he “really wasn’t surprised” when Garriga called on him to advise of his departure. Garriga’s tenure at the top has coincided with huge county population growth and rising demand for services, and then an economic recession and revenue strains that have posed challenges to keeping services flowing. More than 600 full- and part-time workers are employed by the county. Services in the nonelected departments range from code enforcement to zoning to operating an animal shelter and a rubbish pit. As to Garriga’s replacement, an interim administrator is expected to be named by the supervisors to serve after Garriga leaves while the five-member panel mounts a nationwide search for a permanent chief. The post’s salary is in the $100,000 range. Supervisor Bill Russell says an interim administrator is expected to be named by the supervisors to serve after Garriga leaves while the board searches for a permanent replacement.

Cupertino, California (population 58,032): The city of Cupertino has announced the selection of David Brandt as the new city manager, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Brandt, who succeeds former city manager David Knapp, previously served as city manager in Redmond, Ore., since 2009. He has also worked in Alameda. Brandt is scheduled to begin his duties in Cupertino on Sept. 10. In the meantime, former Sunnyvale City Manager Amy Chan, serving as interim city manager since April, will continue to occupy the position.

Brandt was hired by the city of Redmond in July 2009, according to The Source Weekly. The former city manager of Redmond had been Mike Patterson, who resigned in December of 2008 after being arrested for assaulting his wife. He later pled guilty to an assault charge. In January, Mike Patterson became the city manager of Florence, Colo., a town of about 3,600, according to that city’s website. Brandt’s last day will be August 30.

Grand Island, Nebraska (population 48,520): Grand Island City Councilman John Gericke wants the resignation of former City Administrator Mary Lou Brown brought before the city council, according to The Grand Island Independent. He wants the council to vote to ratify Brown’s Sept. 30 resignation — effective immediately. Gericke raised the concern this week after he and his fellow council members were called Monday afternoon into Mayor Jay Vavricek’s office, individually and in small groups, to discuss possibly bringing Brown back to council meetings. The mayor posed the idea. Gericke said he thought the question “was strange.” He and another council member in his meeting were adamantly against the idea. Council President Peg Gilbert was also against bringing Brown back to meetings. Vavricek announced Brown’s resignation at the start of the June 26 city council meeting. He gave no reason. It came as a surprise to the public, city staff and most of the council members. But Gericke believes the mayor lacks the legal authority to take such unilateral action.He said state statute requires both the mayor and the council to end the employment agreement of a “constitutional officer.” The city’s constitutional officers are the city administrator, city engineer, city treasurer, city clerk and city attorney. Brown’s five-page employment agreement carries the same language in Section 3A(2), called “Termination for Reasons other than Just Cause and Consideration Given for the Release of all Claims Against the City.” It states: “In the event the mayor, with the approval of the city council, during the term of this agreement, terminates employee for reasons other than just cause, the city agrees to pay the employee in a single lump-sum payment an equal amount to three months of the employee’s salary.” The payout does not include other benefits such as retirement and insurance. Termination for just cause also requires action by “the mayor, with the approval of the city council,” the contract states. However, in the event of her voluntary resignation, the contract calls for Brown to give “60 days written notice in advance,” and no special lump sum payout is required. The voluntary resignation clause makes no reference to being accepted by either the mayor or the council. Gilbert said the matter is really one for the city’s legal department to resolve. The city hired Brown as finance director in July 2009. She was named interim city administrator in December 2010 and promoted to city administrator in April 2011. Her current annual salary is $116,849, making a severance buy-out total of about $29,000. Her term was to run concurrently with Mayor Vavricek’s term, which ends December 2014. Vavricek said the city would issue a statement about the interim city administrator position at 2 p.m. Thursday. He intends to request it be added to the next city council agenda. Gericke said it’s his understanding that the Sept. 30 deadline was proposed by Brown herself. The Independent requested a copy of the letter Wednesday, but also was not provided a copy. Gericke favors paying Brown a severance amount and moving on. Gilbert, though, sees Brown’s involvement in the budget as useful to the city and a good use of resources. Finance Director Jaye Monter is preparing her first city budget, Gilbert said, and might find it helpful to have input from Brown. Gericke said it’s an arrangement that doesn’t feel right. Gericke said Brown’s contract with the city also needs to end so the city can hire an interim city administrator. Ratifying her resignation “effective immediately” may help open the city administrator position so that an interim could be named, he said. Gericke said the city has set policy on the number of staff it will have and what that staff is paid. Having two people in the same position is problematic. Vavricek announced July 10 his intention to hire Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp. President Marlan Ferguson, a former Grand Island city administrator, as the interim city administrator. The mayor said that ratification would occur July 24, with Ferguson starting Aug. 6. However, the interim city administrator issue wasn’t even on the July 24 agenda. Vavricek explained he “needed more time,” but he didn’t specify why or how much time he needed. Gericke said the actions are just more “off-the-wall stuff” the mayor has come up with lately that makes it hard for the council or the public to follow. Gilbert said simply there appears to be details to work out, but she doesn’t want Brown back with face time at City Hall. Seeing Brown “involved in the city in any public way … would diminish that hope or spirit that we’re moving on in a positive direction,” Gilbert said.

Puyallup, Washington (population 37,022): The City of Puyallup will be looking for a new chief executive after City Manager Ralph Dannenberg confirmed last week that he’s leaving his job, according to The Puyallup Herald. Dannenberg said Thursday the city council “feels a change is appropriate” and that he “(concurs) with their assessment.” He didn’t elaborate during the brief phone conversation. Dannenberg said the details of his departure are being worked out, but he doubts he’ll return to city hall in an official capacity. He’s on a scheduled vacation through next week. The 64-year-old met with the seven-member council in an executive session during their regular July 17 meeting. Under state law, city councils generally can’t meet out of the public eye except in certain cases, such as for some personnel matters. Mayor Rick Hansen said he couldn’t disclose details of what was discussed Tuesday, but “when we came out of that executive session, Ralph said he was going to retire.” On Thursday, Hansen and Deputy Mayor John Knutsen both declined to say anything else about the circumstances, including whether Dannenberg had a choice to remain with the city. Dannenberg began to work as city manager on a temporary basis during spring 2010. His predecessor, Gary McLean, clashed with some on the council and resigned without publicly giving a reason. Dannenberg had been Puyallup’s parks director. As interim city manager, he quickly was faced with an anticipated $5 million city budget shortfall. The city council voted unanimously in October 2010 to keep him on permanently, praising his budget work and his efforts to stabilize the city government. The council has seen significant turnover since then. This year, there are four new faces and a new majority that has undone some of the work of last year’s council. Dannenberg said Thursday that such a transition “is a difficult thing” for a city manager and the whole staff. News of Dannenberg’s departure came during a tense week at the city. At the same council meeting, Hansen accepted an admonishment from his colleagues in response to a report made this spring by a female city employee of “unwelcome contact.” Dannenberg’s staff investigated the report, and Dannenberg followed up with a memo to Hansen in May, advising him to conduct himself appropriately with city employees. Dannenberg also encouraged Hansen to attend “one-on-one training,” which he did. When The News Tribune received the memo in early July through a public records request, Dannenberg declined to describe specifics, citing advice from city attorneys. The city released more details July 17 after a follow-up request from The News Tribune. At least one council member found some fault with how the situation was handled. Knutsen praised Dannenberg’s response to the employee’s complaint but said he “would have preferred that the news media had been handled differently by the city.” Knutsen said once the matter became public, the city should have provided more details more quickly so speculation would end. Under Puyallup’s form of government, the city manager is the chief executive who oversees staff members and daily operations. The city has more than 280 employees. The city manager reports to the council. Dannenberg was Puyallup’s parks director for nearly 13 years before he became city manager. Before that, he spent 20 years working for the City of Pullman. Last year, his gross earnings were $172,027, according to the city. While Dannenberg is on vacation, the city’s finance director will fill in. City staff last week contacted a consulting firm to discuss helping with a search for an interim city manager, city spokesperson Glenda Carino said. Dannenberg had been formally evaluated once since he took the job. Last summer, the council gave him high marks. Council members John Palmer and Kent Boyle both said Thursday they didn’t want to see him go. Dannenberg said he’s pleased with his time as city manager, pointing specifically to his budget work.

Post Falls, Idaho (population 27,574): Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin told The Press that City Administrator Eric Keck submitted a letter of resignation on July 30, according to The Coeur d’ Alene Press. Larkin said he is saddened by the news of Keck’s departure, that Keck served the city well. Keck was hired in 2006 to replace Jim Hammond. He serves on several community boards including the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County. The mayor said Keck has chosen another career path. Larkin would not provide additional details. Keck will remain in the city administrator position through the end of August.

Milton, Massachusetts (population 27,033): After 39 years as a town employee, including 15 years as Police Chief and five years in his most recent position, Kevin Mearn is no longer the Milton Town Administrator, according to the MiltonPatch. Mearn’s one-year contract was not renewed in a Board of Selectmen executive session on July 18. Despite a large show of community support for Mearn, including a petition with 165 signatures, the Selectmen reaffirmed the decision Monday night in a meeting at the Council on Aging. Like the closed-door vote, Chair Tom Hurley was the only vote to keep Mearn. Bob Sweeney and Denis Keohane voted not to renegotiate the contract, which expired on June 30. Throughout the meeting, which included over 30 minutes of comment from the public, a conflict between Mearn and Police Chief Richard Wells Jr. arose as one of the principle reasons Mearn’s contract was not renewed. Following the vote and without directly mentioning Wells, Mearn said the issues began when he pointed out “serious irregularities” by a department head. Sweeney went beyond the rift between Mearn and Wells, stating he had spent the last two years—the length of his current term on the Board of Selectmen—attempting to build a professional relationship with the Town Administrator. “It hasn’t worked,” said Sweeney, who is currently the most senior member of the board. Hurley, who is entering the second year of his three-year term and previously chaired the Warrant Committee, rejected Sweeney’s analysis. Several speakers mentioned the Selectmen’s perceived desire to start a new board with a new Town Administrator. Like those members of the public, Mearn disagreed with the new direction. Many residents rose in support on Mearn Monday including, former Town Administrator John Cronin, former Selectman John Michael Shields, former Fire Chief Malcolm Larsen and members of Mearns family as well as several citizens. Shields, who most recently served on the board from 2006 to 2012 after losing to Keohane by a margin of 49 percent to 46 percent in March, called the move “ill-timed and ill-conceived.” Many of the supporters took time to thank Mearn for his service. Speaking on behalf of his family, Kevin’s son Chris also thanked those in attendance during his statement. Prior to the discussion Monday, Hurley read a letter from Mearn offering to retire one year from the date of his last contract. The suggestion was not considered publicly. Annmarie Fagan, the current Assistant Town Administrator was appointed the interim Town Administrator. The Selectmen, with a recommendation of the Personnel Board, voted to increase her current salary to $125,000 while serving in the vacated position. The Board of Selectmen will compile a list of characteristics they’d like in the next Town Administrator and the creation of a search committee at its next meeting.

Bedford, New Hampshire (population 21,203): After nearly nine months and two searches, the Bedford Town Council has selected its next town manager, according to the BedfordPatch. Jessie W. Levine of Springfield, NH, was chosen after the Council interviewed the four finalists yesterday. Following the decision, the Council met with and authorized Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI), the firm conducting the search, to negotiate a conditional offer of employment with Levine. This morning, council members were notified she has accepted the offer. Council members is expected to formally vote on the appointment and review and finalize employment terms at the its next meeting, on Aug. 15. Subject to completion of a background check and evidence of general good health, the Council is anticipating that Levine will be on the job as of Tuesday, Sept. 4. Levine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and has completed necessary course work for her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of New Hampshire. She currently serves as the Assistant Town Manager and Human Resources Director in Hanover and prior to that she was the Town Administrator for 10 years in New London. Prior to beginning her public management career in New London, Levine was a legal assistant and litigation manager for two Boston law firms, she has served as a member of the Board of the NH Local Government Center, she’s an active member of the Municipal Managers Association of NH and the International City & County Management Association and she’s involved in a number of civic and community service organizations. Levine is also an alumnus of the Leadership NH Program, the recipient of the 2007 ICMA Program Excellence Award and she was designated as one of the 40 Emerging Leaders in NH by the Union Leader/BIA in 2010.

New Kent County, Virginia (population 18,429): District 4 county supervisor Ron Stiers confirmed Wednesday that County Administrator Cabell Lawton resigned from his position Monday night in a special called meeting, during which the supervisors went into closed session, according to The Virginia Gazette. Assistant County Administrator Rodney Hathaway was named interim County Administrator at a Wednesday work session. New Kent Battalion Chief Lisa Baber was also appointed the position of Fire Chief. In addition to serving as the County Administrator, Lawton had also replaced Fire Chief Tommy Hicks last month. Hicks was initially suspended without pay on June 12, following a unanimous closed session vote by the Board of Supervisors on Monday, June 11. Lawton led the internal investigation, and according to Stiers, fired Hicks on June 22.

Beeville, Texas (population 12,863): Deborah Ballí was appointed Beeville city manager during a July 10 meeting by a 3-0 vote of the City Council, according to the Bee-Picayune. Ballí first came to Beeville in 2010 to work as finance director. She replaced Beeville native Robert Aguilar in that position. City Council members who voted to place her in the top management position at City Hall got a solid look at the direction Ballí intends to take the city during their first budget workshop last Thursday evening. At the meeting, the new city manager unveiled a six-goal plan, each of which has a number of suggestions to improve the quality of life here. Goal one calls for making the city a livable, attractive and sustainable place to live. Goal two is to promote economic development in the community by hiring an economic development director for the city and establishing an economic development advisory committee. Goal three would be to make Beeville a safe and prepared community. Goal four would be to maintain excellent, conservative finances while maintaining the efficient delivery of services. Goal five would be to maintain the city’s infrastructure to the highest quality. Goal six is to implement a strategic business plan. With increased income from sales taxes, hotel and motel occupancy taxes and business expansions, Ballí believes this is the time to take advantage of the situation. Ballí was born in Corpus Christi but spent most of her school years in Michigan. She moved back to Corpus Christi, where she attended classes at Del Mar College and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. She has worked at several jobs over the years and was an employee in the finance office for the City of Corpus Christi. She is a certified public accountant. Ballí and her husband, George, are looking for a home to buy in Beeville.

Fortuna, California (population 11,926): At a time when Fortuna has had to deal with a $500,000 budget deficit and is in the middle of a major reservoir replacement project, its incoming city manager said he wants to know what issues the city faces before making major changes, according to the Times-Standard. Candelario comes to Fortuna from Guadalupe, a small city in northern Santa Barbara County, where he is currently the city administrator. He will begin his new job as Fortuna’s city manager on Sept. 1. Originally from Hayward, Candelario earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Long Beach before becoming an intern for the city of Santa Ana in Orange County. He worked with Santa Ana for about 17 years before moving with his family to San Luis Obispo. Guadalupe hired him in January 2010. Candelario said coming to Fortuna, which is slightly bigger and has a larger staff, was a nice step up for him from Guadalupe. Candelario said one of his challenges in Guadalupe is bringing the city out of debt. According to the Lompoc Record, in 2010 Guadalupe had to deal with a $200,000 budget deficit. Guadalupe also had a $447,000 budget deficit for the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to the Santa Maria Times. Candelario said he has worked for two and a half years to reduce the amount of debt as well as operating deficits Guadalupe has had. The state elimination of redevelopment agencies in February brought Guadalupe’s progress back to square one, he said. The elimination of redevelopment is responsible for the Fortuna’s budget deficit, city officials have said. Calendelario replaces former City Manager Duane Rigge, who retired on June 30. The Fortuna City Council hired former County Administrative Officer Loretta Nickolaus as interim city manager until Candelario starts in September. Under Candelario’s three-year contract, he can be terminated with a majority vote of the council. Candelario will receive an annual base salary of $107,000 with a 3 percent raise in 2013 and a 5 percent raise in 2014 based on performance objectives being met. Candelario will move to Fortuna with his wife and 11-year-old daughter. He has two other children, a son, 22, and a daughter, 17.

Harrisburg, North Carolina (population 11,526): Harrisburg has hired Michael Rose as new Town Administrator, according to the Town web site. Rose comes from Pineville where he oversaw a budget of $25 million and 85 employees. Rose has served in Pineville a total of 13 years, starting as a town planner, then moving on to assistant town administrator. He has served as town administrator for the past six years. Rose is schedule to begin is duties in Harrisburg on August 1st.

Essex Junction, Vermont (population 9,271): The Essex Junction trustees, who are cutting ties with their municipal manager David Crawford, say they “would benefit from new leadership” in the daily operation of the local government, according to newly released public records obtained by the Burlington Free Press. The three-page “termination agreement” says the village “recognizes and appreciates Mr. Crawford’s years of service to the village as manager, but believes that the community would benefit from new leadership and a fresh perspective, especially as the village explores new ideas regarding consolidation and management.” The termination agreement was among a series of documents released by the village of Essex Junction when the Burlington Free Press filed a Vermont Public Records request late last week following the announcement that Crawford is leaving on Oct. 1. The agreement shows Crawford, who is paid $96,408 a year, will receive six months severance pay on or before Oct. 1. He also gets paid for any unused vacation or comp time. The village also agreed to continue to provide health, dental and vision insurance, along with a $50,000 life and disability insurance plan for six months, according to the signed agreement. The settlement terms reflects much of the benefits included in his initial contract. The five Essex Junction trustees approving the termination agreement this month were all elected to the board since Crawford’s hiring in January 2008. The current board has four members that joined since April 2011. The senior member, Village President George Tyler, was first elected in the spring 2008 a few months after Crawford’s hiring. Between June 26 and the announcement last week about Crawford’s departure, the Village trustees held at least six meetings. Four were special meetings — three for “personnel” discussion and one on July 19 to discuss “manager’s agreement revision.” In the two regular meetings, the board’s agenda warned of an executive session to discuss “personnel.” Crawford has been at odds a few times with several board members both before and after they were elected as trustees. The biggest conflict may have been over the village recreation department and whether the village of Essex Junction had fully given it to the school district in 1970, or if it was just to oversee the daily operation. Some were unhappy that the trustees sued the school district in 2011 in an attempt to get a binding legal interpretation of the action taken 40 years ago. Other records released by the village show Crawford’s most recent raise came in March 2011 when he was entitled to a $3,510 increase, but ended up getting a $2,808 because the trustees cited “current economic considerations.” The records showed his performance evaluation was “very good” in March 2011. This year the trustees refused to give Crawford a raise, Tyler and Village Vice President Dan Kerin said Sunday. The village’s announcement to the media and a separate notice to employees, mentioned that Crawford could be retained in a part-time status to oversee some of the projects facing the village. The city of Winooski has hired Crawford to work up to three days a week as its business manager. Crawford, who lives in South Burlington, has more than 45 years experience in both pubic and private sector jobs in Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut. His public sector jobs in Vermont included as a town manager in Middlebury for 15 years and in Morristown for three years; business manager for St. Albans City schools for eight years and as commissioner of Public Works in Rutland for three years. The trustees are scheduled to meet at 6:30 Tuesday night at Lincoln Hall at the Essex Five Corners. The future management of the village, including on an interim basis, will be discussed.

Delta County, Colorado (population 8,915): In a brief news release issued Tuesday, the county commissioners announced that Robbie LeValley had officially accepted the county commissioners’ job offer as Delta County administrator, according to the Delta County Independent. County administrator Susan Hansen has announced that she will retire in September after 23 years with county government, 20 of those as county administrator. The position she is leaving has been compensated with pay and benefits in the $100,000 per year range. LeValley is a 23-year employee of Colorado State University Tri River Area Extension and is currently the area livestock and range extension agent. She and her family operate a livestock business south of Hotchkiss.

Freeport, Maine (population 7,879): The town of Freeport has a new manager, according to KeepMeCurrent.com. On Monday, July 30, town officials announced that they have selected Peter Joseph, who is currently the town manager of Lincoln, N.H., as the pick to replace current Town Manager Dale Olmstead, Jr. who will retiring from the job in the fall. Joseph, 30, has been the town manager in Lincoln, N.H., since 2008, and prior to that, he was the assistant to the town administrator in Peterborough, N.H. At a reception to allow the finalists for the position to meet the public earlier this month, Joseph said sought the Freeport position because of the town’s reputation. Joseph’s hiring will not become official until the Town Council ratifies his contract at its next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 6:30 p.m., in the council chambers.

Paris, Maine (population 4,427): Selectmen hope to extend a job offer for the position of town manager by early November, according to the Oxford Hills Sun Journal. The Board of Selectmen didn’t vote, but discussed a timeline that would begin advertising for the position next week, leaving plenty of time for interviews, reference checks and background checks before Town Manager Phil Tarr’s contract expires Jan. 3. The board voted in June to give Tarr notice they wouldn’t renew his contract at the end of the year. Without notice, the contract would have been renewed automatically in January. The board also will ask for citizens’ suggestions on what makes a good town manager, which could help the board form questions to ask applicants in interviews. Selectmen said they hope to begin reviewing applications in mid-September and conduct interviews on Sept. 22 and 29. They’ll vote on a schedule for the hiring at the Aug. 13 meeting. Early in the workshop, Selectman Robert Kirchherr said there were good reasons to charge a citizen committee to initially go through applications. He said it would give the message to applicants that residents are active participants in town affairs, and would allow people “who have some experience in hiring and firing people” to be involved in the process. Other selectmen said the board should have an active role throughout the hiring of a new town manager. Chairman Sam Elliot said he’d object to turning the work over to a committee.

Edgewood, New Mexico (population 3,375): After Aug. 20, Karen Mahalick will no longer be employed by the town of Edgewood, according to the Mountain View Telegraph. A decision was made at a special town council meeting on July 23. As of Aug. 20, Mahalick will be replaced by Kay Davis, who worked with Edgewood Mayor Brad Hill when they were both working at the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s housing division. The decision to make the change was approved by councilors Chuck Ring, Sherry Abraham, and Rita-Loy Simmons. Councilor John Abrams abstained from voting. Prior to making the decision to make a change to the town’s top position, Hill said he evaluated the situation for his first four months in office. That included evaluating how the town staff related to each other and other factors.

Wiggins, Colorado (population 893): Wiggins Town Administrator Bill Rogers resigned effective last Friday, which resulted in the Wiggins Board of Trustees deciding during its meeting on Wednesday how to run the town without him, according to The Fort Morgan Times. Trustees voted unanimously to distribute his duties between Wiggins Town Clerk Craig Trautwein and Public Works Director Jon Richardson, at least until the Wiggins water project is finished. Richardson will act as the designated representative to Industrial Facilities Engineering, the firm that is overseeing the construction of the water project meant to replace the town’s failing water wells. He would report to the town on the progress of the construction, transmit instructions to contractors and render decisions in the field. Trautwein would act as the point person with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which gave the town the loan and grant for the water project, and must approve any and all changes to the project. He would take care of the paperwork the town needs done. The board also decided to hire two part-time employees: one to help with office work and one to help with public works, since Trautwein and Richardson would be overwhelmed without help, especially while the water project is under way. In the future, the town might replace the administrator, but anyone who came in now would not be up to speed on the water project, and might take valuable time to train, board members generally agreed. He or she would not have institutional knowledge, Richardson pointed out. A town administrator may be necessary if the town wants to work on its comprehensive plan for the future of the town, which includes needed work on the wastewater system, said Trustee Karol Kopetzky. Trautwein said he and Richardson could handle the basic duties of the town without an administrator as long as they had at least part-time help. The board instructed Trautwein to start advertising for a 24-hour-a-week office position at the rate of $10 an hour, and a public works position at the same rate of pay and hours. Advertisements will run for the next two weeks. He noted this means the town does not have to pay for health insurance for the new employees. He also noted that the pay for the part-time employees could come out of the money formerly paid to Rogers. Kopetzky also suggested that the town retain the services of Nation Engineering to help with any technical consultation over some of the water issues the town faces. Mayor Margarito “Mac” Leon Jr. said he expected that the work load even when the water project is finished might mean that more employees are needed for the foreseeable future. Trautwein warned that the town could not expect to hire a town administrator at the $34,000 a year that Rogers made for the job. Anyone qualified for the job would probably ask $50,000 or more. Some of the trustees talked about giving Trautwein and Richardson additional pay for the additional work they will be taking on. Kopetzky suggested having an outline of their new duties before deciding on any new compensation. In a telephone interview Wednesday evening, Bill Rogers said he left his position because he was tired of the board giving him a hard time, and that the situation was becoming something of a “witch hunt,” full of hostile confrontations. Bill Rogers had said in the past that he would retire when the water project was finished, but at the age of 70 was ready to retire. Rogers said it seemed like the new board of trustees had an agenda coming in to get rid of him and to make the water project look bad.