Transitions: Lee County, FL; Escambia County, FL; Carlsbad, CA and more

Karen B. Hawes

Karen B. Hawes

Lee County, Florida (population 618,754): Lee County soon will be looking for a new county manager, according to the Captiva Current. Karen B. Hawes and the Lee County Commission came to an agreement on an exit strategy for Hawes, who was forced to step down Tuesday, the latest victim of the Medstar medical helicopter service shutdown in August. The Commission voted 4-1 to accept Hawes’ resignation, who said nothing as she quietly picked up her things and left shortly after the vote was rendered. The lone dissenting vote was from Brian Bigelow, who for months has championed for Hawes termination. Bigelow wanted her fired with cause on Tuesday, which would have meant Lee County would not be on the hook for one year’s pay at $170,000, full year’s health insurance, sick and holiday pay and vacation leave boosting the package to more than $250,000. All those items are stipulated on her contract, which she signed upon being named city manager in 2009. The resignation means she will get that contractual severance package under the condition, Commissioner John Manning said, there would be no lawsuit filed by Hawes unless the county disparages her. Manning, who has worked with Hawes since 1985, was sorry to see her go and wished the investigation process had been finished before these events. Hawes’ last day is Oct. 31. The commission will get together next week to determine an interim manager. Manning said they would look internally for that, then begin to look regionally for a full-time replacement. Hawes has been at the center of a controversy involving the Aug. 21 grounding Lee County’s MedStar emergency helicopter service, among other things. Hawes said that Public Safety Director John Wilson and Deputy Public Safety Director Kim Dickerson told her a shutdown of MedStar was necessary to seek a voluntary accreditation. An administrative review revealed the shutdown was necessary after it was found MedStar did not have the proper safety credentials and wrongfully billed patients and an insurer $3 million. In the fallout, Wilson and Dickerson resigned. Also, Hawes’ subordinates were involved in a situation where the Economic Development Office gave a $5 million grant to VR Labs, a health food manufacturer looking to create more than 200 jobs building a bottling plant, but with $4.7 million spent, the company has not fulfilled its duties, Commissioner Frank Mann said. Mann said VR Labs now is in a legal battle with the general contractor hired for its remodeling. Both parties have filed lawsuits over the issue. Mann announced on Oct. 9 that at the following Tuesday’s regular meeting, he was going to make a motion calling for the commissioners to terminate Hawes’ contact as county manager. On Monday, the day before the meeting, Hawes had approached Mann and explained that she might be able to craft an “exit strategy” that would enable her to resign instead.

Escambia County, Florida (population 297,619): The Escambia County Commission has voted to terminate the contract of County Administrator Randy Oliver, according to NorthEscambia.com. Commissioner Grover Robinson made a motion Thursday night, seconded by Marie Young, to retain Oliver for the year remaining on his three-year contract. That motion failed 3-2, effectively terminating Oliver’s contract. During a public evaluation of Oliver’s job performance over the past year, commissioners spoke  very little. Prior to Thursday night’s meeting, each county commissioner had already submitted their own personal written evaluation of Oliver’s job performance. He was given a generally good reviews by Young and Robinson, but numerous issues and shortcomings were raised by commissioners Kevin White, Wilson Robertson and Gene Valentino. Before his termination, Oliver made a presentation that lasted about 40 minutes applauding the accomplishments made by numerous county departments. Then he discussed his own performance and the projects he hoped to champion next year.

Carlsbad, California (population 105,328): Carlsbad City Manager Lisa Hildabrand plans to retire at the end of the year, the city announced late Tuesday, less than a week after Hildabrand began an abrupt leave, according to the North County Times. The announcement came after the night’s regular City Council meeting, where Mayor Matt Hall said Hildabrand’s performance evaluation was discussed earlier in the evening during the council’s closed session. The news release, distributed a few minutes later by the city communications director, said Hildabrand is retiring. It gave no information about what led to her decision. Hildabrand was absent from Tuesday’s meeting and reportedly has not been in her office at City Hall for several days. She started with the city as finance director in 1991 and was named assistant city manager in 2004. Hildabrand became interim city manager when former City Manager Ray Patchett retired in 2007, and was chosen from 55 applicants for the city manager’s job in 2008. Her last day will be Dec. 24, the release states, and the City Council will begin a search to fill the position. Her professional career began in San Diego with the accounting firm of KPMG, where she worked for eight years before coming to Carlsbad. Hildabrand received a 6 percent raise under her existing contract in December, boosting her pay by $13,000 to an annual base salary of $230,492. It was the first raise she had received since taking the job in 2008, and it did not require the City Council’s approval. A 2010 salary survey conducted by the North County Times showed that Hildabrand had one of the lowest salaries for a city manager in North County. Only Vista’s city manager was lower, with a total salary of $218,626. Also discussed in the council’s closed session Tuesday was the performance evaluation for City Attorney Ron Ball. A Carlsbad employee for 26 years, Ball has announced that he plans to retire at the end of this year. The city attorney’s annual base salary was increased in March to $252,992.

Highlands County, Florida (population 98,786): Former assistant county administrator June Fisher took over the job on a full-time basis Wednesday morning, according to the News-Sun. She was vaulted into the position following a vote Tuesday night, when a 4-1 majority of Highlands County commissioners ignored requests to scale back her contract offer in light of a pressing budget year. Commissioner Don Elwell supported the choice of Fisher, but raised a number of concerns ranging from terms of her severance package to her salary. Elwell first questioned a generous 20-week severance package noting it was more than previous administrator Rick Helms. When reminded that there would be one week deducted each year to a total of 10 weeks, Elwell responded that the previous two administrators didn’t last but two years after glowing recommendations for the job. Further, Elwell said his conversations with Fisher indicated that she wished to retire in five or six years. County Attorney Ross Macbeth then added that Fisher would not be entitled to the severance package unless she was terminated without cause as was the case with the two previous administrators. Elwell then suggested commissioners consider a 90-day severance package combined with a provision that the termination of the county administrator require a super-majority – at least four of the five votes on the commission. A consensus of commissioners then agreed they didn’t like Elwell’s suggestion. Fisher’s salary and benefit package was bumped to $116,000 just 18 months ago when she became the assistant county administrator. Elwell asked other commissioners if they might consider just a 10 percent raise. That would have started her at $128,000 annually versus the proposed $139,000 including $5,000 in deferred compensation. The suggestion came with an eye toward phasing in increases over the next few years based on performance. Commissioner Greg Harris was quick to agree with commissioner Ron Handley indicating he was “good with the way it was written.” Elwell’s final suggestion that the contract reference her performance of the duties detailed in the job description also was shot down, with Stewart laughing at the idea that the “CEO of the county,” as she put it, would even need a a job description. Before casting the lone negative vote to name Fisher as county administrator, Elwell emphasized his problem was not with her ability to do the job but in trying to find a balance between fairly compensating the administrator and protecting taxpayer dollars.

Lawton, Oklahoma (population 96,867): A stunning development Tuesday night from Lawton City Hall where the City Council voted to fire City Manager Larry Mitchell, according to KSWO. The vote followed a long debate behind closed doors during executive session, and when the council returned, Mayor Fred Fitch announced that no action was taken.  That’s when Doug Wells made a motion to terminate Mitchell’s contract, effective immediately. The vote was 5-4 to terminate, with Wells, Bill Shoemate, Michael Tenis, Richard Zarle and Rosemary Bellino-Hall voting in favor. After the vote, Mayor Fitch called it unfair.  Councilman George Moses angrily questioned Wells, and called it the most deceitful thing he’d seen the council do.  He also asked for an investigation into whether the other council members had discussed the action before the vote.  Mayor Fitch said he would take it up with the Attorney General Wednesday morning.

Portsmouth, Virginia (population 95,535): Portsmouth City Manager Ken Chandler has resigned in the wake of criticism for his handling of the employment of former Fire Chief Don Horton, according to WVEC. The City Council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation, while granting him one more month on the job and one year of severance pay totaling $192,000. Horton resigned this summer and was receiving a salary under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Then Chandler hired him as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management without notifying Council.  The $98,000-a-year position was not in the budget, council members said. Council heard from Chandler about the issue during Monday night’s work session meeting. After that meeting, Mayor Kenneth Wright said the work session was productive and that additional requested information would be reviewed in a closed session at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. After that, Wright said a decision would be made. Chandler was expected to offer his resignation Tuesday night, with the stipulations that he would continue working for 30 days and receive one year’s pay. Portsmouth resident James Brady was unhappy with the severance package. The assistant city manager is expected to step in while the city searches for a new city manager.

Montibello, California (population 62,500): After years of unstable leadership, officials hope that the selection of Montebello’s first woman city administrator will bring some stability to the city, according to the Whittier Daily News. The City Council on Wednesday selected Montebello’s finance director, Francesca Tucker-Schuyler, to take over as the city’s top executive full-time. Tucker-Schuyler was first appointed as the interim city administrator in May and has worked as the city’s finance director for almost two years. According to the draft contract agreement, Tucker-Schuyler will have an annual salary of $195,000. The council voted a rare 4-0 in support of the selection – bucking its usual trend of divided votes. Only Mayor Frank Gomez – who for months has been calling for the city to hire a permanent city administrator – abstained from the vote. He did not return calls for comment regarding why he abstained. Council members said they selected Tucker-Schuyler because of her extensive knowledge of the city’s finances and helping enhance the city’s cash flow. They credited her with successfully balancing the fiscal 2012-13 budget, navigating the city through four audits by the State Controller’s office and being instrumental in moving the city toward financial recovery. Councilman Art Barajas said Tucker-Schuyler has the qualifications and vision to help the city succeed. Tucker-Schuyler welcomed the new challenge. Montebello has had a revolving door of city managers since former City Administrator Richard Torres, who lead the city for nearly two decades, was fired in 2007. Torres was briefly replaced by interim Administrator Randy Narramore. But then Torres was rehired in January 2008. He then retired in December 2009 and was replaced with Interim City Administrator Nick Pacheco, who was quickly fired after just three weeks on the job. Narramore again played top executive before being fired in 2010. Peter Cosentini then took on the position for a mere seven months before resigning, citing his frustration with the City Council’s progress in addressing the city’s fiscal crisis. Larry Kosmont then served as Montebello’s top administrator for nine months before also resigning earlier this year. He was then followed by Interim Assistant City Administrator Keith Breskin, who resigned in May after coming to a head with council members over how to balance the city’s budget. In all, there have been seven temporary replacements in charge of managing the city in the past five years. The city did not recruit for the position, officials said. City officials said they plan to hire a full-time finance director in Tucker-Schuyler’s place.

Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): Grant Yates, a veteran municipal employee working for Temecula, will be Lake Elsinore’s next city manager, the City Council decided this week, according to the North County Times. The City Council selected Yates on Tuesday from among seven finalists for the position, which became available with the firing of Bob Brady on March 13. Yates said in an interview Wednesday that the job attracted him because of what he views as a dynamic future for the city as it emerges from the economic downturn. The executive search conducted by a city-hired consultant attracted more than 70 applicants, Mayor Brian Tisdale said. The decision to go with Yates came in an earlier meeting Tuesday closed to the public because it involved a personnel decision. The mayor said the decision was unanimous among the five council members. He said Yates’ knowledge of the region and the success he had in Temecula were among the reasons he was selected. Yates is expected to start the job Nov. 19 after the council finalizes terms of his contract in its Nov. 13 meeting, City Clerk Virginia Bloom said Wednesday. Details of the contract will not be released to the public until then, she said. Brady had been making $185,000 a year plus benefits when he was let go. Yates, 48, works for Temecula as its community relations director after having served as its deputy city manager. He was promoted to that position in 2006 after working as assistant to the city manager. He started with Temecula in 1991 in financial services, according to information provided by Lake Elsinore officials. Before coming to Temecula, Yates worked with the city of Carlsbad from 1987 to 1991 as its employment services manager. While those cities have their own set of attributes, Yates said Lake Elsinore, with its prized lake and reputation for extreme sports, has its unique attractions. The Lake Elsinore position opened up after the City Council voted 3-2 in March to oust Brady in a move that stirred up public unrest. While Brady was popular among many residents, council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted to get rid of him, saying the city had failed to progress as quickly as it should have during his seven-year tenure. Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee opposed the move, saying they believed Brady had done a good job of guiding the city through difficult economic circumstances. Following Brady’s departure, Lake, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy served as acting city manager until the council brought in former city of Riverside executive Tom Evans as interim city manager in late April.

Newburgh, New York (population 29,801): Four days after Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek was stopped in his car with a woman he said was a heroin addict, he has quit, according to the Mid-Hudson News. Herbek told Mayor Judy Kennedy on Sunday that he was resigning. After the traffic stop last Wednesday, Herbek told MidHudsonNews.com that he was helping her kick the drug habit and that he was offering her counseling.  The following day, Kennedy said Herbek would have decisions to make, but she did not elaborate. Herbek’s contract with the city was set to expire in January and there were mixed views by city council members as to if he should be re-upped.

Butts County, Georgia (population 23,655): After having served 10 months in the position on an interim basis, J. Michael Brewer was elevated to the role of county administrator on Monday, according to the Jackson Progress-Argus. Butts County commissioners made the appointment in a 4-1 vote during a special called meeting, with District 3 Commissioner Mike Patterson voting in opposition. The county administrator’s position had been vacant since the December 2011 departure of Alan E. White, who had held the job since 2009, simultaneously serving as director of the county’s development authority. He resigned both positions at the end of last year. Since White’s resignation, Brewer, who has been deputy county administrator since 2007, had been serving on an interim basis in the top job. The appointment Monday came after an hour of discussion among commissioners in a closed-door executive session, which Brewer was not a part of. In making the appointment, commissioners noted it was contingent on the county attorney’s review of Brewer’s proposed contract, a draft of which was not immediately made available Monday night. Brewer, 46, a Butts County native and a longtime county employee, noted before the Board of Commissioners retired for a second executive session that he had not yet agreed to the contract. Before making the motion to tap him for the top job, District 2 Commissioner Robert L. Henderson, Sr., said he’d been pleased with Brewer’s performance. After successfully blocking discussion of the county administrator’s position from being added to the commission’s agenda earlier this month, Patterson again on Monday attempted to block the appointment, offering a motion to table the discussion. The motion died for lack of a second. Patterson said he wanted 30 days to revisit the idea of a search committee to find candidates for the position, and to review Brewer’s proposed contract. He also openly questioned the existence of the proposed contract. Commission Chairman Roger McDaniel responded that the contract was a starting point for discussions. Contract negotiations had been a stumbling block with the county commission’s previous pick for county administrator. After naming a sole finalist for the job in January, officials ultimately were unable to reach a deal with the prospect. McDaniel said Monday that commissioners decided then to maintain the status quo for a while with Brewer as interim, in part to save money, but added that the workload “put us in a position we need to, sometime in the very near future, fill the position of administrator.” Commissioners also informally signaled approval of a plan McDaniel described to re-fill the vacant position of county controller, a position overseeing county finances and investments, rather than filling the position of deputy county administrator that Brewer would be vacating. District 4 Commissioner Keith Douglas, who seconded the motion to appoint Brewer, noted he’d also been happy with Brewer’s performance, and wished to move forward.

Morrisville, North Carolina (population 18,576): Town Manager John Whitson is leaving Morrisville after nine years at the helm of the town’s day-to-day operations, according to The Cary News. Whitson has accepted a job as city manager of Texarkana, Texas. While Whitson, 63, has received positive job-performance reviews and two pay raises in the past 12 months, Texas has a lure that Morrisville can’t offer: family and hometown roots. Whitson said he wants to be closer to his daughter, who lives in Oklahoma. And his new job is about 120 miles from his hometown of Soper, Okla. Since Whitson has more than 20 years of service in North Carolina, he is officially retiring from the state system. He started in the Forsyth County town of Lewisville in 1992 as the community’s first town manager. Whitson’s last day in Morrisville is Dec. 14. The council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the historic Christian Church to talk about the search for an interim manager. Since Whitson was hired in Morrisville in 2003, he has been credited with saving the town money through a water-sewer utility merger with Cary, and also expanding the town’s borders. Mayor Jackie Holcombe said Whitson’s leadership style has led to a culture of staff empowerment.

Washington, Illinois (population 15,134): Tim Gleason is Washington’s new city administrator, according to the Journal Star. City Council members Monday approved Gleason’s contract, which will pay him an annual salary of $98,000. His first day of employment will be Nov. 5. State law limits Gleason’s contract length to April 30, 2013, when Washington Mayor Gary Manier’s term expires. At that time, Gleason and the city can negotiate a contract renewal. Gleason replaces interim city administrator Bob Morris, who retired July 31. Morris retired as city administrator in June 2011 but returned to his former job on an interim basis in September 2011, one month after Richard Downey resigned following just seven weeks with the city. Downey would have been paid $100,000 annually. Gleason said he wasn’t concerned that he went into the city’s hiring process without city government experience. He has extensive experience in law enforcement. He was a member of the Pekin Police Department from 1989 to 2010, retiring as a lieutenant. Among his duties in Pekin were field training supervisor, firearms instructor, officer in charge of the Investigation Unit, and labor negotiator for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 105. He’s been working in management for the state since leaving Pekin, most recently as head of the human resources and management operations divisions of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development. Gleason earned a bachelor’s degree in management with a minor in labor from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 1995, and a master’s degree in public administration with a graduate certificate in collective bargaining from the university in 2007. He and his wife, Becky, live in Morton. They have five children, with daughters ages 8 and 17 still at home. While his new contract doesn’t require Gleason to move to Washington, he said he plans to do so.

Archuleta County, Colorado (population 12,084): Greg Schulte, Archuleta County administrator since 2008, has announced his resignation and move to a position in California, according to the Pagosa Springs Sun. Schulte said Nov. 16 will be his last day on the job for Archuleta County. He will take a position as assistant county administrator for San Luis Obispo County, in California. That county has 2,400 employees and a yearly budget just short of a half billion dollars. Schulte and his wife have a long relationship with San Luis Obispo, he said. Schulte attended high school and college in the area and he and his wife once resided there. Schulte said he believes he is leaving a county ready to face the future, on solid terms. Commission chair Clifford Lucero reacted to Schulte’s resignation, which the administrator delivered to the commissioners at a Tuesday meeting. Lucero said a process for selecting a replacement will be announced soon.

Reedsport, Oregon (population 4,154): Jonathan Wright, 39, started as city manager last week, a month after the City Council voted unanimously to offer him the job, according to News Right Today. He will receive an annual salary of $75,000, while working to turn around the economy of the 4,000-resident city. Wright has been a county administrative planner since 2005 and the county’s liaison to Reedsport since 2007. In addition to county government experience, Wright owns a construction business and served in the military.

Argyle, Texas (population 3,282): The Argyle Town Council named a town manager Tuesday and appointed Mayor Matt Smith to fulfill the town manager duties until that man starts next month, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The council named Charles West as town manager in a 3-2 vote. Smith said after negotiating a contract with West, the council is expected to finalize the hire Nov. 13. Smith said West will start in about 30 days. Despite pleas from council member Joey Hasty for unanimity, Bonny Haynes and Peggy Krueger voted against the appointment, saying a second applicant might have been a better fit for the town. During an executive session Tuesday, the council interviewed two applicants who were picked by a search firm as the most qualified for the position. Haynes said the second applicant, whose name was not released, had more experience as a town manager. Hasty made three motions for Haynes and Krueger to reconsider their votes in an attempt to produce a unanimous vote. Hasty said the council should be united in its decision to hire an official who will help make the town more efficient. Hasty said West is more than qualified, adding that the new manager will help get the town in order and that the town has lacked leadership since losing its town manager in the spring. During an Aug. 28 meeting, council members voted 3-2 to end the contract between the last interim town manager, Rod Hogan, before finding a replacement. Council members who voted for the termination said the interim town manager did not live up to the council’s expectations. Smith said Hogan’s termination was a sum of many issues he felt illustrated unsatisfactory leadership. Hogan was hired to replace former Town Manager Lyle Dresher, who resigned March 26 after five years on the job. After Hogan’s termination, Smith said he felt confident in town employees’ ability to manage their respective departments. However, since Dresher’s retirement and Hogan’s termination, council members have noted that town employees have been tasked with heavier loads. So, the council voted 3-2 to appoint Smith as interim town manager without pay. Council members Hasty, Joan Delashaw and David Wintermute voted for Smith’s appointment, while Haynes and Krueger voted against it. The council moved to open session to appoint Smith at about 5:20 p.m., despite the open session being scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Haynes described the appointment as a fox watching the hen house. Smith said the appointment was necessary because in the absence of a town manager he has been tasked with the responsibilities anyway. Town attorney Matthew Boyle said the appointment was appropriate because the mayor is the executive officer of the town and because he received a majority vote from the council. Boyle said the action did not give Smith the authority to act independently of the Town Council. A spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office cited several points of law, including one that forbids a town from appointing a council member to a position like town manager, but he would not say whether he believed the town’s action Tuesday violated that law. It was not clear whether that law applied to Smith since he will be unpaid.

Lincoln, Maine (population 2,884): The town manager in Lincoln is out after only a few months on the job, according to the Bangor Daily News. The town council voted 6-0 at a special meeting Thursday night to terminate the contract of Bill Reed, who was still on his six-month probationary period after being hired in June. Councilors did not give a reason for firing Reed, but council chairman Steve Clay said it was not related to the recent discovery of some $1.5 million in accounting errors in the last two town budgets. Clay told the Bangor Daily News that Reed just wasn’t a good fit. Police Chief William Lawrence was appointed to serve as interim town manager until a permanent replacement is hired.

Cologne, Minnesota (population 1,519): After several months of closed meetings, during which Cologne City Administrator John Douville was placed on leave three separate times, the city council voted 4-1 to fire Douville during a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10, according to the Waconia Patriot. As evidenced by councilor Matt Lein’s vote against the termination, however, the decision was not unanimous, and Douville himself said he felt the actions taken by the council were inappropriate. Lein agreed, at least in part. A summary statement from the council listed 17 reasons for the termination of Douville, who had been employed with the city since 2004. Among them were ineffective working relationships with certain co-workers, engaging in retaliatory conduct against certain employees who complained about his conduct, and engaging in conduct that threatened, intimidated, or coerced other employees and a council member. Also included were a repeated refusal or failure to follow the city’s directives, substantially disregarding the city’s interests in performing job duties on several occasions, destruction of city property without the council’s consent, “questionable activities” involving a city-issued laptop, and a failure to provide administrative supervision to the council’s satisfaction. Douville disputed those findings. The expenses for the city to obtain legal guidance through the process, which included no fewer than nine closed meetings in August through October, have added up rapidly. The city budgeted $3,500 for legal expenses for this year, but has already paid $33,000 to the Melchert, Hubert and Sjodin law firm. Douville, however, said those expenses could have been avoided, or at least reduced. Without an administrator in place, Mayor Bernie Shambour said that city administrative workers will be under close supervision from the city’s personnel committee, consisting of Shambour, and councilor Jill Skaaland. While the end of the year can be a critical time with budget setting and the election this fall, Shambour said the city is in relatively good shape as the personnel committee prepares to recruit and interview applicants. At the council meeting Monday evening, however, Shambour acknowledged that he was a little nervous about setting water and sewer rates for 2013, something he said Douville was very good at during his eight-year tenure. Council members will work with remaining city staff to set those fees while the administrator search is underway. The council plans to check with the League of Minnesota Cities for candidates, as well as advertise locally. Shambour said it would be preferable to find a local candidate with knowledge of the area and the local culture. The objective of the personnel committee is to hire a new city administrator by the end of December. Lein said one of his reasons for voting against Douville’s termination was the shuffle that would ensue to make sure all the city’s needs were covered. The strain will be exacerbated by the recent departure of the city’s public utilities supervisor, a position the council is still working to fill. To help bridge the gap until new employees can be hired, the council approved an extension in working hours to remaining public works and office staff during the Monday meeting. Other considerations now on the minds of city officials and remaining employees include assembling a crew for snow plowing this winter and getting the city’s fall newsletter completed and sent to the production in time for distribution.

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

Fayettville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s City Manager Dale Iman announced Friday he is resigning April 1, ending his five-year tenure under pressure from a majority of City Council members, according to . Because of unused vacation time, next week will likely be his last on the job, Mayor Tony Chavonne said. Council members discussed Iman during a closed session Monday and decided they wanted him to step down amid criticism of his handling of the police consent search issue. He was told of the decision Tuesday. Statistics show about two-thirds of all consent searches during police traffic stops involve blacks, which has stirred allegations of racial profiling. Iman and Police Chief Tom Bergamine have denied the accusations and defended consent searches, which are used when officers don’t have probable cause. The council in January ordered an outside review and imposed a moratorium on consent searches, which a judge halted last week. A court hearing Monday will consider a preliminary injunction against the city. Iman and Bergamine opposed the probe and moratorium. The council’s growing frustration with both men – and in particular with Iman’s recent responses to the issue – appeared to reach a tipping point this week. Councilman Keith Bates was one of Iman’s supporters. One was Iman’s surprise announcement March 1 that police would begin using newly drafted driver consent forms starting March 5. Bates said the council voted down the idea in October. Another irksome decision came Feb. 29 when Iman announced by email that Bergamine would sit on an advisory panel assisting in the search for a new chief. Bergamine, 58, plans to retire effective July 1. Iman has refused to speak with a reporter this week. Councilwoman Val Applewhite said Iman had a difficult job trying to keep nine council members and the mayor happy. Chavonne said Iman has written his resignation letter, but it wasn’t included in an email to the council announcing his decision. A reporter was unable to obtain a copy of the letter Friday. Chavonne said the city would honor any obligations in Iman’s contract. According to a copy of the contract obtained Thursday, Iman would get a year’s salary if he were fired. If he resigned “following a suggestion either formal or informal” by the council, he could deem that a termination. He earns $176,693 a year. The city also must cover Iman’s health benefits for a year or until a new employer provides that coverage. Iman, 57, took over in fall 2006. Under his direction, the council adopted a five-year capital-improvement plan and began more consistently budgeting money to repave streets, demolish blighted buildings and replace aging vehicles and computers. The council adopted a program to improve rental housing and rewrote zoning and development codes. Last August, Iman received a 4 percent pay raise in what Chavonne described at the time as Iman’s best evaluation. Highlights of the review included the city’s response to the April tornadoes and last summer’s opening of N.C. Veterans Park. His tenure included tumultuous times, such as the 2007 “ticketgate” incident in which a traffic citation given to a friend of the mayor’s was improperly voided by police. In July 2010, council members were shocked to discover about $500,000 in transit money meant for bus shelters and other improvements wasn’t going to be spent under Iman’s direction. The racial disparities in police consent searches publicly surfaced in late 2010. The issue later divided the council and spurred concerns by civil rights groups and activists. The city hired the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to conduct an outside review. The consultants will report their findings Monday. Iman told the council in a Feb. 29 email that the “allegations will be laid to rest” by the report. Chavonne said the council was forced to adopt the moratorium to have an outside review done. Chavonne acknowledged that Iman’s departure comes at a critical time during budget preparations. An assistant manager position is vacant, too. The council, he said, will likely name an acting city manager next week. He expects the city to begin a national search for a permanent replacement.

Port St. Lucie, Florida (population 164,603): City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Linda Bartz voting no, to fire City Manager Jerry Bentrott, according to WPTV. Assistant City Manager Greg Oravec was appointed acting city manager. A motion to fire City Attorney Roger Orr failed. Councilwoman Michelle Berger had motioned for City Manager Jerry Bentrott to be terminated. Councilwoman Shannon Martin seconded the motion. Both Berger and Martin had expressed their disappointment in how Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr handled department leadership and staff during the fall out a drinking and driving incident involving former Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor. The motion comes in the wake of Taylor’s termination Thursday morning. Mayor JoAnn Faiella had requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager. The emergency meeting was paused so Council could return and make a formal motion. Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated. Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant during the earlier discussion in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions. He said it would be “ridiculous” to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he’s already lost all credibility. Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file. Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks. Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. on Feb. 18 after Officer N. Lovechio witnessed Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.

Vallejo, California (population 115,942): By the end of his first week at Vallejo City Hall, Dan Keen said the city had not yet managed to surprise him, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. But the city’s first full-time city manager since June 2009, chocks that up to 28 years of municipal experience. But there has been a little bit of paddling upstream for the new full-time city manager, he said. Keen, 52, comes to Vallejo from managing the city of Concord for the past three years. He said he has worked toward that goal of setting priorities through a series of meetings with the City Council and key staff members. He named obvious looming issues like overseeing the construction of the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget within the next three and a half months, potential employee contract negotiations — and his first Council meeting next Tuesday. Keen commended efforts by the city’s most recent interim city manager, Phil Batchelor — branded a “turnaround specialist — to fill most of the city’s looming top executive staff vacancies. With Batchelor’s legwork in the past 14 months, Keen said his new role was a little easier to fit into. He praised the city’s executive team as “outstanding” with “a lot of energy, great attitudes, good outlook on taking the city to a different place.” But plenty of work remains, said Keen, who has managed four other cities in the past 16 years.

Longmont, Colorado (population 86,270): A reception honoring departing city manager Gordon Pedrow will be held March 20, according to the Longmont Times-Call. Pedrow came to Longmont in 1993 from Glendale, Ariz. In the time since, Longmont grew from 52,000 people to about 87,000. He and his wife, Pam, plan to remain active in the community. On Thursday, the Longmont Police Department dedicated its new shooting range to Pedrow. The new city manager, Harold Dominguez, starts work April 2.

Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): After seven years on the job, Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady’s tenure ended Tuesday when three of five City Council members voted to fire him, despite protests by dozens of residents and the threat of a recall campaign, according to the North County Times. Council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted in favor of Brady’s dismissal, while Mayor Brian Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee cast the dissenting votes. The action before the public in the council’s regular meeting echoed a decision the council had reached earlier during its performance review of Brady in a session closed to the public because it involved personnel matters. Leading up to the final vote, each of the three council members supporting Brady’s dismissal stated their rationales. Weber cited several areas where he felt Brady was lacking, including communications with some council members, the business community and the media. Hickman criticized Brady as allowing city government to be unfriendly toward business. Magee defended Brady’s integrity and performance, while Tisdale lamented the impending action. Melendez said her main objection was over the city manager’s contract, which various councils voted to increase from an annual base salary of $135,000 in 2005 to $185,000 to 2008, a contract extended last year to 2015. Also, Melendez said Brady was able to accrue administrative, sick and vacation leave for which the city is liable. In open session, she offered a compromise in which Brady would have agreed to revert to a $135,000 base salary with only annual extensions and no accrued leave beyond a two-week yearly vacation. No other council members, however, responded to the offer, and the vote on Brady’s termination went forward. As a result of guarantees written into his contract, Brady, a 14-year-city employee, will receive a year’s worth of salary and benefits as well as reimbursement for leave. In total, he will receive about $400,000 in severance pay, said James Riley, the city’s finance director. After the council’s decision, Brady was given a chance to speak. He thanked the public and staff, while defending his record. He acknowledged the outpouring of support for him. Subsequently, the council appointed Aquatic Resources, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy to serve as interim city manager. Prior to the meeting, more than 60 residents organized by a newly formed group called A Better Lake Elsinore led by local businessman Harvey Ryan and other civic leaders rallied in support of Brady and to protest against the three council members poised to remove him. After the council convened, 11 people spoke against Brady’s termination, one email was read into the record in support of keeping Brady, and one person supported release. Longtime activist Chris Hyland announced she is launching a recall campaign aimed at Hickman and served him with a notice to that effect. She alleged Hickman has failed to file accurate campaign financial disclosures and made racist remarks, among other allegations. Hickman called the allegations “bogus.”

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): City Manager Gary Adams is resigning due to personal reasons after less than a year in the position, according to the Dayton Daily News. City Council is expected to accept Adams’ resignation at Monday night’s meeting, and appoint Public Safety Director Jim Borland as the new city manager. Adams’ resignation is effective March 16, and he will move back to Illinois, where he has been offered a position of project manager/associate pastor for adult ministries at Harvest Baptist Church in Oswego. Adams’ wife — who had surgery about a year ago — and two daughters reside in Illinois, and the Adamses haven’t been able to sell their home. Adams, 64, started at the end of May 2011, and has 36 years of experience in city and county government. His annual salary was $135,000. Adams will remain as a consultant on a one-year agreement with the city at $50 an hour, not to exceed $10,000. Borland’s salary will be $130,000; he was previously making $103,000. The public safety director position is not expected to be filled, Mayor Ron Fisher said, and Borland will still be responsible for public safety. Adams came to Huber Heights with the reputation of fostering economic expansion and new development, and city officials believe the city will continue to build on what Adams has established. Borland, who served as interim city manager prior to Adams’ hiring, did not return messages seeking comment.

Botetourt County, Virginia (population 33,148): He’s gotten well-wishes from friends, colleagues – even Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, according to WDBJ. Botetourt County Administrator Jerry Burgess is ending his nearly 20-year career with the county. Burgess came to Botetourt County in 1992 after working in Florida. He was tasked with building the county’s tax base, but says he’s most proud of the team he’s managed to bring together. While Burgess is excited about his future, he knows the county is facing a challenge as the Commonwealth works to nail down a budget. The county hopes to name a new administrator by the end of the month. As for Burgess’ tie to Coach K – the two were classmates at West Point together.

McHenry, Illinois (population 26,992): Administrative shake-ups for the cities of McHenry and Woodstock will be taking place next month, according to the Northwest Herald. Personnel changes come after McHenry City Administrator Chris Black accepted a job offer earlier this week to be finance director for the city of Rockford. The McHenry City Council on Thursday approved Mayor Sue Low’s recommendation to hire Derik Morefield as the next city administrator. Morefield, 43, is the deputy city manager for Woodstock. Earlier this week, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey announced Black as his pick to be finance director. Rockford, the third-largest largest city in Illinois, had been searching for a finance director since fall. Black, a Rockford native and resident, was contacted by the city’s search committee about a month ago and went through interviews with committee members. With the Rockford City Council’s approval, Black is expected to begin his new job in May. Black worked in Rockford’s finance department as a financial analyst beginning in 1998. He was promoted to central services manager in 1999 and held that position until 2006, when he became McHenry’s finance director. In August 2010, he was named city administrator. He lives in Rockford with his family. Black, 45, said the decision was a difficult one. Low said she was “saddened” when she learned over the weekend that McHenry may be losing an “exceptional employee.” Black will stay on to help the city complete its budget cycle. Morefield, Black’s successor, was interviewed this week by each of the McHenry City Council aldermen. On Thursday, the council discussed Morefield’s candidacy in a closed session and afterward authorized the mayor to offer the job to Morefield. The attorney for the city of McHenry is preparing Morefield’s contract. The City Council is expected to vote on contract approval at its next regular meeting, March 19. Meanwhile, Woodstock officials plan to review the deputy city manager’s position and make any needed updates before starting its hiring process, City Manager Tim Clifton said. Morefield’s move to McHenry will serve both communities well, Clifton said. Morefield has 14 years of experience in municipal affairs. He’s been Woodstock’s deputy city manager since 2007. Before that, he served as Woodstock’s director of business development and assistant city manager. Morefield also has led economic development and downtown revitalization initiatives for the city.

Windsor, California (population 26,801): Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan, who helped guide Sonoma County’s youngest city since its incorporation, announced his retirement Monday, according to the Press Democrat. Mullan, 60, informed the Town Council of his decision last week during his annual performance evaluation conducted in closed session. The Town Council agreed to hire a recruiting firm to find a successor for Mullan, who earns more than $185,000 annually. He will stay on the job until the end of the year. Mullan has worked in Windsor since 1989, beginning as assistant general manager of the Windsor Water District. When Windsor incorporated in 1992, he became assistant town manager and in 2005 was appointed town manager. Mullan’s guidance helped Windsor become one of the most financially stable cities in Sonoma County, Fudge said. His expertise with water systems was especially helpful when Windsor transitioned to a full-fledged town. Fudge credited him with innovative methods for handling Windsor’s treated wastewater, including recycling it into yard irrigation for more than 580 homes in the Vintage Greens subdivision. He also helped finalize a deal to hook-up to Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline, sending wastewater to the geothermal field for a steam-to-electricity conversion. While his predecessor, Paul Berlant, played a pivotal role in creating the Town Green, Mullan recalls negotiating the purchase of the land “when it was just a dirt pile,” before it was transformed into a plaza with shops and townhomes that became a model for smart growth. Mullan said there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm when Windsor residents decided two decades ago to incorporate. Mullan, who grew up in San Francisco, began his government career in 1977, working in Daly City in the utility department, billing and supervising meter reading. He went on to work for Citizens Utilities as a district manager for the private water company, including in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Larkfield. Prior to working in Windsor, he worked as a water conservation administrator for the City of San Francisco. Mullan said that among other things he wants to spend more time with his first grandchild, seven months old, who lives near Sacramento. He also said he may do some consulting as well as part-time teaching in public administration at San Francisco State or the University of San Francisco.

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

Newton, Iowa (population 15,254): Newton’s new City Administrator Bob Knabel knows how big an impact Maytag can have on a community, according to the Newton Daily News. He saw it firsthand during his time in Galesburg, Ill., a community that lost a Maytag production facility and jobs in 2004, three years before Maytag shut down Plant 2 in Newton. Knabel served as city manager in Galesburg between 1987 and 1997 and owned a restaurant in that community for part of that time as well. Knabel started last week in his role as Newton’s new city administrator. He brings a wide range of experience to the position coming most recently from Collinsville, Ill. near St. Louis has served over the years in city government in other communities throughout Illinois and even in New York. Bouncing from community to community is not uncommon among city managers and is something Knabel sees as coming with the territory. As councils change, so does the direction a particular city is heading. “Stability is five, six years, seven years — that’s the average tenure of a city administrator,” Knabel said, noting that over several election cycles, council members change and those who hire a particular administrator leave. New council members want to accomplish something different.

Hope Mills, North Carolina (population 15,176): The new town manager’s contract says it would take a simple majority vote by the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners to fire him, but a 4-1 vote to deny him severance, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Questions have arisen among some residents about the wording in John Ellis’ contract, which made it sound to some as if it would take a 4-1 vote to fire him. Town attorney Neil Yarborough said Tuesday that’s not true. The contract, approved March 5 by the board, lists reasons the manager’s employment could be terminated. They include his death, or termination “with cause” or “without cause.” Among the reasons for firing with cause include “such gross misconduct or neglect of duty as to be inimical to the interests of good government in the Town of Hope Mills as determined by at least a four-fifths vote of the Town Board.” Some residents took that to mean a 4-1 vote was needed to fire Ellis, instead of a simple majority of three members. Yarborough, who drew up the contract, said it would take a 4-1 vote only to deny the manager his severance package in the event of his firing. Yarborough said the manager would have had to engaged in “outrageous conduct” for him to be fired with cause. If fired without cause, the contract says Ellis would get six months of pay, payment for accrued annual leave and payment of health insurance for six months. Ellis is the former town finance director. He was appointed interim town manager when Randy Beeman was fired by a 3-2 vote in January. Commissioners cited several reasons for Beeman’s firing. He came under fire after recordings of him criticizing town officials were anonymously delivered to then-Mayor Eddie Dees. The 4-1 vote requirement to deny a severance package in certain instances was not included in Beeman’s contract, Yarborough said. Ellis was named town manager after a closed session March 5. The vote to hire him was 3-2, with Mike Mitchell, Pat Edwards and Bob Gorman voting for him and Tonzie Collins and Jerry Legge voting no. Collins and Legge said they wanted a more thorough search for a permanent manager. Ellis’ salary is $100,000 and will increase to $105,000 after six months. Beeman was paid about $84,000. Mayor Jackie Warner said the higher pay is in line with a recommendation from the N.C. League of Municipalities. Warner said Ellis did not negotiate the contract, except to request that he be given six months to relocate to Hope Mills instead of four months. The town agreed to pay him up to $2,500 in moving expenses. Ellis and his family live in Fuquay-Varina, where he used to serve as town manager. Ellis said he is satisfied with the contract as written. He is scheduled to be sworn in as town manager at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania (population 14,959): Joseph S. Czajkowski, who will be Lower Salford’s new township manager, starts the job April 10, according to the Montgomery News. With current manager J. Delton Plank set to retire the end of April, Czajkowski’s hiring was approved at the March 7 Lower Salford Township Board of Supervisors meeting. board Chairman Douglas Gifford said. Czajkowski is currently the manager in Newtown Township, Bucks County. His previous positions include with Lower Gwynedd Township and Comcast. He was chosen from almost 50 people who applied, Gifford said. The incoming Lower Salford manager was accompanied to the March 7 meeting by his wife and three children. His salary in the new position is $115,000, and is similar to what Plank was paid. Plank, whose previous positions include ones in Souderton Borough and Franconia Township, has been Lower Salford’s manager for 11 years. Sheila Freed, Lower Salford’s finance director, will also be retiring this year. Her retirement will be at the end of June, Gifford said as the board approved beginning advertising for a replacement. Freed, who has been in the Lower Salford position for about 10 years, previously worked for Franconia Township, Plank said following the meeting.

Hanover, Massachusetts (population 13,879): Troy Clarkson says he couldn’t resist placing his name into consideration to be Hanover’s new town manager, even though he had renewed his commitment to his town manager’s job in Bridgewater last fall, according to The Boston Globe. At the time, Clarkson had bowed out of the running for a similar position in Kingston. But then the Hanover job came along. Clarkson was chosen by Hanover selectmen Monday over 49 other candidates for the post. The job will pay about $130,000 annually. Clarkson, a Falmouth resident and former Plymouth County administrator, will succeed Steve Rollins, who retires in June after 25 years as Hanover’s top administrator. Once he takes the reins, Clarkson said his primary goals will be to promote continuing economic development in the Route 53 corridor and also pick up on the remediation efforts at the National Fireworks Co. site, which are in negotiations. The sprawling 240-acre property located off King and Winter streets borders Hanson and Pembroke. Waterways that flow through the parcel are contaminated with heavy metals and solvents from generations of manufacturing explosives and munitions at the site, and town and state officials are working to determine who would be responsible for the cleanup. If they cannot make that determination and have a plan in place by June, the state will bring in the federal government by having the property put on a national priority list for Superfund cleanup. Hanover has sought to avoid this in order to retain local control. Clarkson did not offer specifics on his economic growth ideas but said he had laid out some possibilities for selectmen. Susan Setterland, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, praised the five-member screening committee that narrowed the field of candidates to the finalists: Clarkson, interim Ipswich town administrator Thomas Younger, and Bourne Town Administrator Thomas Guerino. But Clarkson’s abilities, skills, and focus on communication really stood out, she said, and he took it upon himself to get to know what was going on in Hanover both fiscally and socially. While an offer has been made, and contract negotiations are expected to wrap up this week, Setterland said Clarkson is still subject to a background check as well as both a physical and psychological exam. If all goes well, Clarkson is bound to give 30-days’ notice to Bridgewater and then will begin work in Hanover to learn the ropes alongside Rollins until he leaves. Clarkson said going to work in Hanover will benefit him personally and professionally but he’ll also miss many of his colleagues in Bridgewater, including his department heads. What he won’t miss is his rancorous power struggles with the nine-member Bridgewater Town Council that blew up last year with a court battle over who had the authority to hire and fire. It ended with Clarkson being reprimanded for seeking the legal opinion. He also survived an attempt to have him removed from his post last July, because of the challenge. Still, despite the turmoil, Clarkson said he was grateful for his time in Bridgewater. He said he took on the Bridgewater job as it was in the midst of converting from a Town Meeting and Board of Selectmen form of government to that of a town manager and Town Council. Such a drastic transition could be hard on anybody, he said. At least one member of the Town Council feels the same way. Bill Callahan said that Clarkson did an excellent job in Bridgewater and that Hanover is lucky to have him. Calls and e-mails to seven other members of the council, including the president and vice president, were not returned. Council member Mike Demos said he had no comment. Hanover has undergone a similar governmental change over the past two years, after residents adopted the Town Manager Act, which involved increasing the number of selectmen in the town from three to five and streamlining town departments into a centralized operation with six departments. That transition has gone smoothly as Rollins, who had previously served as the longtime town administrator, agreed to shepherd the changes until his contract runs out in June. Setterland said everyone is looking forward to Clarkson coming on board. She praised Rollins and his longtime commitment to the town, acknowledging that he will be missed for his many day-to-day contributions.

Swampscott, Massachusetts (population 13,787): The Swampscott Board of Selectmen on Wednesday picked Thomas Younger as the new town administrator, according to the Boston Globe. The board voted 3-2 in favor of Younger, the interim town manager in Ipswich, over Swampscott resident Gerard Perry, director of accounts at the state Department of Revenue. Christopher Senior of Port Washington, N.Y., was a third finalist, culled from a group of about 50 candidates. After Board of Selectmen chairman Matthew Strauss cast the deciding vote, the board voted a second time to make it unanimous, as a show of support. Strauss said that he expected to conduct negotiations within a few days of the decision. The job was advertised with a salary range of $113,000 to $130,000. Pending a successful negotiation, Younger will replace Andrew Maylor, who was town administrator for nine years until December 2011, when he left to become town manager in North Andover. Dave Castellarin, Swampscott’s assistant town administrator, has been serving as interim town administrator since Maylor’s departure. Younger, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University, has a long history in town and state government, most recently serving as town administrator in North Reading for 10 years and his hometown of Belmont for 6 1/2 years before taking the interim job in Ipswich in January. Previously, he worked for nine years as property transactions manager for the state Division of Capital Planning and Operations, and he has also held municipal jobs in Oak Bluffs and Norton. He is president of the Massachusetts Municipal Managers Association. In recent months, he has been a finalist for town manager or administrator jobs in Hanover, Winchester, Marblehead and – ironically – North Andover, where he lost out to Maylor. Maylor, too, was a finalist in several town manager/administrator searches before landing in North Andover. In addition to his position with the state Department of Revenue, Perry is a longtime Town Meeting member who has served on several volunteer committees. Selectmen David Van Dam and Richard Malagrifa cast votes for Perry, while Jill Sullivan, Barry Greenfield, and Strauss supported Younger. Younger’s biggest challenge, Malagrifa said, might be to live up to the standards set by his predecessor.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): As the clock winds down on the rocky relationship between the Bridgewater Town Council and soon-to-be departing town manager, the post mortems are as divided as ever as to what went wrong and who’s to blame, according to the Bridgewater Independent. Town Manager Troy Clarkson’s apparently imminent exit for the same position in Hanover gives town government a chance for a “fresh start,” said Councilor Peter Colombotos. On that point Clarkson’s supporters and critics seem to agree: the relationship between the majority of councilors and the town manager was anything but a harmonious union. It was marked by an ongoing power struggle that brought councilors to the brink of firing Clarkson last summer, landed the parties in court and inspired an ongoing recall effort to remove two councilors. But Colombotos by no means lays all the blame at Clarkson’s feet for the stormy relationship and impending divorce. Colombotos said Clarkson, who took over as town administrator in 2010 shortly before voters adopted a charter that made sweeping changes to town government, including converting his position to town manager and establishing the first-ever Town Council, has many strengths and faced many challenges. But Colombotos said, Clarkson’s lack of previous experience as a town manager was a handicap. But Councilor Kristy Colon said she doesn’t think Clarkson’s lack of experience as a town manager was his only shortcoming in the job. Mel Shea of Citizens Forum, the group that organized the recall effort currently underway, said he’s happy for Clarkson, who’ll be getting a lot more money in Hanover and likely will be faced with fewer headaches. But Shea is deeply disappointed “a talented manager” was pushed out the door, he said. And Shea said Clarkson’s departure doesn’t end the debate over the meaning of the charter as it relates to the respective powers of the legislative and executive branches of government.  Council President Scott Pitta said he wasn’t surprised by Clarkson’s job hunt. But there was no guarantee he could reach that magic number for reappointment by the nine-member body, depending on the outcome of the upcoming election, Pitta said. Pitta said he agrees with Colombotos there is enough blame to go around for the failures of the past, but he’s more interested in looking forward.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,297): James Smith, who has served as Brewer’s assistant city manager since 2007, will be the next city manager of Rockland, according to the Bangor Daily News. Mayor Brian Harden announced the hiring Monday afternoon after he briefed city department heads. The City Council met last week and agreed on Smith, but an announcement was withheld while terms of his employment agreement were being formalized. Smith will be paid $80,000 a year, the mayor said. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith and sign his employment agreement was scheduled for Monday, March 5. He will begin work in Rockland on Monday, April 2. In a press release issued Monday evening, Brewer City Manager Steve Bost congratulated Smith, who gave his 30-day notice that day, and wished him well as he transitions into his new position in Rockland. Smith is a Maine native. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps, including several overseas posts. He then attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He served one year as town manager of the Aroostook County town of Oakfield before getting the Brewer post. A resident of Greenbush, Smith is married with four children and will move to Rockland after the end of the school year. Smith was active in committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a volunteer in his town, Harden said. The mayor also praised the work of Finance Director Tom Luttrell, who has served as interim city manager since Rosemary Kulow left Oct. 6 to become town manager of Poland. Brewer has a population of 9,482 residents, according to the 2010 Census. The overall budget for municipal and school costs is $32.5 million. Rockland’s population is 7,297 and its municipal budget is $10.1 million. Rockland’s local share of RSU 13’s $26 million budget is $7.2 million.

Kimberly, Wisconsin (population 6,468): Kimberly leaders say they will offer the village’s top administrative post to Adam Hammatt, a former administrator of the Brown County village of Suamico, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. Hammatt was one of three candidates who took part in a two-day, open interview process this weekend with village staff, residents and elected officials. Kuen said Hammatt emitted the village’s core values, those of family and integrity. Hammatt will receive a contract offer on Monday. Hammatt will replace Village Administrator Rick Hermus, who plans to retire at the end of April. Hermus has worked for the village for almost 30 years. Hermus became Kimberly’s first administrator when the position was created in May 1987.

Madison, Florida (population 3,006): After six days on the job, brand-new Madison City Manager Tim Bennett spoke with the Rotary Club members at their Feb. 24 meeting, to tell them a little about himself and why the City of Madison holds such a special place in his heart…and what he hopes to bring to Madison in return, according to Greene Publishing. Born in New Orleans, Bennett’s family moved to Graceville, near Marianna in Jackson County, in the mid-1950s. Somewhat smaller than Madison, Graceville was a little Florida Panhandle town “known for peanuts, preachers and good fried shrimp,” said Bennett. His father, a Baptist preacher, preached in Baptist churches up and down Highway 90 in the days before I-10 became a fact of life. Bennett and his wife were high school sweethearts, but they went their separate ways after graduation, only to find each other again 25 years later. Bennett attended Chipola Junior College and Florida State University; in his early 20s, he covered high school sports, first for the Tallahassee Democrat, and then for the Pensacola News Journal, traveling up and down the panhandle to dozens of little communities. Then one day, while transcribing a tape from an interview, he realized he wanted to do something different – so he joined the Marines. He described a scene where he walked into the USMC recruiting office, a bearded figure in a blue paisley shirt, much to the surprise of the recruiting officer. He wanted to be a marine, he told the surprised officer. He saw their ad in Reader’s Digest and liked it. Furthermore, he wanted the hardest job they could give him – that of infantryman, where he served for the next four years, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. For the following 16 years after that, he was transferred into the public affairs office, becoming the Marine Corps liaison with dozens of local communities. At one point during those 16 years, he was responsible for providing American radio and television fare for U.S. military families stationed in Japan. After 20 years in the Marines, he transitioned back into civilian life, and began to work directly with local communities, in varying capacities. He worked for a year putting welfare clients into jobs. He worked as a public information officer for Beaufort County, S.C., and then as the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce for Hilton Island. In the nearby town of Bluffton, he worked first as an assistant town manager, and then as the deputy town manager. While he was there, he saw that town, historically tagged with the adage “One Square Mile,” suddenly take off in late ‘90s, rapidly growing to 55 square miles within the next few years. His next position was in Allendale County, S.C., a small, rural, poverty-stricken area with a 25 percent unemployment rate and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancies. In such an environment, it took an outlook that was not just positive, but “aggressively positive…at every level. We got things done.” The guiding philosophy was “we may be a small, poor county, but we don’t take a back seat to anybody.” As the new City Manager for Madison, he brings to his new position that same outlook. The County and City of Madison have a lot in common with Allendale County, being small, poor and primarily agricultural, with a high teen pregnancy rate and a significant percentage of families living below the poverty line. The City of Madison has small businesses that struggle in tough economic times, and the city’s budget is tight, as is the county’s. These are the kind of challenges Bennett is familiar with. In his first six days as City Manager, Bennett has met with all the department heads to establish a rapport and start building dialogue. He has also had meetings with all the City Commissioners except one. He has attended county commission meetings and chamber of commerce meetings to get a sense of things, and would like to meet with the prison warden, the president of NFCC, the CEO of the hospital and several other officials. His first few days will be “Look, listen, feel…get a sense of what is going on.” He will be working with many departments and city services, but does not want to change anything unless such changes are warranted. Acknowledging the challenges ahead, he thanked the City Commissioners and the citizens of Madison for the opportunity to come back and serve in an area he loves. The City of Madison may be small and poor, he told everyone, but it will not take a back seat to anybody.

Ocean View, Delaware (population 1,882): The search for Ocean View’s new town manager is over, according to DelMarVaNow. The municipality will name current Fruitland City Manager Rick Konrad in the role following the November termination of Conway Gregory. Gregory was let go after he announced he would not seek an extention of his employment agreement with the town once it expired March 1. Konrad, who has worked for Fruitland since 2010, is expected to start at Ocean View on approximately April 15.