Transitions: Santa Ana, CA; Clayton County, GA; Yavapai County, AZ and more

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

Santa Ana, California (population 324,528): Santa Ana’s City Council fired City Manager Paul Walters by a 6-1 vote, according to the Voice of OC. It was unclear what Walters’ payout would be or the full terms of his exit. Council members did not discuss such issues publicly. Councilwoman Michele Martinez said that consultant Management Partners will be holding strategic planning meetings with council members and the community in the coming months. Along with a new city manager, the plan is to formulate a citywide vision, she said. Many Latino activists are demanding a national city manager search.

Clayton County, Georgia (population 261,532): Sixteen months into his tenure as Clayton County’s county manager, Wade Starr’s contact with the county has been terminated and the county manager position eliminated, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. At last Wednesday’s initial meeting of the commission under the guidance of new commission chairman Jeff Turner. the board voted 3-2, with Turner casting the deciding vote, to oust Starr and eliminate the county manager post. However, Starr’s contact will be bought out by the county. Commissioners Shana Rooks and Michael Edmondson supported the resolution while Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick were opposed. According to Turner, anytime there is a change in leadership, there are going to be changes in staff. Edmondson, who opposed the creation of the county manager position as did then Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell when it was originally passed in Sept. 2011, said, historically, Clayton County has always had a strong commission chairman form of government  Singleton said that the possible creation of a chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Clayton, two resolutions which had their first readings before the commission last week, would end up costing Clayton County hundreds of thousands of dollars. Singleton added this resolution and another passed by the commission last week to authorize an audit of some county finances, represents a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Yavapai County, Arizona (population 211,888): Yavapai County has a new permanent Administrator, and it’s someone who is familiar with the position, according to the Prescott eNews.  Following a closed Executive Session yesterday morning, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of Phil Bourdon to that position.  Bourdon had been serving in the interim since last June, when former Administrator Juli Ayers announced her resignation.  Even though he’s only been on the job a few weeks, Supervisor Jack Smith says bourdon has been a big help. Smith says Bourdon has an extensive county background. Bourdon has been with the County since 1996.

Tempe, Arizona (population 164,268): The Tempe City Council members who voted to terminate City Manager Charlie Meyer’s employment contract Monday cited criticisms ranging from his perceived lack of communication skills to an inability to focus on meaningful policy, according to The Arizona Republic. The vote was 5-2 to terminate Meyer’s employment contract. Mayor Mark Mitchell and council members Corey Woods, Shana Ellis, Robin Arredondo-Savage and Joel Navarro voted to end the contract, while council members Onnie Shekerjian and Kolby Granville voted to retain Meyer. The council did not immediately address its plans for the city-manager position. Councilman Corey Woods, who supported Meyer in 2009 when his contract was narrowly renewed, cited Meyer’s absence at the meeting and his e-mail blast to every city employee Friday about his expectation of being fired as reasons for his vote Monday not to support Meyer. To the detriment of the city and its residents, Woods said, Meyer has been “too focused on process, not policy.” Woods said he put himself in Meyer’s shoes, imagining what his employer would say if he dealt with a personnel issues in a similar fashion. Meyer, 60, sent the memo titled “Do Good Anyway,” Friday from his work e-mail account, making it a public record, and included a scathing quotation that appeared to be directed toward the council. In his memo, Meyer thanked Tempe employees but not the council. Meyer’s memo cited a quote often mistakenly attributed to Mother Teresa: “‘People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.’” As an “at-will employee” the council controls the employment of the city manager and may terminate him without cause. The council appointed Meyer in 2007, when Hugh Hallman was mayor. Less than two years later, the council narrowly approved Meyer’s employment contract on a 4-3 vote at a September 2009 meeting. At the time, Meyer drew high praise as well as criticism that included claims that he ignored workers’ complaints of discrimination at the hands of department chiefs. Council members Mitchell, Navarro and Ben Arredondo voted against approving Meyer’s contract. Hallman, Ellis, Shekerjian and Woods voted in favor of it. In the years since, Meyer has received praise for his handling of the budget and managing cutbacks. However, Tempe has dealt with several high-profile problems in recent years, including a scandal that led to the resignation of the city’s fire chief. Residents were critical of Meyer’s decision to ban televising the public-comments period of City Council meetings. The decision sparked criticism over the public’s free-speech rights. Mario Martinez was the only Tempe resident to criticize Meyer at Monday’s meeting. Martinez took issue with Meyer’s handling of complaints over campaign signs, adding that Tempe deserves a better city manager. However, several Tempe residents who attended the public meeting applauded Meyer’s performance as city manager, saying that although the City Council was not required to explain its vote, the community deserves an explanation. Councilman Granville, who praised Meyer for his work ethic, echoed residents’ requests. Shekerjian said Meyer had brought “order back to this organization when it was chaos.” The change in city manager may cost Tempe a significant payout, as at least one resident noted. The financial impact of terminating Meyer’s contract was outlined in Monday’s public record of the agenda item. It said that if Meyer, with an annual salary of $189,989, were “terminated involuntarily,” he would be entitled to severance pay equal to six months of his base salary and 100 percent of his accrued sick and vacation leave. The severance would not apply if Meyer were terminated for willful misconduct, fraud, corruption or moral turpitude.

Mesa County, Colorado (population 147,083): Mesa County Administrator Chantal Unfug resigned Jan. 21, a surprise announcement that current commissioners declined to discuss in detail but one that caught a former commissioner off-guard, according to The Daily Sentinel. Commissioners issued a two-sentence statement late on the afternoon of Jan. 22 indicating they and Unfug had reached a “mutual agreement” on her resignation. They thanked her for “her leadership and wish her well in future endeavors.” Unfug couldn’t be reached for comment. Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said Unfug’s resignation was effectively immediately. Both he and Commissioner Rose Pugliese declined to comment on the reasons for Unfug’s resignation, saying it was a personnel manner. Acquafresca did say the factors that led up to Unfug’s resignation were a “recent development.” Internal Services Director Tom Fisher will serve as the interim county administrator. Acquafresca said he expects the county to search for and hire a permanent administrator. Unfug’s resignation comes a little more than a week after new commissioners John Justman and Pugliese were sworn in. They replaced term-limited commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland. Meis said he’s surprised Unfug is out of a job, especially given how new the board is. But he said the job is a challenging one. Meis responded “not really” when asked if, as far as he knew, Unfug seemed dissatisfied in her job or was interested in another position. Unfug was hired in July 2011. She previously served as the manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. Unfug’s original employment contract stipulated that she would receive six months’ severance pay should commissioners terminate her employment without providing her six months’ written notice. She, however, would not receive severance pay if she voluntarily resigned her position or if the board terminated her employment because of “some act or omission … which renders her, in the Board’s sole opinion, unable to continue to perform under this agreement.”

Columbia, South Carolina (population 130,531): Columbia City Council has offered Teresa Wilson the new City Manager position, according to WLTX. By a vote of 5-2, Columbia City Council moved to promote Assistant City Manager Teresa Wilson, to City Manager after Steve Gantt steps down. Teresa Wilson is currently one of three assistant City Managers. News19 asked for the job description and qualifications from the City of Columbia. The position requires: “A Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred, in public administration, business administration, or closely related field with a minimum of eight (8) years of work experience in a City or County leadership position, including but not limited to City Manager, Assistant City Manager, County Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Administrative Services, etc.” However, some say Wilson’s experience doesn’t meet the City’s requirements. News19 was emailed a copy of Wilson’s resume. It includes serving as Assistant City Manager of community programs, economic development, and government services in July of 2011. She started working with the City in 2007 as Director of Government Affairs and Community Relations. Before coming to the City – she worked in the USC President’s office in government and community relations. Wilson also worked in Richland One and Two as a teacher from 2000 to 2005. City leaders say Wilson’s time with the city – and her time spent working at USC as a liaison to state and federal government – qualified her. After going into a brief executive session Thursday morning, City Council made their decision. But not everyone on council gave their full support. Councilwoman Leona Plaugh says that while Wilson is a ‘bright, gifted, and talented candidate,’ she is not the most qualified person the council interviewed. Moe Baddourah was the second Councilman to vote no against offering the job to Wilson. Wilson points to her time overseeing the City’s economic development, grants administrations, and governmental affairs as reasons the council chose her over other candidates. News19 also heard concerns from people saying Wilson’s friendship with Mayor Steve Benjamin likely played a role in her getting the job. The mayor’s office says Benjamin has known Wilson for nearly 20 years but says their friendship did not play a role in his vote or the other council members vote. Wilson says her perspective on the city’s needs likely set her apart from the rest of the candidates. Wilson tells News19 her first duty will be to re-assess the city staff that is currently in place. Wilson will take over once current city manager, Steve Gantt, steps down in 2013.

Fayette County, Georgia (population 107,784): Peachtree City resident and former city councilman Steve Rapson was unanimously selected as the new county manager for Fayette County on January 2, according to The Citizen. Rapson most recently served as Union City manager for the past three and a half years, and was previously the assistant city manager in Sandy Springs for more than four years. Rapson also worked for five years as budget director for Fulton County, also serving as the chairman’s chief of staff. Rapson also served with new commission chairman Steve Brown in the Peachtree City Council when Brown was mayor from 2002-2005. Rapson is replacing former County Manager Jack Krakeel, who retired in the summer but came back to work temporarily until his successor could be named. Rapson is highly regarded for his budget acumen, which will come in handy as the county continues to face declining budget revenues due to shrinking property values. Last year the county implemented an early retirement program to shrink its workforce on top of a general hiring freeze for all positions except for public safety. Rapson said he wants to work on improving the county’s relationships with its cities. While there is much work ahead on a myriad of matters, Rapson said he is confident he has some good department heads to help him carry the load.

Champaign, Illinois (population 81,055): With the unanimous support of the city council on Dec. 18 — but not a unanimous vote — officials approved Assistant City Manager Dorothy David’s contract to become Champaign’s next chief administrator, according to The News-Gazette. The 8-1 vote made David’s appointment official, and she will replace City Manager Steve Carter when he retires on March 29. Council members said it was clear she was the best choice for the job even though city officials never sought applications from non-city employees. Council member Tom Bruno said David gives him “a very high degree of comfort level” that no outsider could replicate. David thanked the city council and said she was humbled to get its support. She said Champaign has been her home, and she understands that everything the city council not only affects her job, but it also affects her personal life. The lone dissenting vote came from Deborah Frank Feinen, who said David is “the perfect choice” for the job. But Feinen has a philosophical problem with David’s contract. That problem, Feinen said, is contained in Section 4, which provides that David would continue to receive up to 52 weeks of pay and benefits if she were terminated “without cause.” But Feinen, a former Champaign County Board member, said she was there when the board had to fire a county official. That official was under a similar contract to David’s, and taxpayers paid nearly a full year’s salary to that person after being terminated. But that does not affect her enthusiasm for David’s hiring, she said. David will make a base salary of $173,000, which is about $5,000 less than Carter’s current base salary. Carter will be retiring after 28 years as Champaign city manager. David was chosen for the job after city officials opened the application process only to city employees for one week. They had planned to accept external applications, but left themselves the option of closing their search if they were satisfied with the internal applications. David was the lone internal applicant, and the city council ended its search. City council members also chose to forgo hiring a potentially expensive search firm to recruit job candidates. Mayor Don Gerard said that was the right choice.

Eagan, Minnesota (population 67,765): City Administrator Dave Osberg has been offered a job as the city administrator in the City of Eagan, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. Osberg applied to the position after a recruiter hired by the City of Eagan approached him and asked if he would be interested in submitting his resume. Earlier this month, Osberg was selected as one of four finalists. Last Thursday and Friday, he interviewed with Eagan’s department heads, a citizen panel and the city council. Late Friday afternoon, Osberg got a call from the city. On Tuesday, Osberg said he expected the terms to be buttoned up by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday. Once the agreement is settled, it would go to the Eagan City Council for approval at their next meeting, Feb. 5. If the agreement is approved, Osberg would start working in Eagan sometime in late March.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 67,019): Flower Mound will pay approximately $442,000 in severance costs to fire former Town Manager Harlan Jefferson, according to The Dallas Morning News. That’s the amount listed in a settlement agreement reached in December between Jefferson and the town. Jefferson will receive severance payments equal to his base salary for 22 months. They will be paid biweekly for 12 months, beginning in late October, according to the agreement obtained by The Dallas Morning News through a freedom of information request. Over the next year, the town will be paying a $199,500 salary to Jimmy Stathatos, the former Roanoke town manager, who replaced Jefferson on Jan. 14. Jefferson was fired in October in a dispute with the Town Council. He started a new job, as town manager in Prosper, on Jan. 21. Jefferson’s new employment status will change the severance package slightly because Flower Mound will no longer be responsible for his insurance and other benefits. Flower Mound agreed to pay these costs until he found a new job, according to the settlement agreement. Finance officials didn’t provide any estimate of how much that would alter the settlement, but Mayor Tom Hayden indicated that it would not be a significant amount. He said the $442,000 listed in the settlement agreement was “very close” to the amount that will be paid to Jefferson. However, that figure doesn’t include legal fees for a Dallas attorney hired by the town to handle the termination. Flower Mound officials say they have no documents related to these fees. At the time Jefferson was fired, Hayden said the move would not have a negative financial impact on the town. He reiterated that assertion last week, saying that the town is under contract to sell a 5-acre parcel for $1 million and that Flower Mound is beginning to attract renewed interest from the development community. Jefferson lost the job he had held since 2006 after Flower Mound was criticized in a survey of developers for being a difficult place to do business.

Walton County, Florida (population 55,300): After 8 months, the Walton County Board of Commissioners has finally chosen a new County Administrator, according to WMBB. The interim administrator, Gerry Demers has filled the role since Greg Kisela’s departure last May. His name is Robert Halfhill and he is the current Public Works Director for Charlotte County, Florida. Halfhill’s resume boasts 21 years of government administrative experience to the board. After an extensive vote that included each Commissioner ranking their top three candidates, Halfhill was selected as the top candidate, with Jackson County’s Administrator, Ted Lakey, in 2nd place, and former Walton County Commissioner, Larry Jones, in 3rd place. The county will now move into contract negotiations with Halfhill.

Doral, Florida (population 48,789): In a move that sent shockwaves through political corridors, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria’s nomination of former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo as the new city manager January 9 was unanimously accepted by the five-member council, with brief discussion, according to The Miami Herald. Carollo, a political lightening rod who has not held office since a failed reelection bid in 2001, replaces Merrett Stierheim, who resigned abruptly only a few hours before the announcement. Stierheim was hired as the city’s interim manager last month after Yvonne Soler-McKinley resigned. Stierheim’s mission: To lead the search for a full-time manager, and help in the transition. In his resignation letter, Stierheim said he “played no role whatsoever” in the selection process, “nor was I aware of it.” Reached later he called the appointment of the quick-tempered and often bombastic former public servant “a terrible decision.” Boria’s announcing of Carollo’s nomination came shortly after the 6 p.m. city council meeting began. A brief discussion ensued in which Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz questioned the wisdom of hiring a new manager without a search, but in the end the five-member council voted together for the Carollo appointment. Carollo, who is expected to sign a contract and begin work Thursday will earn $144,000 a year in salary, plus benefits. He will oversee a staff of 277 workers. A short while after his successful nomination, Boria presided over a hastily-called press conference in a small room outside the City Hall chamber. Carollo was absent. The mayor read off the highlights of Carollo’s resumé, but refused to answer any questions posited by the media about his new city manager’s past. Reached at home after the announcement, Carollo said he will gladly fill the position, and will not accept any type of severance in his contract. He wouldn’t go into specifics about what his plans are for the city. The new manager said he has been doing government consulting work, but refused to say for whom. Asked if he will move to Doral, Carollo said selling his Miami home would be difficult, and besides he said, “the city manager’s job is probably the most unstable in the whole country.” Carollo was offered the same position when Soler-McKinley resigned in December, but declined. It was not until early January that rumors began to circulate of Carollo’s possible nomination – a move that would have him back serving the public after an 11-year absence. In recent weeks Carollo was seen visiting the Boria home for lunch. The family has the tradition of eating together every day. Carollo has also sat in on Boria’s media interviews and keeps track of his schedule, reminding Boria of upcoming appointments. The two also share a spiritual bond: They go to the Alpha and Omega Christian church in southwest Miami-Dade. Carollo was instrumental in Stierheim’s interim appointment last month, visiting the Stierheim home with Boria to entice the former county manager to oversee the city during what was expected to be a difficult transition. He was mostly absent from public view until early 2010, reemerging in time to bash old political foe Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s fundraising tactics, and later taking his concerns to the airwaves. Last year Carollo publicly supported Rod Vereen’s failed attempt to oust Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, mostly bashing the state attorney for ignoring perceived wrongdoings by Regalado, Carollo’s long-time political foe. Carollo is responsible for one of the greatest coup attempts in Miami political history: In 1983 as a Miami commissioner he denounced mayoral candidate Maurice Ferré in a press conference – that Ferré called to publicize Carollo’s endorsement. Ferré still won the election. Carollo rocketed to prominence in the early 1980s as a Miami commissioner, finally winning the mayor’s seat he had so coveted in a 1997 race. He actually lost the vote to popular incumbent Xavier Suarez, but was able to move into City Hall after a successfully arguing the election was tainted by ballot fraud. His four years in the mayor’s office were rocky. Fights were constant with Regalado and former Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele Jr. At one point Teele and Carollo got into a physical confrontation in a corridor of City Hall as a meeting was taking place. As mayor of Miami during the Elian Gonzalez affair, Carollo fired his police chief for not informing him of the federal raid at the family’s Little Havana home ahead of time. Carollo was arrested shortly before leaving office in 2001 for throwing a cardboard tea canister that hit his wife Mari in the head. The charges were later dropped, and the two divorced. Despite all the fiascos, Carollo has never been implicated in political wrongdoing. He earned credit in helping Miami become solvent after the city’s finances were handed to a state oversight board when it was discovered it had been operating in a $68 million hole. Carollo also managed to stay unscathed during one of Miami’s darkest scandals, Operation Greenpalm. Off to prison for bribery and other charges in an undercover police sting in 1996 were the city manager, a commissioner, and a top financial manager.

Campbell, California (population 39,968): Campbell city manager Amy Brown has informed city staff today that she is resigning from her position, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Brown has been with the city for a little more than a year. Brown has accepted the job of director of agriculture and environmental management with Santa Clara County. Before being hired in December 2011, she had been with the city of San Francisco for 12 years, serving as deputy city attorney, director of real estate and acting city administrator. Brown is expected to stay with Campbell through late February.

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): David Studebaker will be the newest leader of Huber Heights, according to the Dayton Business Journal. The city council Monday night voted unanimously to approve Studebaker to be its city manager. He replaces James Borland, who steps down from the role on March 15. Studebaker worked as interim city manager for Huber Heights for six months in 2008 while the city was searching for a permanent city manager. He retired from Trimble Navigation Ltd. in 2008. In a letter to council, the Huber Heights/Wayne Township native said he was eager to return to the challenges of city government and wanted to give back to the community. Borland has been planning to retire once the city found a replacement.

Pacifica, California (population 37,691): At the helm of the city for the last six years, City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced in December he will retire at the end of July, according to the Mercury News. That date coincides with the end of his contract with the city. Rhodes provided six months notice so City Council will hopefully have time to recruit a new city manager before he leaves. Before working in Pacifica, Rhodes worked in local government in both Oregon and California. He will have served 37 years in his career at the time of his retirement.

Winter Haven, Florida (population 34,291): Dale Smith, Winter Haven city manager, is preparing to step down from his post on Thursday, according to the News Chief. Smith, a Winter Haven native, has been city manager for three years. Smith was born and raised in Winter Haven. He grew up on Lake Howard, within a green Schwinn three-speed bike-ride of a bustling downtown he loved as a kid. It broke his heart when he came back to Winter Haven, degree in hand, to boarded downtown windows. The usually calm, reserved man, perks up now when he talks about the downtown revitalization he played a part in. As the city’s first engineer, Smith designed a large part of the city’s infrastructure. Want to know what’s in the ground and where? Smith is a more reliable source than city records. Luckily for city staff, he isn’t going far — he’s going to find a garage in Winter Haven to work on his classic cars.

Morgantown, West Virginia (population 30,293): It’s a little more than 600 miles between Morgantown and College Park, Georgia, according to WDTV. That’s how far the current Morgantown City Manager will have to move for his new job. Terrence Moore announced Monday afternoon he’s leaving his current job for the same position in the suburb of Atlanta. Moore has been the City Manager in Morgantown for a little more than two years. Earlier this month he was the finalist for a job in Corpus Christi, Texas, but he turned that down. Moore’s last day in office will be Friday, but he’ll be around until the end of February. Moore told 5 News when he signed on to be the city manager in the University City he planned to take the job for about 5 years. There were some rumors that Moore was being forced out due to a feud with other city council members. Moore denied those reports during the press conference Monday. City council members will start looking for a new city manager starting at a council meeting Tuesday night.

Algonquin, Illinois (population 30,145): Algonquin officials hired a new village manager, one they hope will be around for at least as long as their current village manager, who is retiring after 21 years, according to the Daily Herald. By a unanimous vote, the village board tapped Timothy Schloneger, the city administrator in Lockport, to lead Algonquin into the future. Schloneger’s first day in Algonquin will be Feb. 18. He will replace Bill Ganek, who was hired as village administrator in 1992 and later became village manager. Ganek announced his retirement in July. Schloneger did not attend the meeting but said in a statement that he said he’s excited to get to work. The village board met in a nine-minute closed session Tuesday to finalize Schloneger’s employment agreement. The Lockport resident will make $165,000 a year, receive four weeks vacation, a car to use for village business and a $400 annual car allowance. While in Lockport, where he’s been for six years, Schloneger worked closely with the city’s financial management and economic development operations. He’s credited with improving the city’s bond rating, developing financing for its capital improvement program and negotiating development agreements. He also has municipal experience in Lemont and Romeoville. Schloneger was among 75 people who applied for the position of village manager in Algonquin. Village officials hired Voorhees Associates of Deerfield to advertise the job and to conduct the search for applicants. Officials interviewed 11 candidates and winnowed that down to seven or eight finalists, Ganek said. Schmitt was most impressed with Schloneger’s attention to detail and his understanding of the job, which involves juggling trustee and resident demands, managing staff members and fitting everyone’s needs within the confines of a budget. Ganek makes about $200,000 a year and will continue to work for the Algonquin during Schloneger’s transition. He’ll stay on for as long as he’s needed, he said Tuesday.

Wentzville, Missouri (population 29,070): T. Michael McDowell, the city manager of Olivette since 2004, has been tapped as Wentzville’s new city administrator, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. McDowell was chosen by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Nick Guccione from the latest round of five finalists in the city’s long-running search. The position has been vacant since Aug. 2011, when Dianna Wright abruptly departed because of what the city called “irreconcilable differences.” Aldermen were unable to agree on a permanent replacement until now. A proposed contract, announced Friday by the city, calls for McDowell to be paid $122,400 annually plus use of a city-owned car. McDowell’s career of nearly 40 years in city management also includes a stint as Creve Coeur city administrator. Wentzville officials on Friday also announced that Petree Powell, the former city administrator in Crestwood, has begun work as interim finance director. Powell was hired through a company that provides fill-ins for such posts while cities seek permanent replacements. That post opened up when the longtime finance director, Dennis Walsh, retired. Since September, the Wentzville administrator post has been filled on an interim basis through the same company by George Kolb, a former Wichita, Kan., city manager.

Big Spring, Texas (population 27,364): A longtime West Texas city manager is calling it quits, according to PermianBasin360.com. The Big Spring Herald is reporting that Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua will retire at the end of 2013. Fuqua has worked for the City of Big Spring for 38 years. Fuqua has also recently overseen the development of several long-term projects in Big Spring. Assistant city manager Todd Darden will replace Fuqua as Big Spring’s city manager next year.

Florence, Arizona (population 25,536): A new Florence town manager is expected to start work next week, according to the Casa Grande Dispatch. Charles A. Montoya, most recently director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, Colo., is to begin work Monday.In an interview with the Florence Reminder, Montoya said he was with Castle Rock, a town of 50,000 people, for 41⁄2 years. Prior to that he was chief financial officer for Centennial, Colo., a newly incorporated city of 100,000. Montoya, 43, said he was drawn to the job in Florence for the climate, but especially the comfort and security of a small community. He is married and the father of six children. His contract provides an annual base salary of $113,000 plus $325 per month vehicle allowance. Montoya worked as chief financial officer for Jefferson County, Colo., and before that worked for a private company, National Mentor Inc., in New Mexico. He also worked seven years for the governor’s office and other state agencies in New Mexico. As director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, he managed and supervised all financial, accounting, payroll, budgeting, and analysis of organization expenditures and revenues. He also assisted in the analysis and management of economic development, long-term water planning, fire management and planning and development, according to his resume. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management economics with a minor in math from New Mexico State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from University of New Mexico. He served about 10 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of lieutenant.

Mercer Island, Washington (population 23,154): Mercer Island City Manager Rich Conrad, a 35-year employee of the City of Mercer Island, announced his plans to retire at the end of this year, according to the Mercer Island Reporter. Conrad told the City Council about his decision at their annual planning retreat held over the weekend at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. In a letter sent to city employees today, Conrad said that he started out at the city in 1979, just as “another one of the gang that needed a job.” Over time things changed, he continued. He said he is leaving on his own terms. Conrad expects to be involved professionally on a part-time basis after he retires. He will live part-time in Arizona where he and his wife April, have a second home.

Dawson County, Georgia (population 22,459): A Dawson County native has been selected as the county’s next chief operating officer, according to the Dawson News. Cindy Gilleland Campbell was named county manager Dec. 20 following a unanimous vote by the Dawson County commission. She will replace Kevin Tanner, who is leaving the post he has held since 2008 in January for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he will represent District 9. Campbell currently serves as the county’s chief financial officer, a position she has held for four years. She also served as the county’s interim manager earlier this year when Tanner took a leave of absence to run for state office. The first woman to hold the position, Campbell, 40, said she looks forward to 2013 and beginning her new role. Hired in 2008 as assistant finance director, Campbell was promoted to chief financial officer in December of that year. In her current position, she manages and oversees all aspects of the county’s finances, supervising the finance, purchasing and human resources staff. Commission Chair Mike Berg said Campbell represents the caliber of employee required for the county’s top non-elected position. A 1990 Dawson County High School graduate, Campbell earned a bachelor of business administration degree at North Georgia College & State University and received her certified public accountant license in 2000. Prior to her work with the county, Campbell’s career included nearly 14 years in corporate finance and accounting in the private sector. She was selected from a slate of five internal candidates vying for the manager’s job. They included: David Headley, director of public works and community development; David McKee, planning and development director; Billy Thurmond, emergency services director; and Bob Ivey, director of administration. Berg said the decision was one of the most difficult the county commission has faced. Berg and Campbell were set to meet late last week to discuss and finalize her new contract.

Leesburg, Florida (population 20,179): Jay Evans submitted a letter of resignation, saying his last day on the job would be Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, according to News 13. Evans has served the city of Leesburg since 2004.

Camas, Washington (population 19,355): Camas selected Nina Regor as the city’s top administrator at its 4:30 p.m. worksession Dec. 17. After a nearly yearlong search for a new city administrator, the city landed on Regor, who currently serves as the city manager of Cloverdale, Calif., a small community of 8,500 people. Regor will receive a gross salary of $127,812. From 1991 to 2003, Regor worked for the Gresham, Ore., where she was promoted from budget analyst to assistant city manager. She previously served as the deputy city manager of Spokane Valley from 2003 to 2007. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s in public management and policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Regor is already familiar with Camas. She grew up in the Clark County area, and her mother was raised in Camas. She will replace long-serving City Administrator Lloyd Halverson, who will be retiring at the beginning of the year after serving in his position for 23 years.

Culpeper, Virginia (population 16,379): The Culpeper Town Council fired Town Manager Kim Alexander, according to Fredericksburg.com. The vote, at a special council meeting, was 5–2. Councilmen Ben Phillips, Frank Reaves, Jim Risner, Bobby Ryan and Billy Yowell voted for Alexander’s termination while Vice Mayor Mike Olinger and Dave Lochridge voted against. Mayor Chip Coleman was out having surgery while Dan Boring is away on a cruise. Alexander’s downfall began Sept. 13 when she placed town police Capt. Chris Settle on paid administrative leave and began her own internal investigation of allegations against him. Subsequent investigations by the Virginia State Police and a private investigator hired by the Town Council—which cost a reported $70,000—found only three minor infractions against Settle, according to a published report. The confidential results of that investigation were then leaked to the Culpeper Star–Exponent, which prompted the special meeting. According to a source close to the situation, Alexander, who was appointed town manager in August 2011, was given the option to resign, but would not. Alexander had survived a vote to terminate her Jan. 3. That vote was 5–4. Chris Hively, who was named assistant town manager earlier this month, will take over the town manager’s job.

Traverse City, Michigan (population 14,894): City Manager Ben Bifoss announced his retirement today, effective June 28, in a brief letter emailed to city commissioners this afternoon, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Bifoss did not give a reason for his impending departure but will make a formal announcement when he meets with the board today at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center. Bifoss replaced Richard Lewis as city manager and started with the city in November 2008.

Waukee, Iowa (population 14,484): After an extensive national search for a new city administrator, Waukee council members have hired a man with more than two decades of experience developing cities in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. Tim Moerman, who has been assistant city manager in Ankeny, will assume the job of Waukee city administrator on Feb. 18. All five members of the Waukee City Council approved Moerman’s contract during a special session on Thursday. He will be paid a prorated annual salary of $132,000 through the end of June, and then $134,000 for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Waukee Mayor Bill Peard welcomed Moerman to the city on Thursday and invited him to address the council. Brad Deets, Waukee’s development services director, has served as interim city administrator since Jeff Kooistra resigned in May. Moerman was hired by Ankeny in 2005 as director of community development. Building strong, trusting relationships with people helped him succeed there, he said. Those skills will help him in Waukee, specifically with the Alice’s Road project, he added. The multimillion-dollar road project would be a dominant issue during his first few months on the job, Moerman said. Waukee has expanded its staff in recent years to complete the project, and forging good relationships with staff and the community will be important, he said. Peard said Moerman’s ability to work with people and his can-do attitude were some of the qualities that made him a good fit for Waukee, which has increased in population by more than 8,600 people since 2000. The new chief executive said he was eager to get to work, and that he had already thought through a lot of the issues that he would confront during his first 60 days. Moerman’s resume also includes experience as assistant city manager in Dubuque from 1995 to 2001. He served as city administrator in Mason City from 2001 to 2005. Spurring development along the Dubuque waterfront and redeveloping Mason City are among his accomplishments, according to a press release from the city of Waukee. Moerman received his undergraduate business degree from Dordt College in Sioux Center and then a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University. The council-approved contract will also compensate Moerman for moving expenses so he and his family can relocate to Waukee. Councilman Shane Blanchard said Moerman’s background and experience would serve Waukee residents well. After the 10-minute meeting concluded, Moerman stayed in the council chambers to address members of the parks board. Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson said he has known Moerman for decades, and that Waukee officials made a good decision.

Lincoln, Illinios (population 14,419): After a two-year search, the city of Lincoln has hired its first city administrator, according to the Pantagraph. Sue McLaughlin, the former city administrator for Mattoon, has been hired through GovTempsUSA on a temporary basis, through April 30. The hire is temporary because contracts cannot extend past a current mayor’s term. Keith Snyder’s term will expire April 30, but he is running for re-election. The temporary contract, which has a provision for a six-month extension, will give the city a good trial period, Snyder said. “We will have options because we can evaluate it and the council can make a decision whether or not to make it permanent or go another direction,” Snyder said. The Mattoon City Council terminated McLaughlin’s contract in June 2012 “without cause” after she was on the job for 2½ years. McLaughlin faced criticism from the council because of a proposal to sell 4.7 acres at Lake Mattoon to her fiancé for about $41,000. Officials say the figure was far less than the market value of the property. Snyder said he talked with McLaughlin at length about the situation. McLaughlin has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Illinois State University in Normal and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She held previous administrator positions in North Aurora and Byron. Because of the temporary nature of the contract, McLaughlin will not be required to move to Lincoln until the position becomes permanent. McLaughlin will begin Feb. 1 with a salary equivalent to $62,400 annually.

Gates County, North Carolina (population 12,197): Neither rain, nor wind, nor the threat of snow could keep Gates County citizens from meeting their new local government administrator here last week, according to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Inside the cozy confines of the meeting room at the Merchants Millpond State Park Visitors Center, Jon Mendenhall took center stage. The newly hired County Manager shook hands and chatted with local residents during a two-hour welcoming reception held in his honor. While the event was staged primarily to welcome Mendenhall, it also served another purpose….that of saying thanks and farewell to interim County Manager Kenneth Windley. He was hired by the commissioners in early November following the departure of former County Manager Toby Chappell who left to accept a similar job in Greenwood County, SC. Henry Jordan, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, stated that Windley was able to come in and keep the county’s current projects running without skipping a beat. Mendenhall said that although his time spent with Windley was short, he learned a lot from the veteran administrator. A native of High Point, Mendenhall has spent the past 20 months as the Deputy County Administrator in Southampton County, VA. Prior to that, Mendenhall has served as Director of Engineering Services for Albemarle, NC; Planning Director for Tift County, GA, and County Planner for Stanly County, NC. He is an undergraduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and a graduate of East Carolina University with a Masters in Technology Systems. Additional studies in Project Management have been completed at NC State University. His first day on the job in Gates County was Jan. 14.

Crestwood, Missouri (population 11,909): A retired U.S. Air Force colonel has been selected to serve as Crestwood’s new city administrator, according to the Call. Mayor Jeff Schlink recommended Mark Sime’s appointment to the position at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting and aldermen voted 7-0 to approve the appointment. Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan was absent from the Jan. 8 meeting. Sime, who served in the Air Force for 26 years, is a city resident. Sime said he wants to make sure he does a good job for his family and himself, but also for residents and established businesses. Schlink noted the city administrator position is a “more public position” than Sime has had in his past military experience. However, Sime said he has had “visibility” in some of his positions, such as when he served as a squadron commander on Guam. Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild, who chaired the City Administrator Candidate Search Committee, said the city had “quite a number of really qualified people” apply for the position. Schlink said the purpose of the search committee, which also included of Duncan and Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen, was not to tell the mayor who “they felt was the best person.” Though Sime’s appointment was approved by the Board of Aldermen, details of Sime’s employment still need to be finalized. Former Fire Chief Karl Kestler had served as acting city administrator since March, at which time then-City Administrator Petree Eastman left the city. Eastman earned $98,000 annually.

Mebane, North Carolina (population 11,562): David Cheek is Mebane’s new city manager, taking over for Robert Wilson, who is retiring after 25 years of service, according to the Times-NewsCheek moved from his role as assistant city manager to manager after the first of the new year. Cheek, 52, is a graduate of N.C. State University, where he majored in accounting. He is a CPA. Cheek and his wife, Tammy, have three children — Lauren Parrish, 26; DJ, 24; and Anna, 15. Tammy works at Burlington Christian Academy. Cheek has a wealth of experience in local municipal and county government. He worked as manager of Alamance County for eight years before leaving to take a job as vice president of administrative and fiscal services for Alamance Community College. From there Cheek moved three years ago to the position of assistant city manager of Mebane. Chris Rollins, Graham’s former city manager, has moved to Mebane as assistant city manager. Cheek, who graduated from Graham High School in 1978, had an interesting work history before landing a job with Alamance County. After graduating from N.C. State, he worked four years for the state auditor’s office and followed that with four years with the state controller’s office. Cheek said he and his wife were ready to settle down and start a family and sought to return to Alamance County. Former Graham City Manager Bruce Turney was a family friend, Cheek said, and called former Alamance County Manager Robert Smith on his behalf. Cheek eventually landed a job as assistant county manager and moved to the position of manager when Smith retired. Cheek noted that Mebane continues to grow at a brisk pace.

Lewisburg, Tennessee (population 11,185): Lewisburg’s City Manager Tommy Engram hand delivered a resignation letter to Mayor Barbara Woods at her home Friday afternoon, according to the Marshall County Tribune. Woods said staff at City Hall knew some of the councilmen had been in to see Engram in the days before his resignation, but did not know what had been discussed. When reached by telephone, Engram had no comment as to why he resigned. Engram will be back in Lewisburg this week to clean out his desk and move the rest of his belongings from the city-owned house in Lone Oak Cemetery where he lived. He also plans to come back later this month, when Woods has returned from vacation, to brief her on programs that are in progress. These include revitalization of the square, WiFi on the square, grants, Jones Park, and “a whole list of items like that, that we’ve been doing to make the town more attractive to industry and make it more fun for the people who live there,” Engram said. Councilman Steve Thomas ran into Engram in Lewisburg Friday and heard about the resignation then, so he was the first councilman to know. In Thomas’s view, Engram was leading the city in a positive direction, but he acknowleged there were personality conflicts, though he was surprised by the resignation. Woods informed other councilmen by telephone over the weekend. Councilman Ronald McRady agreed Engram’s resignation was a surprise. McRady has spoken up and voted against some of Engram’s proposals, but said, “It wasn’t anything personal. It was what I felt was in the best interest of the city.” Councilman Robin Minor also heard about the resignation over the weekend, and said he was surprised “to a certain degree.” The mayor was regretful, as she prepared to resume the role of acting city manager. Minor said he thought the mayor would call a council meeting when she got back to town, to start the process of finding a new city manager. In his opinion, however, the final choice should be left until after the May election, so that the new councilmen can choose the man – or woman – they will be working with. Meanwhile, Engram is back home in Cedartown, Ga., writing an article for American Town & City. [Editor’s note: If anyone has a link to this publication, please let me know.] He plans to do “something in the same field,” but declined to be more specific. “I’m not at liberty to say anything at this time,” Engram said, citing professional standards. He started as Lewisburg City Manager on July 1, 2012. Engram was interim city manager in Cedartown about three years ago and after that he was director of the downtown development authority there until he got the job in Lewisburg.

Leicester, Massachusetts (population 10,970): Town Administrator Robert Reed said Monday night he intends to retire, effective July 31, after nine years in the post, according to the Telegram. Mr. Reed, who came to Leicester from a similar post in Sherborn, said he has enjoyed his years in Leicester and has made no specific plans about what he will do next. He said the town has a great deal of work scheduled for the next few months and he didn’t want selectmen to have to deal with that, while at the same time trying to find a new town administrator, so he put off his retirement day until July.

Grand Rapids, Minnesota (population 10,862): Sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right time, according to the Grand Rapids Herald-Review. For Grand Rapids City Administrator Shawn Gillen, that right opportunity was the chance to become the city manager in Doraville, Ga. Gillen will be leaving his post with the City of Grand Rapids on April 16 and starting his new job on April 17. Doraville, which Gillen said has a population of around 10,000, is a suburb of Atlanta and he estimated the daytime population of Doraville expands to 30-40,000 people. The decision to leave wasn’t an easy one, he said. Gillen came to Grand Rapids in 2007 and in his nearly six years as city administrator, the biggest challenge he faced, and the thing he is “most proud of getting through” was the financial crisis. During that time, Local Government Aid (LGA) was slashed and Grand Rapids saw a reduction in its industrial and commercial tax base. To address the crisis, Grand Rapids implemented many measures to reduce the budget while keeping the same level of city services. Gillen said several measures were taken, including investing in technologies ranging from computer systems to a new plow truck able to do the work of two trucks; an early retirement program which allowed a staff reduction of 10 percent; and collaborations with other communities. Those measures, coupled with the city’s revenue stabilization plan, allowed the city to make a permanent budget reduction of $1 million with virtually no loss of services and no skyrocketing of city property taxes. Gillen gave credit to the city council, department heads and staff for making it through the financial crunch. Gillen also stressed the importance of the collaborations in which the city has taken part. These were communities which in the past had not spoken with one another, but now are talking and working together. While he’s excited to move on to his new position, there are some things he’ll miss. The YMCA project is going to be so cool, Gillen said. Plans are currently underway to put a senior center in the YMCA.. Gillen was recently named president of the Visit Grand Rapids board and had also been elected to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce board, and he expressed some sadness in leaving those positions behind. On a personal note, his time in Minnesota has allowed Gillen to mark an item off his bucket list. Until last Friday, the Illinois native had never driven on a frozen lake. He went out to Pokegama Lake to see the hockey rink built for Hockey Day Minnesota and took his vehicle onto the ice. The Grand Rapids City Council has dedicated its Monday work session at 4 p.m. at City Hall to discussion of replacing the city administrator. Gillen, who will still be serving as city administrator until April, said he will assist in making a smooth transition for whomever is hired. The idea is that person gets to walk into a “turn-key situation,” Gillen said.

Hillsbourough, California (population 10,825): Randy Schwartz has been named the new city manager for the town of Hillsborough, replacing current City Manager Tony Constantouros, who retired after 18 years with the town, according to The Daily Journal. Schwartz has worked as San Bruno’s Community Service director for the past four years and before that, worked for the city of Burlingame for 23 years, where he last served as Parks and Recreation director. Schwartz will begin work in January 2013. A fourth generation San Franciscan, Randy Schwartz attended Lowell High School and San Francisco State University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Schwartz and his wife, Stephanie, met in high school, were married in 1981 and have lived in Burlingame for the past 12 years.  Their children, Jeff (age 29) and Laura (age 26), graduated from Burlingame High School, are both married and live in San Mateo. Schwartz is a member of several professional organizations for municipal managers and has conducted dozens of staff development events for municipal management professionals.  He has taught at the College of Notre Dame and Skyline College and serves on a community advisory board for San Francisco State University.

Canandaigua, New York (population 10,604): The city of Canandaigua announced Jan. 25 that Norristown, Pa. municipal administrator David Forrest will be the new city manager, following the retirement of Kay James in March, according to MPNnow.com. City council will pass a resolution during a Feb. 7 meeting at City Hall regarding the manager change. Forrest will be sworn in during the March 7 council meeting, and the appointment will be effective March 8 — which will also be James’ last day in office. Forrest has 18 years of experience in local government management. He’s held the position in Norristown since May 2007. Previously he served as the Borough Manager for Landsdowne Borough Pa. and as the assistant Borough Manager in Pottstown Borough, Pa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and received his master of public administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Forrest will be the eighth city manager since the city of Canandaigua adopted a council/manager form of government through a 1968 charter change. James announced her retirement last summer. She has worked with the city since December 1984. James was appointed acting city manager in August 2007 when then-manager Cole was disabled by a stroke, and was officially named to the position in December 2008. In July, Council hired advisor Nick Mazza, of the Pittsford-based Bonadio Group, to help select James’ successor.

Prosper, Texas (population 9,889): As Harlan Jefferson prepares for his new job as Prosper’s town manager, he sees a chance to lead a unique town, according to the Star Local News. Jefferson was named the town manager at the Jan. 8 council meeting, ending a search that lasted several months. Jefferson started his job Jan. 21. Jefferson spent 12 years in Flower Mound, serving as town manager, deputy town manager, chief financial officer, director of finance and treasurer. The Flower Mound Town Council terminated his contract Oct. 8. Mayor Tom Hayden cited differences in economic development philosophies. Jefferson now has a chance to lead another municipality, and he sees Prosper’s future growth as an exciting challenge. Prosper, 15,000-resident community located north of Hwy. 380 in Collin County, is likely to see major growth in the coming years. Helping fuel that growth is the possible extension of the tollway. That, along with the EDC, will be new to Jefferson. The Prosper EDC is a 4A corporation authorized by the Texas state legislature to attract businesses to a community utilizing a portion of the sales tax in that community.

Kittery, Maine (population 9,490): Former Town Manager Robert Markel, in a farewell interview, took issue with a Town Council that at times overreached its legal limitations, took aim at council Chairman George Dow, and took umbrage with some town employees who have provided insufficient “customer service” to residents, according to the SeacoastOnline. He also let loose several revelations. Among them, a town employee was fired over the summer, he said, for running an eBay business from her desk. An unfounded rumor that his office was bugged prompted interim Town Manager James Ashe to talk with Markel at a restaurant when he first arrived. And as for officers’ vote of no confidence in former Police Chief Paul Callaghan, Markel said he felt the impetus was that Callaghan “came in with proposals at the bargaining table that they didn’t like.” Markel’s final day in office was Thursday and he sat down with the Portsmouth Herald on Friday afternoon. He resigned in December after serving as manager for a year. Markel said he was concerned that no strong candidates for town manager are going to want to come to Kittery until the Town Council stops telling the manager how to do his job. He said during his tenure, some councilors demanded he take certain actions regarding specific town employees. This was particularly true when it came to Callaghan. He singled out Dow in particular. Dow has said many times that he understands the demarcation between the council and the manager and he did not intervene to end Callaghan’s employment. Markel said, with steel in his voice, Friday that Dow did, in fact, interfere. He also spoke of a need for town employees to start providing better customer service. He said he found out that some employees were simply not returning phone calls or checking e-mails from the end of day Thursday until Monday morning, when Town Hall opened again. He said that since then, he required many department heads to be available to answer phone calls and e-mail on Friday, when Town Hall is closed. He said one of his hallmarks as manager was hiring good employees. This includes the town finance director, who is now “fully prepared to put together the budget with or without a town manager. That’s what you want. Good employees who do their job.” Meanwhile, he fired one employee and suspended another for running an eBay operation while on duty, after following up on another Town Hall rumor. As a result, there is now a blocker system on all computers so that certain sites, including commercial and pornography sites, can’t be accessed. Markel said he hopes to stay in the southern Maine area, and has several options he’s pursuing. He said Kittery “has a bright future. I’m ultimately optimistic,” particularly because a citizens watchdog group has recently formed and is “engaged” in the public process.

Groveland, Florida (popluation 8,846): Groveland officials may soon be in the market for a new city manager and a finance director, since Dolly Miller, who holds both positions, quit, according to The Daily Commercial. City Attorney Anita Geraci said Monday she has instructed Groveland officials and city employees not to talk about Miller’s resignation until a formal meeting is held to discuss it. In her letter, Miller gave no reason for why she was quitting, although she thanked the city for the opportunity to have been appointed as manager in January 2010, following a brief stint as interim manager after the death of then manager Ralph Hester in October 2009. Miller, a native of Florida, has worked for the city since April 2001, when she was hired as a human resources clerk. Nearly one year later, in January 2002, she was promoted to finance director, a position she held throughout her tenure, along with the city manager title bestowed upon her eight years later. According to former Mayor Mike Radzik who served on the Groveland City Council as mayor from November 2010 to November 2012, Miller’s appointment to the city manager’s post was not seen by some as ideal. Radzik said some of the members of the current council, who also have served on previous councils, had other ideas regarding who should have held the top spot to begin with. That, Radzik said, has continued to plaque Miller since her appointment. Miller, who graduated from Lake-Sumter Community College and the University of Central Florida, worked in retail for 10 years and earned a real estate license before joining the city. She currently makes $117,220 a year. As Groveland’s finance director, Miller earned the city a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the government Finance Officers Association for three years in a row; the last in June 2012.

Cloverdale, California (population 8,618): Nina Regor, Cloverdale’s city manager for the past five years, is leaving to take a job as top administrator of a city in Washington state, according to the Press Democrat. Regor announced she has accepted the job as the city administrator in Camas, Wash. Regor, 51, will be paid about $128,000 in her new position, less than the $154,000 she makes in Cloverdale. But she said it will allow her to be nearer to family, including an aunt and an uncle that live in Washington. She also grew up in the area. Camas, a city of 20,000 inhabitants, is just east of Vancouver, Wash., It has more than twice the population of Cloverdale. With 179 employees it also has more than four times as many city workers. Before she came to Cloverdale, Regor was a deputy city manager in Spokane Valley, Wash. Since she arrived in Cloverdale in late 2007, the recession along with the accompanying decline in property and sales tax revenues contributed to the city’s general fund dwindling from $11 million annually to about $5 million. Despite the financial constraints, Regor said the city completed a number of significant projects, including the Cloverdale Fire Protection District headquarters, the History Center and the Performing Arts Center. Although those projects were team efforts involving collaboration with non-profit groups and others, Mayor Palla said, the city manager was a “key player. She had a big part in facilitating the process.” Palla said Regor has been very helpful in guiding the City Council during steady down-sizing of operations. City Councilwoman Carol Russell said Regor has been a calming influence. The budgetary problems and reduced number of employees also left Regor with little if any administrative support. The number of city employees went from 50 to 39 during her tenure. Regor said there are financial challenges Cloverdale needs to work through. Some, she said, have been inflicted by the state, such as the elimination of redevelopment programs that helped finance improvements and were being counted on for future projects. Palla said the city may seek to have an interim city manager for up to six months while a search is conducted for a full-time replacement. The interim manager would be drawn from the ranks of retired city managers available through the League of California Cities. Regor stayed on the job until Jan. 23 and reported for work in Camas on Jan. 25.

Doraville, Georgia (population 8,429): The Doraville City Council approved a contract for its first city manager Tuesday, according to the DeKalb Neighbor. The move comes on the heels of a nation-wide search that began in October. After culling a field of 92 candidates, the city’s leadership tapped Shawn Gillen, a veteran public administrator of 16 years. Gillen, who has served in the same capacity for Grand Rapids, Minn. since 2007, assumes his new role April 17. Before taking the Grand Rapids post, Gillen served as assistant professor of public finance at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to that, he served for three years as chief of staff for the city council of the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky Urban County Government. Gillen also served a term as mayor of Monmouth, Ill. in the late 90s. Gillen holds a masters of public administration and a doctorate in public finance from the University of Kentucky. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa where he played for the Hawkeye football program. Gillen and his wife Katie have three daughters, Georgia, Lilla and Scarlett. A town of about 10,000, Gillen led the northern Minnesota hamlet of Grand Rapids through a tough financial crisis. That experience will come in handy. He will face similar challenges in Doraville, a community still reeling from General Motor’s departure in 2008. His public financing chops will also be well served as the city prepares for the plant’s eventual redevelopment. With the appointment, Doraville will shed the full-time mayor form of government, which has held sway since a 1981 referendum.  Mayor Donna Pittman will transition to the role as part-time mayor, a move she welcomes.

Aransas Pass, Texas (population 8,202): Aransas Pass’s new city manager, Sylvia Carrillo, is not at all abashed that one of her first actions was to cancel a city council meeting, according to The Aransas Pass Progress. Preparation is one of Carrillo’s strong points, she said. Though this is Carrillo’s first job as a city manager, she comes to Aransas Pass with managing experience. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from Del Mar College there before going to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for a degree in business administration. She’d have been working toward a master’s degree in business administration while an intern with the City of Corpus Christi if then-City Manager George “Skip” Noe hadn’t persuaded her to switch to public administration, she said. As a graduate student and later as an employee, Carrillo worked under the city manager in budgeting, parks and recreation, development services and mapping, among other departments, before applying for the Aransas Pass job. She started work here on Friday, Jan. 4, after being selected by city council members from a total of 44 applicants, later narrowed to seven. In Corpus Christi, she supervised a staff of 70 and a budget of $6.5 million, Castillo said. While she’s a rookie city manager, she considers her background in the area an advantage. Because of that, she knows about what she calls the “dramatic changes” at Conn Brown Harbor, with the city removing derelict boat hulks and cleaning up the harbor for future development. Her vision for Aransas Pass includes some hard work, because Carrillo believes the city is “on the cusp of some astonishing growth.” She pointed to a new pipe plant being built near Gregory as an example of industrial growth in the area. Otherwise, he said, the city will be caught unprepared.

Pismo Beach, California (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. 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.

Fairfax, California (population 7,441): Fairfax’s new town manager, Garrett Toy, will start in his new position on Feb. 4, according to the SanAnselmo-Fairfax Patch. The Fairfax Town Council approved a contract for Toy at its Jan. 10 meeting. He will make an annual salary of $120,000. Mayor John Reed briefly introduced Toy at the Thursday night meeting after the council approved the contract. The council and more than 15 audience members applauded after Toy’s new position was announced. Toy, who lives in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters, is currently the administrative services manager in the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency. For more than 13 years, Toy was part of the senior management team in Morgan Hill, a town south of San Jose with a population of more than 38,000. He served as the director of business assistance and housing services, overseeing Morgan Hill’s redevelopment, economic development and affordable housing activities. He has also served as the deputy director of housing and redevelopment for the city of Stockton and worked for Fairfield’s Department of Planning and Development. He has more than 23 years of experience in municipal government managing projects and programs from creation to completion, according to Fairfax town staff. Michael Rock, who was the Fairfax town manager for four and a half years, left the town in June 2012 for a position with the city of Lomita, a city with a population of over 20,000 in Southern California. Judy Anderson, the town clerk, has served as the interim town manager since Rock left.

Skiatook, Oklahoma (population 7,389): Owasso Police Chief Dan Yancey has been hired as the new city manager of Skiatook, according to the Tulsa World. The Skiatook City Council approved the move at a special meeting, Mayor Josh Brown said. Yancey, 49, who served as Skiatook police chief for 2½ years in the early 2000s, has been Owasso’s chief since January 2003. Yancey, who will start at Skiatook on Feb. 11, will move into a position formerly held by ex-town coordinator Martin Tucker, who left this summer after the municipality declined to renew his contract. Skiatook voters in November OK’d a proposition to switch from a town form of government to council-city manager template. Although he never has been a city manager, Yancey has more than 28 years in law enforcement, including stints at the Pawhuska Police Department and the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Brown said he worked with Yancey in the sheriff’s office. Yancey will receive a two-year contract with an annual base salary of $70,000, plus benefits, Brown said. Yancey said years ago he had planned on retiring from law enforcement when he turned 50, which is less than a month away. Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray said the municipality expects to name Deputy Police Chief Scott Chambless as interim police chief.

Guadalupe, California (population 7,132): The city of Guadalupe is getting a new City Administrator at the expense of the San Luis Obispo City Council, according to KCOY.  Andrew Carter is stepping down to take the full time job of City Administrator for Guadalupe. According to SLO City, Carter has served on the City Council since 2006, and is currently filling a term that will expire on December 1, 2014. Council Member Carter’s last day as a Council Member for the City of San Luis Obispo will be February 20, 2013 and that will be the day on which the vacancy will occur for appointment purposes. After more than six years on the City Council, Carter’s contributions will be missed by many. Mr. Carter is known for his analytical abilities, focus on financial trends (especially regarding City expenditures), and an unwavering commitment to the role and responsibilities of the City Council. During his term on the Council, Carter became a strong advocate for pension reform and voted with the majority of the City Council to create second-tier pension formulas for all City employee groups.

Live Oak, Florida (population 6,918): The Live Oak City Council met Dec. 18 to interview four candidates for the city administrator job, according to the Suwanee Democrat. They ended by hiring Joseph Miranti of Saint Cloud, Florida. 
Miranti claims to have 25 years in county government and has worked for the counties of Osceola and Madison. He has a master’s degree in business administration and organization management. 
He said he is trained to be resourceful in “getting the job done with as little amount of money possible and still provide the services that the citizens need.”
 Miranti takes over the job from Bob Farley who was sacked by the council in October. Miranti was scheduled to begin work on Dec. 27. 

He said his two main goals are simple: develop communication with the employees, councilman and community to make it an open line of communication and storm recovery. 
He said he once had to cut $500,000 out of a budget and did so without letting any employees go. 
Miranti has lived in Florida all his life, starting in south Florida, then central Florida and will now be living in north Florida. 
The vote to hire Miranti was 3-2 with councilmen Keith Mixon and Bennie Thomas voting against. Mixon and Thomas said they weren’t overly impressed with either candidate interviewed. Mixon wanted to at least interview Miranti and the other top point getter again. 
The council used a point system for each candidate based on different strengths. The top two point getters were David Kraus followed by Miranti. However, there was never a motion made that stated the top point getter would be offered the job first. Councilman Jacob Grantham, who chose Miranti to be interviewed, made a motion to hire him. This was seconded by council president Adam Prins. 
Miranti’s salary was voted to be $65,000 a year. The salary range for the job is $60-70,000 per year. 
The other interviewees were Andrew DeCandis, Kraus and Timothy Williams.

West Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 6,916): Town Administrator Beth Faricy is retiring in June after 21 years on the job, according to the Boston Globe. Applications for the job are being accepted until Feb. 22, and officials expect to screen and interview candidates in March. The search committee includes Superintendent of Schools Patricia Oakley, Town Clerk Nancy Morrison, Town Accountant John Duggan, Water Commissioner and Planning Board member Hugh Hurley, and resident Jack Hughes. The town administrator is appointed by the three-member Board of Selectmen.

Ivins, Utah (population 6,774): The Ivins City Council named City Attorney Dale Coulam as the replacement for City Manager Judy Gubler, who retired in November, according to The Spectrum. “You’re hired!” Mayor Chris Hart said after the council worked through concerns about whether Coulam would be able to simultaneously fill not only the city’s chief executive position, but the city attorney position he has held since 2004 while also continuing to fulfill some of the human resources and administrative services responsibilities he had also assumed during the course of his eight years with the city. Since 2005, Coulam served as acting city manager when Gubler was absent, and has been serving as her interim replacement since she retired. Councilmembers estimated the city will save more than $100,000 per year by combining the jobs, once benefits and salary are considered. Coulam said he will be paid about $120,000 to fill the two jobs that were each worth more than $100,000 previously. The new responsibilities will require him to work evenings and some weekends, but he was accustomed to a similar schedule during his years of private practice as an attorney, he said. Councilman George Elwell said he had wrestled with doubts about whether combining the two jobs placed too much power in one person’s hands, but had similarly determined that the city’s interests are being protected and that his doubts were unfounded at this time.

Princeton, WV (population 6,453): The City of Princeton welcomed a new city manager Jan. 15, according to the Princeton TimesCity Attorney Paul Cassell asked the City Council to approve a contract with Elke Doom, currently of Port Huron Township, Mich. Cassell told the council that he had prepared a draft of the contract which was approved by Doom and the Council needed to act so she could sign. Tim Ealy motioned and Jimm Norman seconded Cassell’s recommendation to approve the contract with Doom. The motion was approved 5-0. Council members Dewey Russell and John Wilborn were not at the meeting. Doom took over for the retiring Wayne Shumate and interim City Manager Wanda Donahue who was elected to serve until a replacement could be found. Doom previously served as supervisor/manager of the Huron Charter Township. In her letter of application for the position, she cited her experience with managing a budget, the 49 employees of the township, and her experience with economic development. Doom has also served as Manager/Assessor for York Charter Township, Mich., Tax Assessor for LaSalle Township, Mich., and as a Property Appraiser/Tax Assessor. She has degrees from Henry Ford Community College, Siena Heights University, and Saginaw Valley State University. She also has attended professional training at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Michigan State University, and the Michigan Township Governance Academy.

Eudora, Kansas (population 6,217): Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein announced his resignation, effective March 1, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. Harrenstein, who gave notice of his resignation Monday to the Eudora City Council, has accepted a similar position with the City of North Mankato, Minn. He’s been the city administrator since 2009. Harrenstein said he has enjoyed his time in Eudora, but the opening in Minnesota will bring him closer to his family in Iowa. North Mankato has a population of about 13,000 and is close to the Iowa border. The citizens of Eudora “welcomed me into their town,” he said. Harrenstein is the third high-ranking city official to resign in recent months, with the city recently hiring a new police and fire chief. But Harrenstein said the turnover “is in no way a negative reflection” of the city, which he said is “poised for great things.” In his three years with the city, Harrenstein said he’s most proud of helping build the city’s financial infrastructure and reorganizing the city’s administration. Harrenstein said he will help the city find a replacement.

Wadesboro, North Carolina (population 5,710): Alex Sewell began his first day as the new Wadesboro town manager on Jan. 7, filling John Witherspoon’s seat that Cecil Wood had been holding in the interim, according to the Anson Record. Sewell was born and raised in Wake County. A licensed attorney, he went to law school in a J.D./M.P.A. program, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and tying for the highest class GPA. Sewell just finished his course work for the M.P.A and is excited for his new position. Sewell enjoys working out, outdoor activities, and playing guitar, describing himself as a “laid-back guy.” Sewell formerly worked as an assistant in the city manager’s office in the town of Apex while in school, helping to prepare him for his new role. Sewell has experience in all phases of municipal administration, according to a press release he sent Monday evening. This includes experience in economic development, strategic planning, public works, finance, public safety, grant-writing, human resources and municipal law. Although he isn’t native to Wadesboro, Sewell had been through town before and when he became interested in the position he took the time to look deeper into the town. Sewell intends to focus on planning, partnerships and community. To accomplish all of this, Sewell said he needs to learn about the community by listening. Wadesboro Mayor Bill Thacker is pleased with Sewell’s appointment. Sewell has high hopes for the town.

Columbus, Wisconsin (population 4,997): City administrator Boyd Kraemer informed Mayor Robert Link on Dec. 19 that he intended to retire effective Jan. 15, according to the Portage Daily Register. The Columbus City Council approved an employee retirement agreement for him, but no details were released. The council approved city clerk Anne Donahue and finance director/treasurer Kim Manley to serve as acting co-administrators during the interim. Each will receive $250 per week in extra salary while performing these duties. Link said that the council will present a plaque to Kraemer at an upcoming council meeting. Kraemer has been city administrator since April 30, 2007. The council plans to undertake a search for a new city administrator that is expected to take several months.

Bulverde, Texas (population 4,780): The new city administrator for Bulverde was the salutatorian of the class of 2000 at Smithson Valley High School, according to the San Antonio Express-NewsE.A. Hoppe was selected on Dec. 11 by the Bulverde City Council to serve as the city administrator. He began his career in public management with the city of Richardson in 2004 as an intern in the finance department while completing his bachelors degree in economics at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he graduated summa cum aude. Hoppe then served as a management analyst in Richardson’s city manager’s office while completing a master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Texas‘ nationally acclaimed city management program, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2006. While there he was awarded the Hatton W. Sumners fellowship, selected as the 2005 Texas City Management Association’s Clarence E. Ridley Scholar and the 2004 North Texas City Management Association‘s William J. Pitstick Scholar. Hoppe went on to serve as the assistant to the city manager in Richardson in 2008, and was promoted to assistant director of community services in 2011. He is a graduate of Leadership Richardson (Class XXIII), the Richardson Citizens Police Academy (Class XXX), and the Richardson Citizens Fire Academy (Class XII). He is also a graduate of Leadership ICMA (International City and County Managers Association, Class of 2012) and is active in ICMA and the Texas City Managers Association. He has also served on the executive board for the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (UMANT) and Leadership Richardson. Hoppe graduated as Salutatorian from Smithson Valley High School in 2000. His wife Ashley is also a SVHS graduate, and they are the parents of two boys, Patrick and Kolby. Hoppe began his duties as city administrator Jan. 2.

Blaine, Washington (population 4,744): Gary Tomsic will retire as Blaine city manager at the end of June – leaving the post he will have held for 13 years for new adventures that include more visits with his children and grandchildren and a 500-mile walking pilgrimage in Spain, according to The News Tribune. The City Council will interview two firms Monday, Jan. 28, and pick one to search for city manager candidates. Tomsic’s tenure in Blaine began February 2000 when he was hired to serve as interim city manager before being selected permanently for the post in July of the same year. City Councilwoman Bonnie Onyon picked him for both positions. She praised Tomsic for putting Blaine on better financial footing in the short time that he served as interim city manager. Onyon also lauded Tomsic for being active in the community. As city manager, Tomsic hires and fires all staff, and oversees Blaine’s finances. The city has about 60 employees and an annual budget of roughly $30 million. His annual salary is $108,000. He said he was proud of the city’s care of its infrastructure, which prepares Blaine for growth. Other accomplishments include a consistent program of improving streets, construction of a new fire station and wastewater treatment plant, as well as the purchase of the Banner Bank building for a new City Hall. As for his greatest challenges, that included providing good financial stewardship of the city, especially during the last few years and with the December closure of the Semiahmoo Hotel. In addition to the loss of 224 jobs at Blaine’s largest employer, the closure – and the associated loss in revenue from sales and utility excise taxes – added to a shortfall in the city’s general fund that eventually totaled $536,000. The closure’s impact will remain an issue for the new city manager. Another challenge during Tomsic’s tenure included successfully negotiating an agreement with the Lummis after work crews dug up truckloads of dirt that contained Indian remains during a planned expansion of Blaine’s wastewater treatment plant on Semiahmoo Spit. (The city abandoned that expansion.) That negotiation, his first big assignment, took more than a year, Tomsic said, but he believed it was successful – noting it was done in a way that wasn’t adversarial and allowed the city to continue working with the tribe “in a positive way.” What’s next for Tomsic, a lifelong fly fisherman, and auctioneer by avocation who has used his skills to help raise money for fundraisers? There will be visits to children and grandchildren in Colorado and Florida. Maybe a little consulting work, and some volunteering. And then there’s the “camino de Santiago” pilgrimage in Spain – a 500-mile walk popularized by the 2010 movie “The Way” that Tomsic and his wife will begin in September. Although it has existed as a Christian pilgrimage for centuries, Tomsic said his inspiration for the trek isn’t religious so much as it is a chance to explore something new.

Russell, Kansas (population 4,497): Interim Russell City Manager Jon Quinday is no longer interim, according to the Hays Post.  Russell City Council members voted last week to offer Quinday a two-year contract as Russell City Manager, Quinday, the Russell Police Chief, was named interim city manager last September after previous Russell City Manager Ralph Wise resigned in August.  Quinday has resigned as police chief, a position he’s held since July 2009. Captain Dale Weimaster has been appointed Interim Russell Police Chief.

Centreville, Maryland (population 4,334): The Centreville Town Council voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Town Manager Bob McGrory and appointed Steve Walls as acting town manager on Thursday, Jan. 3, according to My Eastern Shore. McGrory’s resignation follows him being charged with driving while intoxicated at about 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day while driving a car owned by the town. The town council held two special closed sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Thursday, Jan. 3, with Police Chief Charles Rhodes, Town Attorney Steve Kehoe and Town Clerk Carolyn Brinkley where the council made their vote to accept McGrory’s resignation and to appoint Walls. Walls said his position is temporary but the council can decide to make his position permanent at a later time. Walls was previously the director of public works for the town. McGrory could not be reached for comment.

North Hampton, New Hampshire (population 4,259): The North Hampton Select Board announced Wednesday the selection of Paul Apple as the new town administrator, according to Seacoast Online. Apple has served as the town administrator in Allenstown since 2010. The Select Board said Apple brings to the community extensive municipal experience including past service as a Select Board and Budget Committee member in Mt. Vernon. Apple is also a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and during his legal career has represented both municipalities and school districts. Apple’s compensation has been established at $80,000 per year, and was expected to start work in North Hampton on Jan. 17, 2013. The Select Board’s decision is contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background review, which is currently underway. Apple will replace Steve Fournier, who vacated the position of town administrator in August, to take the administrator job in Newmarket.

Fruitland Park, Florida (population 4,078): Ralph Bowers resigned Jan. 11 as city manager in the midst of a swirling controversy surrounding a two-year affair he had with a city employee that sparked a criminal investigation, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Terms of the resignation included the 73-year-old Bowers receiving 160 hours of vacation pay, which totals more than $6,500, his attorney Chris Largey said. Bowers’ resignation comes on the heels of a State Attorney’s Office decision not to file criminal charges against Bowers for sexual battery against the city employee. In interviews with investigators, the woman said there were five forced incidents of sexual contact, in which she refused sexual activity, but he forced her to continue, a sheriff’s investigative report said. However, prosecutors said Wednesday there wasn’t enough physical or medical evidence to pursue charges. Also, the woman had admitted to accepting gifts and money from Bowers during the two-year sexual relationship and she admitted that she had initially consented to the sexual activity, a report said. Largey said the allegations against Bowers, who became manager in 2006, were meritless. Last month, city commissioners unanimously agreed to fire Bowers and, according to city rules, were set to have a public hearing next week to give Bowers a chance to contest his dismissal. Bowers’ attorney and city officials negotiated the terms of his resignation. Acting City Manager Diane Gibson Smith said she was surprised Bowers accepted the terms, which commissioners approved during a meeting Thursday night. Commissioners started to review resumes for an interim city manager within the first two weeks so she can return to her previous job as the city clerk, Smith said. The Range Riders, a group of retired city and county managers, is conducting the search, she added. It’s unclear when commissioners will find a permanent replacement for Bowers, who admitted to an affair with a city employee that was also the subject of an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Pine Island, Minnesota (population 3,272): The broom that swept away half the Pine Island city council last November took one more as the three new council members voted to eliminate the position of city administrator and terminate the city’s most recent contract with Abraham Algadi, according to the Post Bulletin. Algadi has held the post since 2006 and has been one of the most vocal backers of the city’s Elk Run development, an ambitious plan for a biobusiness park and surrounding residences, offices and stores, which has been slow to get off the ground. Mayor Rod Steele, who voted against the motion, said it’s totally unrelated to the ongoing questions surrounding the Elk Run project. Karen Doll, executive director of Pine Island’s Economic Development Authority, said the Elk Run project “will move forward” but otherwise declined comment. At Tuesday’s meeting, new councilman Nick Novak moved to eliminate the position of city administrator and direct the city’s staff to amend the city code appropriately, dividing the administrator duties among the city’s staff members. New councilmen Erik Diskerud and Randy Bates joined Novak in voting to eliminate the position. Councilman Jerry Vettel and Steele voted against the motion. Novak said his goal in cutting the position was to cut spending. Cutting the post would save about $100,000 per year, he said, after paying Algadi a six-month buyout that includes vacation pay, sick leave and benefits. Department managers would handle anything related to their departments that Algadi had formerly taken care of, he said, and employees could be cross-trained. The move takes effect immediately, as a city official said Wednesday morning that Algadi was expected to be in later to clean out his desk. Steele said the city has quality people who can step up to perform Algadi’s duties, a comment echoed by Novak. The decision was preceded by public comment both for and against the move. Before his contract was terminated, Algadi said he would be happy to help with any transition period for the city, but after the contract termination, he said of the move to cut his position, “I do sense a sinister dark vein of intolerance.” Algadi was not available for comment today. Novak said he likes Algadi but simply wanted to cut the highest salary on the city payroll to save money.

Justin, Texas (population 3,246): The Justin City Council considered appointing a new interim city manager Jan. 22 in a called special meeting after Mike Evans announced plans to retire, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The city manager’s last day was Friday. Evans decided to call it quits last week after 15 years of service and one month after being appointed city manager in December. Mayor Greg Scott said it’s a little surprising to see Evans retire so suddenly after he was appointed to the position in mid-December. The council will consider appointing a temporary city manager or delegating the position’s responsibilities to various city staff members, Scott said. Scott said he’s known Evans for about seven years. He said it’ll be difficult to see Evans leave, but officials will make sure the city moves forward without any problems. Evans worked for the city for 15 years in public works, administration and other departments. He’s resigning after working in his current position for a little over two months. Evans served as Justin’s first city manager as an interim after residents voted for the creation of the position during the Nov. 6 election. Many residents opposed the creation of the position because they felt it would only add to the cost of government.However, Justin residents approved converting the city to a council-manager form of government by a vote of 734 to 469. Because Justin’s 2012-13 budget was already in place at the time the city manager position was approved, city officials agreed to pull from its reserves to pay for any unbudgeted items, including the city manager’s salary. Scott said his personal goal is to have a new manager hired within the next 60 days, but he said council members would determine the timeline. Evans could not be reached for comment, but in a recent interview earlier this month he gave no indication that he would retire anytime soon. Evans retirement is the city’s second in a month. Kim Strange was appointed city secretary after Virginia Blevins stepped down because of health reasons.

Hillsville, Virginia (population 2,675): Travis Jackson, area director for USDA, Rural Development for the past 32 years, has been named the new town manager for Hillsville, according to the Carroll News. Jackson’s hiring was approved during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on Jan. 14 by unanimous vote. “We’ve been in the process of interviewing for a long time, but I’m glad to announce we have reached an agreement with Mr. Travis Jackson,” said Councilman Ed Terry, who then made the motion to approve Jackson as the town manager, effective Feb. 1. Although this will be first time Jackson has served in the role of town manager, he said the issues facing a rural town in Southwest Virginia aren’t new to him. Jackson added that he welcomed the chance to serve in a new capacity. As area director for USDA, Rural Development, Jackson, 55, managed 20 employees serving 19 counties and five cities in Virginia. During his career, Jackson has supervised field staffs in all areas of the state. He was also responsible for administering USDA Loan and Grant Programs for single-family housing, multi-family housing, community facilities, rural utilities, and business and industry. During the past five years alone, Jackson has been responsible for the management and administration of a budget of over $613,000,000 program dollars. He maintained a zero percent delinquency rate for loans in group programs and was recognized by the USDA Administrator for consistently having one of the highest producing offices in the nation. In addition, Jackson was appointed by the Rural Development Administrator to assist in the development of a training program for the nation’s staff. As a self-employed consultant, Jackson has provided services to industries for training employees in management, communication and sales, and for health care management related companies. Jackson developed a tele-marketing training model for a national pharmaceutical company, and developed a guide for a 50-member hospital health care system to be used for board and medical staff. Jackson, a recipient of 34 USDA Distinguished Service Awards, was named the 1993 National USDA Employee of the Year. He was named a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow in 1998, and received the Duke LifePoint Healthcare Board Leadership Award in 2008. In 2009, he was honored by Duke LifePoint Healthcare WCCH Emergency Department’s dedication of the Travis Jackson Wing in 2009. Among Jackson’s other activities and achievements are: past member and president of Hospice of Wythe-Bland, Inc.; past board member, president and campaign chairman of the Wythe County United Way; past drive chairman of the Wytheville Community College Foundation; past board member and chairman of the Housing Committee of H.O.P.E., Inc.; past advisory board member of Southwest Virginia Governor’s School; chairman of the board of the Wythe County Community Hospital Foundation; board member of Wythe County Community College board of trustees; member of the Virginia Rural Health Association; and member of the Appalachian Funders Network. Jackson also brokered a lease of Wythe County Community Hospital and established a community foundation with the proceeds of the pre-paid lease for health education and welfare of Wythe and Bland County citizens.

El Paso, Illinois (population 2,824): Tanner Fortney likes El Paso, but he’ll no longer need to wish he was in Kansas, according to the Journal Star. The El Paso city administrator submitted his resignation last week. Fortney’s final day there is to be Feb. 22. On March 4, he is to become a senior management analyst for Johnson County, Kan., part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It’s also a move home. Fortney is from Spring Hill, Kan., a city of about 5,000 located in southern Johnson County. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas. Prior to his move to El Paso in March 2010, Fortney worked for the city of Olathe, Kan., the Johnson County seat. In his new job, Fortney is to work with the assistant and deputy county managers regarding corrections, emergency management and communications and health and environment, among other areas. The county is responsible for local ambulance service. El Paso has about 3,000 residents. Johnson County’s population is about 550,000. The county’s median household and per-capita incomes also are among the highest in the United States. Helping to balance municipal budgets, after the general fund was in deficit for about 10 years, was one of Fortney’s biggest accomplishments in El Paso, he said. That was done in part through implementation of long-range plans, spending cuts and increases in sewer and water rates. The council hasn’t decided on a process to find Fortney’s replacement, although he plans to share ideas about how to proceed, he said. That might be a parting gift to a community he said was welcoming.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (population 2,521): Former Carolina Beach Town Manager, Tim Owens, was named the new Town Manager of Wrightsville Beach, according to WECT. The Board of Aldermen made the decision Dec. 31 while meeting in a closed session. More than 50 people applied for the position and 11 were interviewed. Owens resigned from his position in Carolina Beach in November, along with the mayor and a councilman. After being in the position for more than six years, the Wrightsville Beach mayor said Owens was chosen for his experience with coastal communities. The new town manager said he is trying to move forward from his time in Carolina Beach. Owens started in Wrightsville Beach January 8. Residents attended a meet and greet session January 10.

Fair Haven, Vermont (population 2,269): The new town manager said he is very excited to start in his new post, according to the Rutland Herald. Herbert Durfee III of Grand Isle was hired December 20 following an executive session with the Fair Haven Select Board in which salary negotiations were discussed but not disclosed. He is set to begin Jan. 28. Durfee was unanimously chosen by the Select Board after he was recommended to the post by the town’s search committee last week. He was one of 35 candidates considered for the position by the committee. Durfee said he will be moving down to Fair Haven from Grand Isle with his family. The terms of Durfee’s contract, which includes salary and benefits, were not immediately disclosed. The town manager post has sat empty since the former town manager, Peter Hathaway, resigned in July citing disagreements and an impasse between him and the Select Board. Hathaway, who had been hired about 17 months before, had replaced Serena Williams. A 12-person committee that included the five members of the Select Board and seven members from other committees in town was appointed to weed through the applications. The committee interviewed 10 candidates by phone and five in person. In the interim, Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries was appointed to the position. His contact was extended in October for another 90 days because of delays in the hiring process. He said his time in the position has been satisfying, especially after the town was able to begin the road project by Depot Street bridge. He said he is happy to be going back to full-time police chief. He said there will probably be a week or two of transition time with Durfee before he hands over the reins to the town.

Veazie, Maine (population 1,919): Town Manager Joseph Hayes tendered his resignation Jan. 7 after an executive session held to discuss an unspecified personnel matter, according to the Bangor Daily News. Hayes, who previously served as Stockton Springs’ manager, was hired as Veazie’s manager a year ago. Hayes’ resignation, effective on Jan. 31, was accepted in a 3-2 vote, with Councilors Joseph Friedman, Jon Parker and Christopher Bagley voting in favor and Council Chairman Tammy Olson and Councilor Brian Perkins voting against. Town councilors then voted 5-0 to appoint Police Chief Mark Leonard interim town manager. Hayes declined Tuesday to say what prompted him to resign. Parker, the only town councilor who could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon and early evening, confirmed that the executive session was held to conduct Hayes’ annual performance review. After the councilors returned to open session, Parker said, Hayes “stated that due to his poor review he was tendering his resignation.” On Tuesday, Hayes said he plans to spend the time between now and his departure getting the annual budget development process under way and meeting with department heads. Hayes, who is 58, did confirm that he had one year left on his two-year contract, which does not expire until Dec. 31. Hayes said he did not have any immediate employment plans. Information about a severance deal was not immediately available Tuesday morning. A signed copy of Hayes’ employment agreement was among the documents contained in the council’s Dec. 19, 2011, agenda package. According to the document, dated Dec. 5, 2011, Hayes’ starting annual gross salary was set at $50,000. The contract also provided for accrued vacation time, group health and dental benefits or a fixed financial contribution in lieu of those benefits. Hayes also was provided life insurance equal to his annual salary, disability benefits based on 70 percent of his yearly pay and an allowance for use of his own vehicle for town business, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and the use of a cellphone. The council waived the residency requirement for the term of the agreement. The agreement also allowed Hayes to resign “at any time from his position with the Town. Provided, however, that in the event of resignation without a prior 60-day notice, the Town Manager shall forfeit accumulated sick leave and vacation.” Leonard, who has served brief periods as interim manager in the past, accepted the mission. Hayes, who also served as town administrator in Lamoine from 1988 to 1992, worked at the Bangor Daily News starting at age 16 in the press room. Later in his newspaper career, he became an assistant to the production manager and then moved to the credit collection department. He left the BDN in 2004. Hayes’ hiring in Veazie ended a 2½-month search after the council chose not to renew Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract in September 2011. After Reed left, the town hired Larry Varisco, a retired Holden town manager, to temporarily fill the role on a part-time basis while the search was under way. Varisco had been working two or three days per week handling the town manager’s duties.

Bangor, Michigan (population 1,885): City Council members are beginning to seek a replacement for City Manager Joe Sobieralski, who is leaving at month’s end, according to The Herald-Palladium. Meanwhile, the council agreed Monday to seek an interim manager through the Michigan Municipal League. Council members said they want one in place within a week or so. One interim candidate had shown interest as of Tuesday. City officials expect to hear from several others before making a recommendation. The interim manager would most likely work two to three days a week for three to six months to give the council time to find a permanent, full-time manager. Sobieralski will become executive director of the Southwestern Economic Growth Alliance in Niles on Feb. 4. The council hired Sobieralski in June 2012. His contract called for a 30-day notice if he chose to find employment elsewhere. On Jan. 1 Sobieralski issued a brief resignation letter to the council. Sobieralski dealt with several Bangor controversies, including a lawsuit from the Downtown Development Authority. But Sobieralski said he is not [leaving] because of the lawsuit. SMEGA works with 11 municipalities to promote economic growth in southern Berrien County.

Haymarket, Virginia (population 1,802): Haymarket Town Manager Gene Swearingen recently resigned his position with the Town of Haymarket. Swearingen’s resignation came after the Haymarket Town Council held a special meeting on Dec. 19 to discuss matters that had “come to light,” said Haymarket Vice Mayor Jay Tobias. While Tobias couldn’t be specific because the issue was a “personnel matter,” he said the council voted unanimously to suspend Swearingen with pay. The council was scheduled to make a decision on the matter during its next regularly scheduled meeting. Swearingen submitted his letter of resignation about a week after the Dec. 13 meeting, Tobias said. According to town records, invoices sent to the Haymarket Town Hall will be reviewed by staff, the mayor, and vice mayor, “until further notice.” Water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, cable and other bills will excluded from review, according to the minutes of the Dec. 13 special meeting. Haymarket Mayor David Leake said utility bills along with the others didn’t need review. Leake said he thought Swearingen my have been overloaded with work when he was put in charge of overseeing the repair and maintenance of the Hullfish House and the Old Post Office, two historic buildings in the town. Leake said he thought Swearingen had simply had enough. Leake said he didn’t think the situation would go any further.

Becket, Massachusetts (population 1,779): Following a review of evaluation forms, the Becket Select Board has begun a search for a new town administrator after recently deciding not to extend the appointment of Craig Kleman, according to The Berkshire Eagle. At the Dec. 12 select board meeting, Chair Mark Karlberg said that former Sheffield Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg will be appointed as a part-time interim replacement. Karlberg said that the board is aiming to hire a permanent full-time town administrator by April or May. The decision was made after the conclusion of the last select board meeting on Dec. 5. Kleman has been the town administrator since about March 2011. His six-month appointment ends at the end of the month. The position paid about $51,500 per year with health benefits. Karlberg would not elaborate why the select board decided to conduct a search for a new town administrator, but he said that the evaluations filled out by department heads and the select board members in November played a large role. Karlberg said that there was no legal misconduct. He complimented Kleman on his organization skills, but he said the select board decided to go search for another candidate. Since joining the board, Kleman wrote that he has overseen computer system improvements. He also applied for grant funding for Fire Station #2, state Green Communities money for energy efficiency, along with the everyday work of managing the town departments. Karlberg said that Kellogg will be paid $45 an hour. He said the Select Board will solicit applications for committee members that will review town administrator resumes.

Henniker, New Hampshire (population 1,747): Tom Yennerell has had a whirlwind winter thus far, leaving his home behind in Colorado to come to Henniker’s to serve as the new town administrator, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Despite the chaos, Yennerell is happy to be home in New England again. Yennerell, 59, began serving as town administrator earlier this month and said the transition into his new post has been smooth. He has 16 years experience as a town administrator, serving 10 years in Rutland, Vt., before chasing a dream that led him west to try life in Colorado. For five years Yennerell managed the town of Mancos, population 1,330, a remote area of the state where ancient Pueblo people made their homes. But despite the beauty and quiet of the area, Yennerell and his wife began longing to return to the East Coast.  While continuing to work in Mancos, Yennerell said he kept an eye on job postings in New Hampshire and when the Henniker job opened up, he jumped at the chance. He applied, went through a rigorous vetting process, and eventually landed the job. Yennerell said the biggest challenge about starting his new job in January is timing. Yennerell said his goal is to ensure that the town is meeting the needs of the taxpayers while preparing for the future, a balance that is difficult to strike when the economy is uncertain. But the challenges aren’t overwhelming, said Yennerell, and the benefits of being in Henniker are vast.

Kremling, Colorado (population 1,414): Tuesday, Jan. 22, was the first day on the job for Kremmling’s new town manager Mark Campbell, according to the Sky-Hi News. He and his two cats Stan and Ollie moved to Kremmling last week from Missouri, where he had worked as a city administrator at the small gaming community of LaGrange. There, a large part of Campbell’s job concerned city issues in dealing with flooding of the Mississippi River, he said. In 2008, Campbell received a congressional medal of merit for his work in the aftermath of the floods that year. Originally from Northern Ireland, Campbell has been living and working in the states for the past 20 years. He lived for a short time in Baker, Montana, and in taking the Kremmling position, “There was a part of me that wanted to move out West again,” he said. Kremmling, he said, is similar to Montana scenic attributes and lifestyle. For mountainous areas, Campbell said, the people “choose to be here.” The manager earned his masters in public affairs at Cleveland State University, College of Urban Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio. During his first day on the job on Tuesday, he traveled to Gypsum with interim Kremmling town manager Dick Blodgett for a meeting on regional collaboration on green management opportunities, such as use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, resource conservation and environmental preservation. According to Kremmling Mayor Tom Clark, Blodgett plans to stay for at least a week to ensure a “smooth transition” of the town’s management. Campbell, who survived two interviews for the job, was among a pool of top five finalists out of 60 candidates Kremmling officials chose, Clark said. Kremmling did offer the job to two others who either did not take the job or dropped out of the running, he said. Campbell’s “all-round experience” appealed to Clark, from “water, waste water and grant writing to emergency management and flood mitigation.” The new manager’s goals at present are to simply “try and advance the town forward” with its own agenda of attracting and retaining businesses and upgrading the town’s infrastructure, while trying to find the needed funds to do so.

Lake Park, Iowa (population 1,120): The appeal of a small town with attractive amenities caught the attention of new Lake Park City Administrator Wade Wagoner, according to the Dickinson County News. The Parkersburg native was making a couple of trips to the area with his wife when he encountered welcoming spirit of the community. The Lake Park City Council must have liked what they saw as well: Wagoner took over for George McGuire who recently stepped down to be closer to family. Wagoner began his new position Jan. 2. The new city administrator received his undergraduate degree at Northwest Missouri State and obtained his masters at Missouri State University — Southwest Missouri State at the time. City planning was a focus of his education. He and his wife, Amanda have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is about to celebrate her second birthday. Wagoner has held three different job titles in the past 15 years. He was a senior planner in Waterloo, served as the community development director in Kearney, Mo. and has been with the Brick Industry for the past six years. The company helps communities with architectural and design standards in an eight-state area. Wagoner’s position with the Brick Industry was coming to a close at the end of the year. He pursued other offers but zeroed in on the Lake Park opening. During his time in the private sector, Wagoner noted that often didn’t get to see his company’s numerous projects through to their conclusion. Wagoner isn’t afraid to admit that he new to the surrounding at his new job, but knows what it is like to be involved in a small, tight-knit community. The new city administrator grew in Parkersburg, which has a population of around 2,000. In addition, Wagoner said he plans to offer a few cosmetic tweaks for the community, whether through changing of the street lighting or sprucing up the main street. He also touched on the need for a housing development for families that are new to town and don’t necessarily plan to purchase a house right away. Wagoner’s enthusiasm for his new position is sure to excite the Lake Park community.

Grundy, Virginia (population 1,021): Grundy’s town manager, Roger Powers, died Dec. 19 at his home, according to TriCities.com. The 78-year-old man was a lifelong Southwest Virginian, a businessman and an athlete, according to his obituary. Powers had served as Grundy’s Town Manager since January 2011, and was the owner of Excello Oil Corporation, the obituary said. He was a U.S. Army veteran, a Mason and a member of the Grundy Lions Club. He most recently served as the chair of the finance committee at the Appalachian School of Law as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and also was a trustee of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy. Powers is survived by his wife, daughters and grandchildren.

White Springs, Florida (population 769): The town of White Springs has just announced the hiring of their new town manager, former Live Oak city administrator Bob Farley, who began his first day on the job Wednesday, Jan. 2, according to the Suwanee Democrat. Farley was let go as city administrator of Live Oak in early October by a 3-2 vote of the Live Oak City Council. Bob Farley was born in White Plains, N.Y. and earned his Associate in Applied Science from the State University of New York at Delhi. He moved to Florida in 1971 after working in Philadelphia, Pa. for the Penn Central Railroad. According to a press release from the town of White Springs, Farley has about 44 years experience, including working in the civil engineering field of water and wastewater design and construction, and serving as operations director for a telecommunication (cellular) design and construction company. Most recently Farley also worked as public works director for the city of Live Oak. During his tenure in Live Oak, Farley was named City Administrator/Manager of the Year in 2010 by the Florida Rural Water Association. He has completed all necessary National Incident Management System (NIMS) as required by FEMA/Homeland Security for Command & General Staff – Complex Incidents.  Additionally, he has completed classes in budgeting and ethics given by the Florida League of Cities. Farley, Miller stated, has spoken throughout the state regarding how small cities can improve their water and wastewater systems through DEP/SRF low interest programs. The city of Live Oak was able to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant, which cost $16 million. Two million of that cost was passed on to the citizens of Live Oak. Farley is married to Charlotte and they have four daughters, Gina, Crystal, Angela and Shay.

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.