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: Bartow Co., GA; Cape May Co., NJ; Jefferson Co., WV and more

Peter Olson

Peter Olson

Bartow County, Georgia (population 100,157): Bartow County Commissioner-Elect Steve Taylor announced Thursday that Cartersville Attorney Peter Olson will serve as the next county administrator, according to The Daily Tribune News. As Taylor prepares to take office in January, Olson will fill the role of retiring County Administrator Steve Bradley. After 19 years in the role, Bradley will retire in January alongside Commissioner Clarence Brown. In his stead will be Peter Olson, an attorney of 18 years focusing in the areas of zoning and land law, local government law, real property and business litigation. Olson has worked regularly with the county in recent years and serves as city attorney for Kingston and Resaca. Taylor looked to name an administrator quickly after the election to afford the necessary time for transition. Olson has already begun conversations with Brown and Bradley and will be involved with budget preparations in the coming months, but many of the position’s responsibilities will coincide with tasks Olson has performed as outside counsel. Olson was born outside of Chicago and raised near Montgomery, Ala., before receiving his bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University in 1989 and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992. A summary of professional accomplishments was included in a statement released Thursday. Taylor interviewed local and outside candidates for the position, but said he kept returning to Olson for his skill and experience along with his knowledge of local government. Just as Olson has, Bradley too came from a background in law, serving as co-counsel for the county at a local firm before stepping into the role of county administrator. After 16 years in Cartersville, Olson stepped out on his own earlier this year to begin a new firm. Taking the role as administrator, he will now begin the process of closing his practice and helping clients through the transition. Olson and his wife, Ellyn, have two children: Grey, 7, and Eden, 4.

Cape May County, New Jersey (population 97,265): Edmund Grant Jr. will remain as director of operations for Cape May County indefinitely, said Freeholder director Gerald Thornton, according to The Middle Township Gazette. Grant replaced county administrator Stephen O’Connor, who left to become the interim executive director of the South Jersey Economic Development District. Grant came on board in May after retiring as the county’s treasurer earlier this year. In May, Thornton said putting Grant into the position would give freeholders time to decide what duties the county administrator position should have. As director of operations, Grant oversees the day-to-day workings of county government. He directs a staff of management, professional and administrative personnel and puts in place orders and policies of the Cape May County Board of Freeholders, strategic planning and policy oversight. Since Grant assumed administrator duties, some lingering issues in county government were discovered and taken care of, Thornton said. Thornton put it down to having a “new set of eyes” heading county government. One of the issues was having around the Cape May Airport in LowerTownship cleaned up. That work included cleaning around the Fare Free Transportation buses, he said. Grant also started a wellness program in an effort to reduce county government costs, Thornton said. Employees will learn about living healthier lifestyles, nutrition and more. Thornton did not know how much would be saved. He said county’s insurance company is on board with the idea. The program was expected to kick off Tuesday, Sept. 11. Middle management training will also be started, which will include some employees getting a review of managing and of budgets in a classroom setting, Thornton said. Grant was Cape May County’s chief financial officer for 17 years and county purchasing agent from 1986 until 1994. He also used to be a mayor in Wildwood and council president.

Jefferson County, West Virginia (population 53,498): Debbie Keyser, Jefferson County’s interim administrator since May, moved to permanent status Thursday following a unanimous vote by all five county commissioners, according to the Herald-Mail. Keyser was hired in April as the county’s first full-time human resources director. Less than a month later the commissioners named her interim administrator to replace Sandra Slusher McDonald in the temporary slot. McDonald was chosen in January to take over the duties after County Administrator Tim Boyde resigned. Keyser worked for more than 20 years in human resources administration for two private firms. According to McDonald, Keyser was one of 35 applicants for the Jefferson County job. Three were interviewed. Noland said Keyser’s human resource experience is a plus in her duties as county administrator. Keyser plans to move to Jefferson County after she sells her house in Berkeley County. She will be responsible for an annual county budget of $26 million and 1,870 county employees. Her salary as interim administrator, $97,750, won’t change with her new permanent status.

Fulton County, Illinois (population 37,069): Fulton County Administrator Mike Hays is out, according to the Journal Star. A last-minute attempt to extend his contract until Nov. 30 resulted in a 9-9 vote at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. That means the measure was defeated, and Hays’ last day is Thursday. The “challenging environment” was the topic of discussion more than once Tuesday night. Board member Del Parson had pointed questions for finance committee chairman Neil Williams about a request to hire a part-time administrative clerk. Williams said the hiring freeze means the board will “scrutinize” a vacant position and determine whether it is necessary. The money is in the budget for an administrative clerk, who will be even more necessary if Hays is gone. Nevertheless, that position was approved before the request to extend Hays’ contract was shot down. And the extension request itself raised similar concerns. Even the roll call was puzzling, since board member Roger Clark’s name was not called. He did, eventually, vote, and cast one of the votes in favor of Hays’ extension. The other yes votes were Conklin, Garry Hensley, Vicki Hoke, Ed Ketcham, who introduced the motion to extend the contract, Rod Malott, Doug Manock, Terry Pigg and Larry Taff. Voting against the extension were George Hall, Helle, Linda Hudson, Ed Huggins, Parson, Merl Pettet, Doreen Shaw, John Taylor and Williams. While it would appear Fulton County is in the somewhat unusual position of approving a position to be hired by a county administrator who no longer exists, Fulton County Clerk Jim Nelson said that is not a problem. He explained that those duties had been handled by elected officials before Fulton County hired its first county administrator in 2007. He anticipates the elected officials will redistribute the work again.

Hazleton, Pennsylvania (population 25,340): Hazleton City’s administrative department will soon have a new leader, according to the Standard Speaker. Mary Ellen Lieb notified the mayor of her intent to retire as acting director of administration, a position she has held for the past four years.

Swansea, Illinois (population 13,430): Village Administrator John Openlander has resigned to take a job as a city administrator in another state, according to the News-Democrat. Mayor Jim Rauckman said Openlander turned in his resignation letter Wednesday. In his resignation letter, Openlander said he has accepted a city administrator position in another state. Openlander’s contract with the village was set to expire in April at the end of Rauckman’s current mayoral term. The village administrator’s appointment runs concurrent with the mayor’s term. The contract requires Openlander give the village 60 days notice upon his resignation. His last day with the village will be Nov. 9. Rauckman said he and village trustees will discuss how the village should proceed with filling Openlander’s position. Swansea Village Board is likely to formally accept Openlander’s resignation during its board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Swansea Government Center.

Lampasas, Texas (population 6,681): Llano City Manager Finley deGraffenried will serve as the new Lampasas city manager, according to KWTX. DeGraffenried takes the place of Michael Stoldt, who was fired just over a year ago for “in-house reasons.” In June, the city selected David Vela as a finalist for the position but he turned it down after failing to come to terms with the city council on salary and other terms of employment. Interim City Manager Stacy Brack has been filling the position temporarily since last August. DeGraffenried will give the City of Llano about a month’s notice before working in Lampasas full-time October 15. The city says deGraffenried’s experience with various management projects and his social skills make him a good match for the city.

Bulverde, Texas (population 5,478): Bulverde City Councilmembers unexpectedly voted four to one Tuesday to terminate City Administrator John Hobson’s contract effective immediately, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Mayor Bill Krawietz said the action to fire Hobson, which came after an executive session, was a surprise to him after Councilman Kirk Harrison asked weeks ago to put a personnel matter on Tuesday’s agenda. Shane Reynolds was the only councilman to vote against the motion. However, Krawietz said, council members reviewed Hobson’s performance during Tuesday’s executive session and concluded they had to terminate his contract. Hobson was hired as the city administrator in June 2006. His current base salary is $88,155 plus a monthly $400 car allowance, according to City Finance Director Ginger Hofstetter. City Attorney Frank Garza said Hobson’s contract was for an indefinite term. Including sick leave and vacation pay, Hobson’s severance will amount to $78,000 before taxes. Harrison said the council did not make the decision lightly. Hobson said council’s action Tuesday was unexpected. Krawietz said Hofstetter will assume Hobson’s duties until the city hires a new administrator.

Scandia, Minnesota (population 3,936): Kristina Handt, former village administrator of Luck, Wisc., will be Scandia’s city administrator, according to the Forest Lake TimesHandt will start work on Monday, Sept. 17. At their Tuesday, Aug. 28 work session the council voted to hire Handt at a salary of $70,000 per year. Current Administrator Anne Hurlburt will retire the first week of October. Handt has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, training from the Minnesota Paralegal Institute, and a master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota. She held the Luck job from September 2008 to July 2012, supervising nine full-time and 33 part-time employees. At Luck, Handt said, there are only 11 miles of road to care for, compared to 90 miles in Scandia.  Funding for roads doubled while she was the village administrator, including grants. She has experience with city septic systems.  In Luck, she said, one system serves most of the village, but there are others around the lake, installed to improve lake quality. Before working in Luck, Handt was a legislative assistant for MN State Sen. Gary Kubly for four years. She had internships at the city of Minnestrista  in 2007 and Grassroots Solutions, a consulting firm, in 2006. In 2002 and 2003 she worked for Kohl’s Department Stores, as a personnel/operations area supervisor and then as a district auditor. In 1999 and 2000 she interned for U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and State Sen. Steve Murphy.

Goliad, Texas (population 1,908): The Goliad city administrator is resigning, pending acceptance of a city manager position in Guthrie, Okla, according to the Victoria Advocate. Goliad City Council is set to discuss the pending resignation Tuesday, but Sereniah Breland said it is not official until the Guthrie City Council votes to hire her, also on Tuesday. Mayor Jay Harvey said the Goliad City Council has plans to name an interim city administrator at Tuesday’s meeting. Breland has been with Goliad for almost two years. Harvey said she has many accomplishments, such as implementing code enforcement and building inspections in Goliad. He said Breland also tried to create a municipal court for Goliad. Her last day will be Oct. 9, according to her resignation letter. Guthrie, which has a population of about 10,000, is in central Oklahoma.

Transitions: Santa Clarita, Ventura, and Chico, California and more

Ken Pulskamp

Ken Pulskamp

Santa Clarita, California (population 176,320): Ken Pulskamp, who helped shape the city of Santa Clarita in its infancy and later served a decade as city manager, announced Monday he will retire in December from his $251,000-a-year job, according to the Contra Costa Times. Pulskamp outlined his plans in a three-page letter to Mayor Frank Ferry and the City Council in which he lauded the commitment of community leaders and public officials. Pulskamp was recruited in 1988 as the No. 2 to then-City Manager George Caravalho, for whom he’d worked in Bakersfield. Santa Clarita had incorporated the year before, and the two collaborated in developing the new city’s roads, trails, parks and transportation systems, along with a municipal government. Pulskamp’s letter noted that Santa Clarita has had to deal with 11 federally declared disasters, most notably the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. In a phone interview, Pulskamp expressed pride in how city leaders responded to the 6.7-magnitude temblor. The City Council promoted Pulskamp in 2003, after Caravalho took a job in Riverside. Pulskamp was honored last year by the League of California Cities, and he was also the only city manager to serve on the National Homeland Security Consortium, a public-private task force. Retiring at age 56 will allow Pulskamp to spend more time with his family and pursue hobbies – activities that were previously overtaken by meetings at City Hall and throughout the community. However, he relishes the years spent in the public sector and said he hopes his successor has a similar experience.

Ventura, California (population 106,433): Rick Cole, Ventura’s city manager since 2004, will leave his job Sept. 15 after parting ways with the City Council, according to the Los Angeles Times. Cole came to Ventura after serving as city manager in Azusa and 12 years on Pasadena’s City Council. He was Pasadena’s mayor from 1992 to 1994. In Cole’s years as Ventura’s top appointed official, the city undertook a number of controversial measures. Parking meters were installed downtown and a popular library branch was shut. Officials enforced building and safety codes more stringently, but Cole’s critics said enforcement was arbitrary and unreasonable. Cole also guided the city’s government through the recession, eliminating nearly 100 city positions. In a statement, Mayor Mike Tracy, the city’s former police chief, praised Cole for “making the hard choices that have ensured that Ventura has lived within our means during tough economic times.” Cole offered to resign after receiving a negative performance review earlier this summer. He said he plans to stay in Ventura.

Chico, California (population 86,187): Regularly described as dedicated, Dave Burkland has meetings scheduled up until he leaves his third-floor office — and his position as city manager — at 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. Burkland, 60, is retiring after five years as city manager and a total of 20 working for the city of Chico. At 5 p.m., he will head to a barbecue in his honor. Once Burkland has said his thanks and farewells, he plans to go on a road trip northwest with his wife, Joanne Reinhard. Brian Nakamura, who was Hemet’s city manager, will take over Chico’s top job. Anastacia Snyder, the executive director of Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, said Burkland was one of the nonprofit’s biggest advocates since it started and played a big role in getting a new facility built in 2010. Mayor Ann Schwab said she feels like she and Burkland complemented each other well, representing the city together. Schwab said Burkland is calm and approachable but he stands up for what is right. She said it has been reassuring to work with someone who doesn’t let their emotions get in the way of finding the best solution. As city manager, Burkland said he was proud he and staff presented the Chico City Council with a balanced budget during rough economic times. Burkland said one of the most challenging issues he faced during his career was medical marijuana, with the pressure from dispensaries, patients and the federal government. He said it was also difficult dealing with employee issues and the number of complaints from residents and visitors. Burkland said during his career at the city, he learned to not “overpromise,” to instead say he will try to do the best he can. Senior Councilman Scott Gruendl said he feels the city was lucky to have Burkland. Gruendl thinks Burkland’s expertise helped the city build a lot of low- and moderate-income housing bringing economic stimulus to Chico. He also thinks the good relationship Burkland had with employees paid off when almost all of the unions agreed to take salary and benefit cuts in order to close a deficit, Gruendl said. Though Burkland has had a number of job offers, he plans to take about six months to a year before deciding what his next career path will be, he said. Burkland will have more time to play volleyball, ride his offroad motorcycle, learn how to fly fish and more, he said. He said he is encouraged that he is seeing signs of economic recovery.

Troy, Michigan (population 80,980): After weeks of reviewing resumes and interviewing applicants for the Troy city manager’s job, the City Council needed just seven minutes to make a final decision Thursday, Mayor Janice Daniels said, according to the Detroit Free Press. Councilman Dave Henderson initially voted for Farmington City Manager Vincent Pastue, then changed his vote to show unanimous support for Kischnik, according to a recording of the meeting. Other finalists included Oakland Township Manager Jim Creech and Troy Director of Community and Economic Planning Mark Miller. Daniels called the choice of Kischnick “a wonderful fresh start,” on the heels of Troy being named one of the top 100 places to live in the country by CNN/Money magazine. If Kischnick accepts Troy’s offer, he will replace interim City Manager Mike Culpepper, who held the position following the resignation of John Szerlag in May.

Coon Rapids, Minnesota (population 61,476): Public Services Director Steve Gatlin has moved into the city manager position in Coon Rapids, a month after Matt Fulton’s resignation, according to the Star Tribune. Gatlin, 62, came to the city as public works director in 1998. Since 2005, he’s served as public services director, with responsibility for community development, engineering and public works. In an interview Friday, Gatlin said he’s committed to preserving and improving neighborhoods and to encouraging redevelopment along Coon Rapids Boulevard. In the coming months, he said, the north metro city of 63,000 likely will be considering Phase 2 development around the Coon Rapids Ice Arena, some iteration of the long-held community center concept. The city also will be completing its master plan for parks and recreation. Gatlin said the city is strengthened by the stability of its longtime residents, and the surprising small-town feel for such a large city. A strong infrastructure, he said, also has the city primed for redevelopment.

Jefferson County, West Virginia (population 53,498): During its meeting Thursday, the Jefferson County Commission unanimously voted to appoint Debbie Keyser to the position of county administrator, according to The Journal-News. Keyser had been serving as interim county administrator since late April after being hired as a part-time human resources consultant last year. Before coming to Jefferson County, Keyser worked as the HR director for a large private company and was involved in setting strategic goals and directions for the company. She said the transition from the private sector to the public sector has gone smoothly to this point. While the county still has to finalize Keyser’s job description, Jefferson County Commission President Patsy Noland expects the county administrator position to handle most HR duties the county has. It also was beneficial for the commission to be able to work with Keyser over the past months and see her perform in an interim capacity, Noland added. Keyser’s pay rate will be that of a “Grade A Step One” employee, or $97,764 per year, according to Noland. The County Commission previously advertised twice for applicants to fill the county administrator position vacated by Tim Boyde in January. Deputy County Administrator Sandy Slusher McDonald served as acting county administrator from Jan. 13 until Keyser’s appointment to the interim position.

Stanton, California (population 38,186): The choosing of a new city manager who is a familiar face is on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Stanton City Council, according to The Garden Grove Journal. In the wake of the resignation of Carol Jacobs as the city’s top executive effective Sept. 6, the council is expected to hire James “Jim” Box to fill that post. Box is the current assistant city manager and director of parks and recreation. Jacobs will become city manager of the Riverside County city of Eastvale. That city is located near Corona, was incorporated in 2010 and has a population of around 53,000 people, compared to Stanton’s 38,000. Stanton does not have its own police and fire departments, instead contracting with county agencies for those services.

Brentwood, Tennessee (population 37,163): For the past 22 years, Brentwood City Manager Mike Walker has led the city through multiple zoning, budgetary and infrastructure issues, according to The Tennessean. Come January, Walker will retire, he announced at Monday night’s City Commission meeting. He began work at Brentwood in May 1990, said City Recorder Debbie Hedgepath. A 1977 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in business administration, he came to Brentwood after fulfilling the role of temporary city manager for Oak Ridge. The Tennessee City Management Association named Walker Manager of the Year in 2005 and he served as chairman of the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service Advisory Committee this year. In a letter announcing his retirement, Walker said he’d leave the city manager position on Jan. 25. No one has been selected yet to fill his position, Hedgepath said. The year Walker arrived, Brentwood had a property tax increase but there has not been one since that time. Brentwood is among only 2 percent of local governments in the country to receive an Aaa rating from Moody’s Investors Service and AAA ratings from Standard and Poor’s, which makes the city attractive to investors and allows Brentwood to receive favorable interest rates.

Hobbs, New Mexico (population 34,122): Former Wilkes-Barre Administrator J.J. Murphy has landed a new job as city manager in Hobbs, N.M., according to The Citizens’ VoiceMurphy said he will leave Wilkes-Barre and move almost 2,000 miles away to New Mexico, where he will earn $140,000 a year. He will replace Eric Honeyfield, who retired in June. Murphy, 41, a married father of five daughters, said he plans to move to Hobbs right away to find housing. He said his children are his No. 1 priority and his family will move there after the school semester is over. Murphy said he was chosen following a national search with more than 50 candidates. Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. Murphy said Hobbs is a similar city to Wilkes-Barre in some ways, such as its size. Hobbs has a population of about 43,000, while Wilkes-Barre has a population of more than 41,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Murphy served seven years as city administrator under Mayor Tom Leighton and two years as deputy administrator under former Mayor Tom McGroarty. He was the center of controversy on some city issues, such as being paid $300 an hour as a consultant for the Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority and recommending the city hire the Fox Rothschild law firm to put together proposals and oversee the process. One of the firm’s partners is his brother, Patrick Murphy. Murphy also faced criticism after the city spent more than $14,000 to install security systems at his home and in Leighton’s home. In February, state prosecutors threw out four private criminal complaints about the matter, and the state Attorney General’s Office determined that Leighton and Murphy would not face criminal charges. Murphy called the complaint a “campaign issue” during an election year and would not comment further. Murphy is a 1993 graduate of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He earned his masters degree in public administration from Marywood University in Scranton in 1998. He served in the United States Air Force and was deployed to Africa in 2008 and Haiti in 2010. He continues to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He and his wife Colleen live in Wilkes-Barre with their five daughters, Katie, Erin, Emma, Ryan and Reese. Murphy’s accomplishments as city administrator include technological advances in city hall. He was project manager for a $3 million initiative to install more than 250 surveillance cameras throughout the city. The cameras have been used to catch criminals, Murphy said. He said he hopes the cameras will help bring closure to the family of hit-and-run victim Rebecca McCallick, who was killed July 24 on Hazle Street. Murphy also coordinated the Healing Field at Kirby Park in 2004, which consisted of more than 4,000 flags which honored people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and military members who have died fighting since.

Winter Haven, Florida (population 33,874): Winter Haven City Manager Dale Smith announced Monday night that he will retire as city manager at the end of January, according to The Ledger. Smith, a 34-year city employee who has been city manager for about 2 1/2 years, recommended that Assistant City Manager Deric Feacher take his position, but he deferred to the commission to make its own decision. Smith’s announcement was met with a loud applause from commissioners, staff and others at the meeting. It is unclear Monday night when or how the process to hire a new city manager would begin. Mayor J.P. Powell said after the meeting that he would get with Smith to get the ball rolling. Powell lauded Smith for his leadership of the city during a time when falling housing prices have drastically cut the city’s revenue. Smith, 64, said after the meeting he looks forward to spending more time at a home he and his wife own in the Smoke Mountains and work on hot rods, specifically the 1965 Chevy Nova SS that Smith left a skid mark with when it was the first car to officially use the city’s new downtown parking garage. Smith told commissioners he recommended Feacher because of the time Feacher has served as assistant city manager. Feacher was promoted to the position in February after having held the title of assistant to the city manager. Feacher started his career with the city 10 years ago as the supervisor at the Winter Haven Recreation and Cultural Center. He has been the assistant to the city manager for about four years. Smith became city manager on Jan. 25, 2010, when a single motion accepted then city manager David Greene’s resignation and promoted Smith all at once. Smith, 61, was hired in 1978. He began his career with the city as director of engineering. He became the public works director in 1980. He served as interim city manager in 2000. In 2001, Smith became special projects manager and about 2004 was named assistant city manager.

Peachtree Corners, Georgia (population 31,704): The Mayor and City Council saved the best for last at Tuesday night’s Peachtree Corners City Council meeting with the announcement that a new City Manager had been named, according to the GwinnettPatch. Julian Jackson, the former City Manager for the City of Monroe has been tapped to lead Gwinnett’s newest city. Shortly after reconvening from a short executive session, Mayor Mike Mason made the announcement. Julian Jackson, a 14-year veteran with the City of Monroe, said he was delighted to be selected for the position. Jackson will officially begin on Oct. 1, 2012. The new City Manager will join Diana Wheeler, who was hired as the Community Development Director. Wheeler officially began her duties on Aug. 27.

Clermont, Florida (population 29,359): Clermont has hired its new City Manager — and he’s a familiar face, according to CFNEWS13. Darren Gray will leave his job as Lake County Manager to take over the top spot in Clermont beginning October 15. Gray was Clermont’s assistant city Manager until last year. Clermont’s City Council approved a package Tuesday night that will pay him $150,000 a year — similar to the pay he was receiving from the county. The city also changed its retirement agreement with outgoing City Manager Wayne Saunders. Saunders was set to retire in January and receive one year’s pay for consulting services. Now, he’ll retire after 27 years in October and be paid until May. Saunders announced his retirement after protests of his handling of the police department. The city’s police chief has since been suspended and the Council will meet Wednesday night to hire an independent consulting firm to investigate the police department.

Door County, Wisconsin (population 27,785): The Door County Board agreed with the Administrative Committee’s recommendation Tuesday officially hiring Maureen Murphy as the county’s new Administrator, according to the Door County Daily News. Murphy says she’s looking forward to getting started and meeting lots of people. Murphy will start work October 1st with an annual salary of about $87,000. She replaces former county administrator Michael Serpe in the position. Murphy comes to Door County from six years as village administrator in Slinger, WI.

Wentzville, Missouri (population 27,070): George Kolb, who has 40 years of city management experience around the country, has been picked as Wentzville’s new interim city administrator, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kolb’s resume includes work as city manager for Wichita, Kan. Until earlier this year he was assistant city manager in Surprise, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb. Kolb will serve until the Board of Aldermen hires a new permanent administrator. Aldermen have been unable for the past year to decide on someone to succeed the former administrator, Dianna Wright. Since Wright left last August, Dennis Walsh, the assistant administrator and city finance director, has filled in as interim administrator along with  his regular duties. The hiring of Kolb will allow Walsh to focus more fully on his finance and budget work, according to a city news release. Kolb was hired through Interim Public Management LLC. Under a contract with the company approved by aldermen last week, the firm forwarded several candidates for the interim post and aldermen picked Kolb. Under the deal, the city will pay the company $3,100 per week plus business and lodging expenses and provide a city vehicle for use on city business. Kolb will be considered a city consultant. At its meeting last week, aldermen also hired another company, Mercer Group, to help find a permanent administrator.

Kent County, Maryland (population 20,197): The Kent County Commissioners have engaged Ernest A. Crofoot to serve in a dual capacity as Kent County Administrator and in-house County Attorney upon the retirement of County Administrator Susanne Hayman in December 2012, according to The Chestertown Spy. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University (A.S., Accounting) and the University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D., cum laude, Heisler Honor Society, 1982), Mr. Crofoot started his legal career in Denton, Maryland, serving as law clerk to The Honorable Marvin H. Smith, Associate Judge, court of Appeals of Maryland (July 1982 – August 1983). Thereafter, until 1992, Mr. Crofoot practiced with two large Baltimore law firms, concentrating in tax, municipal finance, business, corporate and transactional matters. Following a brief time in solo practice, Mr. Crofoot was appointed in 1993 as County Attorney for Harford County, where he was responsible for all civil legal affairs of that jurisdiction. In November 1998, he joined the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, where he was responsible for contract review, represented procurement and information technology departments, and served as legal counsel to the Montgomery County Revenue Authority. In June 2000, he served as General Counsel to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the water and wastewater utility serving Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. From September 2002 to February 2005, Mr. Crofoot served as Chief Solicitor in the Baltimore City Department of Law, where he managed a number of significant matters, including renegotiation of a major cable franchise, claims against the City’s Police Department, and representation of certain boards and activities, including the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. In 2008, after four years of service as a partner in the law firm of Funk & Bolton, P.A., he was appointed in-house County Attorney for Caroline County, where he serves currently. Mr. Crofoot is admitted to practice law in Maryland, and in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and the U.S. Tax Court. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and former Chair of its State and Local Government Section. He also served two years as the state representative for the International Municipal Lawyers Association. He is active in the Maryland Association of Counties and its County Civil Attorneys Affiliate. Mr. Crofoot presently serves as an Academy Advisor and ethics lecturer of the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service and Research in its Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. Current professional service also includes membership in the Peer Review Panel of the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. Mr. Crofoot is a former adjunct professor of law at the University of Baltimore Law School and at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University). His public service has included extensive service for the non-profit Relay Children’s Center in BaltimoreCounty and the United Way of Caroline County.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida (population 19,992): The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to hire Michael Beedie as the new city manager, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. Beedie has served as the acting city manager since May 8. Just before the council was set to discuss which of four finalists for the post to interview, Councilman Trey Goodwin proposed giving the job to Beedie. Councilman Bobby Griggs agreed and said he’s been pleased with Beedie’s leadership. Beedie has worked for the city for seven and a half years. He started as a staff engineer and worked his way up to city engineer and engineering and utility director. Beedie was one of four finalists that included Anthony Matheny, director of planning and community development in Quincy; Matthew Schwartz, former city manager in Bay Village; and Robert J. Bartolotta, former city manager in Sarasota. Beedie’s hiring was met with a round of applause at the meeting. Beedie replaces former City Manager Bob Mearns, who was abruptly fired in early May. Some council members said they were unhappy with Mearns’ management style and had received complaints from employees about his attitude.

St. Helens, Oregon (population 12,883): John Walsh has been named city administrator, according to the Coast River Business Journal. He replaces Chad Olsen, who left in January to become city manager position in Carlton, Ore. Walsh was Myrtle Point’s city manager for the past three years. He was chosen from a pool of 71 applicants. Walsh is a graduate of Western Washington University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in geography and urban planning. He is studying for a master’s degree in public administration from Portland State University.

Fortuna, California (population 11,926): The Fortuna City Council will welcome new City Manager Regan Candelario, according to the Times-StandardCandelario comes to Fortuna from Guadalupe, a small city in northern Santa Barbara County, where he served as the city administrator.

Cedartown, Georgia (population 9,750): A reception was held Tuesday afternoon at Cedartown City Hall for departing City Manage Robbie Rokovitz, who has accepted a position with the City of Hiram, according to The Cedartown Standard. City employees, elected officials and representatives from a variety of local businesses and public agencies stopped by to wish Rokovitz well. Also on hand for the event was incoming Cedartown City Manage Bill Fann, who has been promoted from the position of city public works director and assistant city manager to the city’s top salaried position. Cedartown City Commission Chairperson Dale Tuck said the city is in the middle of some complicated planning tasks, including preparation of the next year’s budget. Commissioners decided to promote from within the city’s ranks, with confidence that Fann has the expertise and on-hand knowledge needed to lead the city going forward. Fann’s new position pays a salary of $75,000 a year, which commissioners said is competitive for the northwest Georgia region and also comparable to the private sector. The position includes managing a workforce that is currently at 106 city employees. Rokovitz has been with the city for nearly two years. He was hired in October 2010 at a starting salary of $79,000. Fann has been with the city for about eight months. He was hired as public works director after previously serving as police chief and in the city administration in Piedmont, Ala. for many years. Fann’s promotion officially takes place Friday, which is also the effective day of Rokovitz’s resignation.

Monmouth, Illinois (population 9,444): The top employee in the City of Monmouth is stepping down and moving to Iowa, according to WGIL. Eric Hanson announced in a press release Tuesday that he’s resigning at City Administrator in Monmouth, to become City Manager in Indianola, Iowa, beginning October 15th. Hanson became City Administrator in Monmouth for five years, and a press release touts things like the development of areas including the new Walgreens store, the Monmouth Crossing retail area, and new police and fire stations, a new wastewater treatment plant, and other things. In the press release, Hanson calls the move bittersweet, but one that allows him to work in another growing area. Hanson, a graduate of Monmouth College, was formerly an employee of the local University of Illinois Extension area, and a former mayor of Cambridge in Henry County, among other tasks. Indianola, Iowa has a population of about 15-thousand people, and is south of Des Moines. His salary will be 134-thousand dollars a year. Hanson did not return calls seeking an interview on his move. A City statement doesn’t say when his last day will be with Monmouth.

Delta, Colorado (population 8,915): The Delta City Council has offered the city manager position to Justin Clifton, former town manager of Bayfield, a community of 2,300 in the southwest corner of the state, according to the Delta County Independent. Council is in the process of final negotiations with Clifton and, if successful, will consider adopting an employment contract at a future city council meeting. Clifton, 35, is a graduate of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins and attended Fort Lewis College in Durango. He earned a bachelor of science degree in political science and philosophy, then pursued a master of arts degree in public policy from the University of Colorado at Denver. Council member Mary Cooper said she was struck by Clifton’s enthusiasm. Clifton does not have a great deal of experience, which was a focus of “long, hard” discussion among council members. Ultimately council was unanimous in its decision to offer the position to Clifton, Cooper reports. Clifton resigned his position in Bayfield in March 2011 to travel the world with his girlfriend. During his tenure as town manager, according to the Durango Herald, Clifton oversaw the improvement of the town’s water treatment infrastructure, the town’s takeover and overhaul of the Bayfield Sanitation District, the construction of a new town hall, senior center and public works building, and helped the town secure more than $8 million in grants. Because Clifton is currently unemployed, council members anticipate he’ll be able to start the job soon after contract negotiations have been completed.

Middlebury, Vermont (population 8,496): Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger stepped down from his job on Friday, Aug. 31, and was succeeded by Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay, according to the Addison County Independent. It’s an administrative transition that was scripted by the Middlebury selectboard a year ago. That’s when Ramsay returned to Middlebury to the same post she had vacated in 2007 in order to become Pittsford town manager. In 2008, she became Killington’s top administrator. Knowing that Finger was getting close to retiring, Middlebury officials talked to Ramsay about a 2011 return with a promotion to town manager in 2012. She accepted, and the metaphorical changing of the guard occurred last week, after the selectboard formally offered her a three-year contract. Ramsay and Finger have worked closely to make for a smooth succession. Ramsay, 47, has attended many municipal subcommittee meetings, such as those dealing with municipal gym repairs, proposed new town offices and a soon-to-be hired business development director — issues at the forefront of the selectboard’s agenda. A long tenure would continue a tradition of longevity enjoyed by her most immediate predecessors, Betty Wheeler and Bill Finger. Finger, now 67, was hired as town manager in 2000 after having served in that same capacity in other Vermont communities, including Shelburne. Meanwhile, town officials are crediting Finger with some stellar stewardship during his tenure in Middlebury. It’s been during Finger’s administrative watch that Middlebury built a new downtown bridge and a new police station; the town is currently developing plans for a community center that would include new town offices. Middlebury’s two fire stations are currently being dramatically improved. It’s also a period during which the town has caught up on a lot of deferred maintenance on infrastructure, such as road, sidewalk and water system improvements. At the same time Finger, at the direction of the selectboard, has tried to keep the municipal tax rate in check — freezing it at one point for three consecutive years. Finger quickly points out that the aforementioned accomplishments were the product of many people and organizations working together. George served on the Middlebury committee that interviewed and recommended Finger for the town manager’s job back in 2000. He said he will look back on his time in Middlebury with fond memories. He leaves Middlebury with one major project still on the drawing board: A new municipal building/community center. Several ad hoc committees, an architect and the selectboard continue to hash out ideas for the new structure that could someday be built on the site of the current municipal building at the intersection of College and South Main streets. Finger believes the town is giving the proposed center a fair discussion and he is optimistic the project will come to fruition. Though he is stepping down as town manager, Finger won’t be leaving the area. He plans to remain a resident of Lincoln “for the foreseeable future.” There, he will tend to various home improvement projects while staying involved in local and regional nonprofit causes — such as the Weathervane United elderly housing complex in Lincoln and the Friends of West Rutland Town Hall. He is also receptive to fielding occasional assignments that the Middlebury selectboard might throw his way in the future. But following his last day on the job, he plans to take a breather.

Avon, Colorado (population 6,447): The Avon Town Council this week made the final move to hire a new town manager, according to the Vail Daily. Virginia Egger, now the top administrator for the city of Sun Valley, Idaho, will start work in Avon Dec. 1. The council Tuesday approved an employment agreement with Egger that calls for annual pay of $143,000 per year, plus $1,000 per month for a housing and auto allowance. Egger was one or more than 100 people who applied for the job. The top five candidates were interviewed in Avon, and all spent time with town employees, other town managers and, of course, town council members. This is Egger’s second stint working in Sun Valley, where she also worked between 2004 and 2007. She was also town manager of Telluride from 1986 — 1994. She has also worked in for private and non-profit organizations in Colorado, Idaho and New York. She was executive director of the Telluride Mountain Film Festival and was first head of the Telluride Mountain School.

Indian Hill, Ohio (population 5,907): In the coming year, a new era will begin in Indian Hill, as City Manager Mike Burns announced he is retiring after more than 20 years with the village, according to The Community Press & Recorder. During the Indian Hill Village Council meeting Aug. 27, Burns announced he plans to retire Jan. 18, ending a 23-year career as city manager for Indian Hill. Burns said he notified council previously, but wanted to make it official during the meeting. He is only the fifth city manager in Indian Hill’s history, and served the longest tenure of anyone. Mayor Mark Tullis suggested council vote on the retirement notice, soliciting laughter from councilmembers. Despite the announcement, Burns pressed on with council business, noting he would have more to say as Jan. 18 approaches. Tullis said the village has hired a search firm that will narrow the field of potential candidates to 10 to 15, at which point the candidates will be interviewed by a group of three council members. He said that process will lessen the field of candidates to three to five, at which point the entire Village Council will interview the candidates before choosing a successor. Tullis said the village hopes to have a new city manager in place by November, to allow the new hire to work alongside Burns for approximately two months before taking over the position.

High Springs, Florida (population 5,350): After a debate that stretched over the course of several months, the High Springs Commission decided on Thursday, Aug. 16, in a 3-2 vote, to begin advertisements for a new city manager, according to Alachua County Today. Vice Mayor Bob Barnas previously proposed moving forward with advertising at an earlier meeting on Aug. 9. During Thursday’s discussion, the motion to advertise passed with Barnas, Commissioner Linda Gestrin and Mayor Dean Davis voting in favor of the measure. According to the ad that will be placed in several newspapers and web sites, the City is looking for a new city manager until a closing date of Sept. 26. Applicants should have three to five years experience, as well as preferred experience in finance. Current City Manager Jeri Langman said she does not intend to apply for the position because she doesn’t think her application would be accepted. However, she did send a letter to the commission to correct what she believes are misconceptions spoken about her on the dais. Langman also states that when the commission made her a permanent manager, she acquired certain rights afforded to her by the High Springs City Charter. She claims that her termination and the removal of the rights must occur pursuant to the charter guidelines. Langman wrote in her letter that the rift between her and the commission started after she issued a press release calling for Barnas to resign because of several alleged charter violations on his part. Subsequently, the vice mayor appeared on radio talk shows stating he wanted Langman terminated, as well as trying to rally support for the action, Langman said. During the meeting on Aug. 9, Barnas announced in the final moments of the meeting that he wasn’t happy with Langman, and he claimed the memorandum of understanding, which outlines her terms of employment, stated that she was a temporary employee helping High Springs until a permanent manager could be brought on. However, there seems to be some disagreement among the commission on that point as Davis said during Thursday’s meeting that Langman was not temporary, but had been voted in as a permanent city manager. In an unannounced move by the commission at the Feb. 9, 2012 meeting, Langman made the transition from interim to permanent city manager. Commissioners Sue Weller and Scott Jamison take issue with the process the other three commissioners are taking to effect Langman’s removal from office, characterizing the action as unethical.  Weller has stated that the special meetings, originally scheduled as budget workshops, are not the place to discuss the future of the city manager. The matter should instead be placed on an agenda during a regular commission meeting. Citizens do not expect the future of their city manager to be discussed during a budget meeting, Weller said. Jamison argued that seeking a new hire for a position which an employee is currently occupying is wrong. In her letter, Langman detailed that the commission majority has left the City unable to balance the budget, especially in the face of grave economic times. The majority of the commission refuses to increase taxes, yet the City is struggling with sewer debt, the cost of bringing back a city run emergency dispatch enter and draining contingency funds.

Tisbury, Massachusetts (population 3,949): Tisbury selectmen, at their weekly meeting Tuesday, announced the departure of town administrator John Bugbee, according to The Martha’s Vineyard Times. Mr. Bugbee’s contract was to expire on June 30, 2013, but he will leave by the end of this year. The only indication of the town management shakeup was a notation on the agenda under new business, “Contract Negotiations.” Chairman Tristan Israel, the only current selectman who served on the board when Mr. Bugbee was hired in 2004, announced the change. A heavy silence followed Mr. Israel’s statement. Mr. Bugbee said nothing and appeared tense and uneasy. Selectman Jon Snyder made no comment. Selectman Jeff Kristal was off-Island and absent. The selectmen moved quickly to other business. The meeting, which began at 5 pm, ended a few minutes later, just before 6 pm, record time for Tisbury selectmen, whose meetings often last for hours. Tisbury selectmen chose Mr. Bugbee to be the town administrator on February 24, 2004. He assumed his duties on March 29 of that year. Prior to arriving in Tisbury, Mr. Bugbee had experience in public service as a former mayor’s aide in Newburyport and a legislative aide for former state Rep. Kevin Finnegan. A native of Sandwich, he completed his master’s degree in public administration from Bridgewater State College, after taking the job as Tisbury’s town administrator. His current contract runs from July 20, 2010, through June 29, 2013. Mr. Bugbee’s salary for fiscal year 2013 is $116,134.56 which is Step 7, the top step of the town’s managerial pay scale. Under the terms of the agreement, selectmen may terminate Mr. Bugbee at any time for any reason, without cause, in which case the town must pay him “through the balance of the contract term, but for not more than 60 calendar days.” For many of those sitting in the Katharine Cornell Theater Tuesday, and regular close observers of town affairs, the announcement was anti-climatic. News of the selectmen’s decision not to renew Mr. Bugbee’s contract and his early departure had circulated around town for days. Selectmen asked Mr. Bugbee to leave, and the only question was when, according to one source close to the discussions. Mr. Bugbee listed as pending projects the first round of Green Community grant purchases, the completion of the town’s ground-mounted solar array project, and the opening of the town’s new emergency services facility. Asked if he was surprised by the selectmen’s request that he leave before his contract expired, or if it had been under discussion some time, Mr. Bugbee declined to comment. Mr. Bugbee praised his co-workers. But it has not all been smooth sailing. In March, Tisbury’s board of registrars accused Mr. Bugbee of perjury and fraud after he claimed Tisbury residency in order to register to vote at the same time that he claimed residency in Fall River. Mr. Bugbee said it was a mistake. As the town’s chief personnel officer, Mr. Bugbee’s relationship with members of the police department was further strained following the selectmen’s decision to fire veteran police Sergeant Robert Fiske, at the conclusion of an internal investigation and review of the officer’s actions on July 23, 2011, when a young babysitter was left alone, following a domestic assault, and later raped. Asked to what extent recent events may have affected the selectmen’s decision to ask him to leave early, Mr. Bugbee had no clear answer. One of the projects Mr. Bugbee said he hopes to complete has to do with the town’s recent designation as a Green Community. Mr. Bugbee spearheaded Tisbury’s efforts last year to meet the five criteria required for a Green Community designation by the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The town was named a Green Community in July by Governor Deval Patrick, for which it received an energy efficiency grant from the state for $140,925. Tisbury and Edgartown are two of seven Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) member towns on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod where the cooperative will install solar PV systems. Tisbury plans a solar array at the site of its old landfill off State Road. The solar photovoltaic system will be constructed on 10 acres of town land near the Park and Ride lot, a project that mirrors those under way in many Massachusetts towns, to use capped landfills.

Park Rapids, Minnesota (population 3,709): Park Rapids City Administrator Bill Smith has resigned after accepting a position in Providence, Ky, according to the Park Rapids EnterpriseSmith has been city administrator in Park Rapids since June of 2008. His last day is Wednesday, Sept. 5 and he will start work as CEO of Regional Healthcare Affiliates in Providence, Ky. Monday, Sept. 10. Smith plans to formally announce his resignation at the Tuesday, Aug. 28 Park Rapids City Council meeting. The council will then need to figure out how it wants to proceed in filling the position.

Mansfield, Pennsylvania (population 3,625): A Tioga County official is retiring after more than three decades of service to his town, according to WETM. Ed Grala served as Mansfield Borough Manager for 25 years, and he worked for the Borough for 32 and a half years. Reflecting on his accomplishments as Borough Manager, there are few things Grala is particularly proud of:  Acquiring a new municipal building, expanding Mansfield’s sewage treatment plant, and turning the old armory into a YMCA. After today, no one will actually hold the title “borough manager.” His successors are Shawn Forrest, who will become Codes and Public Works Director, and Lynnette Hoyt, who will take over as Director of Finance and Administration. Together, they’ll have most of Grala’s responsibilities. The three of them, along with colleagues and friends, enjoyed a luncheon together celebrating his retirement. Colleagues say they’ll miss Grala, too. Grala worked on packing up his office Thursday afternoon. He says leaving is bittersweet.

Lanesboro, Massachusetts (population 2,496): Wellfleet’s Town Administrator Paul Sieloff has accepted the same post in Lanesborough, according to iBerkshires.com. The Board of Selectmen agreed to hire Sieloff as the town’s first full-time town administrator pending negotiations and a background check. The board interviewed three candidates but unanimously agreed on Sieloff. Sieloff has been Wellfleet’s town administrator since 2008. He was hired to work three days a week while commuting from his Albany, N.Y., home but that grew to four days a week. Earlier this year, he announced he was leaving Wellfleet to avoid the lengthy commute. His resume includes working as a budget analyst with the Albany County Office of Budget Analysis, village manager in Northport, N.Y., and Valley Stream, N.Y. Sieloff is a a licensed attorney in New York and has a master’s degree in political science with a concentration on state and local government. Sieloff was the unanimous pick of the board. Selectman Robert Barton said he contacted references and did a background check and all three candidates were consistent. Sieloff was up against Ashland’s Director of Community Development Matthew Selby and former West Springfield Mayor Edward Gibson. The town has budgeted between $60,000 and $70,000 for the position. Interim Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg said he will be available to help Sieloff transition into the position. The board also had his praise for his work on the search committee that narrowed 41 applications down to the final three candidates. The town’s last administrator, Paul Boudreau, was part time and resigned after 13 years earlier this year. Kellogg was appointed on a part-time interim basis. After a committee examined the town’s needs, the group suggested bumping the position up to full time. Voter approved the full-time position at a special town meeting in July.

Oxford, Georgia (population 2,134): Oxford city manager Clark Miller plans to retire this year, according to the Newton Citizen. He recently informed Mayor Jerry Roseberry and the council of his plans to retire until the city can find a replacement in the coming months. He said he’s dealing with some health and stress issues, so his doctor has suggested a change of lifestyle. Miller will be working on a limited schedule in the meantime. Oxford mayor Jerry Roseberry said Miller has been “a tremendous asset” to the city of Oxford. Miller became the city’s first city manager, when it changed its form of government in July 2011. Miller originally was hired as Oxford’s Chief of Police in 2008 and served in that position until being appointed the interim city clerk administrator and then city manager. He had retired as an administrative from the DeKalb County Police Department after 12 years before coming to Oxford. Roseberry said he anticipates that the city will have a new city manager in place within the next couple of months.

Glade Spring, Virgina (population 1,456): A mysterious string of events has led to the termination of Glade Spring’s town manager, Joshua Jones, and Chad Stanley, a maintenance worker. On Aug. 6, after nearly three hours in closed session, the town council voted to fire both men. It is not known whether the dismissals are connected. Personnel issues were not on the published agenda, but added after the council recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Jones’ termination appears to be abrupt, considering that he worked closely with Glade Spring Mayor Lee Coburn on numerous projects until his departure. However, Jones made a recent gaffe that could have serious consequences. In the spring, People Inc. submitted an application to the town for a conditional-use permit, seeking to construct a building in Glade to support the Head Start program. Jones approved it instead of redirecting it through the planning commission and the board of zoning appeals. Construction began in early summer without the required permissions. Jones apologized for his hasty approval at a council meeting July 2, and since then town has been trying to backtrack the building through the process. The planning commission voted to recommend approval of the building to the board of zoning appeals, but the zoning board has yet to approve it, because membership on the board has been in flux. Three of its five members’ terms are up, and Nancy Williams cannot continue on the BZA since winning a council seat. That gaffe, though, seems to have little to do with Jones’ departure from town. Councilman Joel Rudy said the situation with the People Inc. building was not discussed in the closed session pertaining to Jones’ employment. Mostly, though town officials are keeping mum on the firings, citing a Virginia law that allows personnel issues to be discussed in closed session. However, goings on around town are anything but business as usual. Coburn ordered the drug testing of all town employees, including those at the police department, on July 31. Testing ran for one week, and results were returned to the mayor on Aug. 16. Coburn also ordered the locks changed on all town property on Aug 3. Coburn would not say whether any refusals had been made to his testing request or if any tests returned positive for illegal substances.