Transitions: Hennepin County, MN; Charlotte, NC; Lucas County, OH

Madison County, New York (population 73,355): The Madison County Board of Supervisors officially approved Administrative Assistant Mark Scimone’s appointment to the county’s top non-elected post at its meeting Tuesday, according to The Oneida Daily Dispatch. Scimone will become the county’s second administrator, a position that was created and filled for the first time by Paul Miller, who retired in 2010. Since Miller’s retirement, Scimone has acted as the county’s administrative assistant, promoted from his role as research and legislative affairs coordinator. Scimone currently makes $95,000 a year; in his new role he will earn $105,000. On Tuesday, several supervisors objected to the salary set for the position, saying it was too high. Lincoln Supervisor Darrin Ball expressed interested in requiring pay to be based on performance while Lebanon Supervisor Jim Goldstein said the salary was simply too much. Nelson Supervisor Roger Bradstreet disagreed, saying the figure was based on comparisons to what similar officials made in municipalities with similar attributes as Madison County. Besides the disapproval by Goldstein, Ball and Oneida Supervisor Lewis Carinci, the rest of the board was in favor of Scimone’s appointment. As administrator, Scimone will oversee the administration of county government, advise supervisors on the development of policies and legislation, evaluate proposals brought to the board, develop plans for capital projects, oversee the annual review of employee performances and act as the county’s chief spokesperson in union negotiations, among other responsibilities. Two local laws proposed at Tuesday’s meeting addressed the position’s duties and qualifications, requiring the appointee to have a Master’s degree in public administration or a related field and five years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree in the same field and at least seven years of experience. Scimone has a Bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He was first employed by the county as a personnel technician and then later promoted to assistant personnel officer in a five-year stint at the county that ended in 2004 when he left for a job at SUNY Upstate as a personnel recruiter. From there he was the assistant director of human resources at SUNY ESF before returning to the county in 2009 as a legislative affairs coordinator. Also proposed in a local law amendment was an extension of the positions term from two years to four. After two silent public hearings, those changes were approved by the board. The board also gave the go-ahead to create an executive assistant to the county administrator. The starting salary for the position was established as no more than $43,213. Scimone will appoint someone to fill the position and Tuesday said he had not selected anyone yet. The position will be advertised and an open recruitment will be held, he said.
New Braunfels, Texas (population 59,590): New Braunfels City Council voted late last night to sever ties with City Manager Michael Morrison, effectively firing him from the role he has served for the last 7 years, according to KGNB. The 5 to 2 vote came after a lengthy Executive Session discussion behind closed doors that totaled just over 3 hours in length where Council was discussing Morrison’s annual performance review. Council reconvened in Open Session and first voted to give City Attorney Val Acevedo a 3% pay raise before voting to sever ties with City Manager Morrison. Mayor Gale Pospisil and Dist. 4 Councilwoman Sandy Nolte were the two “no” votes, while Dist. 1’s Richard Zapata, Dist. 2’s Mark Goodner, Dist. 3’s Ron Reaves, Dist. 5’s Bryan Miranda, and Dist. 6’s Steven Digges voted in favor of firing Morrison. The decision is effective immediately, but Council made no announcement about a plan to name an interim City Manager. And there was no discussion from the dais as to why Council decided to take immediate action on Morrison’s employment with the city. But KGNB News had a chance to speak to several Council members following the March 11 vote, and they gave us an inkling of what the discussion was like behind closed doors. Again, no formal action was taken March 11 to name an interim City Manager, and so it’s unclear exactly who is running the city’s operations today. And it’s still to be determined on how Council plans to begin the process of looking for a new City Manager.

Walton County, Florida (population 55,793): Walton County commissioners have agreed to hire Robert Halfhill as their new county administrator, according to the NWF Daily News. Acting County Attorney Mark Davis announced at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting that an employment package had been presented to Halfhill and that he had accepted a salary of $114,000. Commissioners then voted unanimously to bring him in. His predecessor Greg Kisela was paid $132,000. Halfhill’s first day on the job will be March 1. His most recent job was as public works director for Charlotte County, where he had served since 2009. According to his resume, he oversaw 140 people and controlled a $36 million budget. Halfhill also had a brief stint as interim county administrator in Escambia County from Dec. 4, 2001, to April 21, 2002. According to the Pensacola Independent News, Halfhill served between Tom Forrest, who was run off by state senator turned County Commissioner W.C. Childers, and George Touart, who started the job just days before Childers was arrested and booted from the board. Halfhill also was a Marine for 14 years.

Colton, California (population 52,940):  After only three years as city manager, Rod Foster is heading to Laguna Niguel, according to the Contra Costa Times. Foster has accepted the position as city manager of the affluent Orange County city. Foster leaves behind a stellar track record in the working-class city of 53,000. He is credited with successfully negotiating labor contracts with unions, securing federal funding for essential services and consolidating city departments, which brought the city’s general fund reserves from a paltry $50,000 in 2009 to $2.3 million today. Foster’s last day with Colton is March 14. The City Council will begin discussing the appointment of an interim city manager at its next meeting on Tuesday and should have a successor announced on March 5, Foster said. Laguna Niguel City Manager Tim Casey said the city initially had 65 applicants. That number dwindled to 14, then to eight, then to three, he said.Casey said Foster was the only candidate who requested a complete tour of the city. He mined information from the city’s website and closely monitored council meetings to stay attuned to the city’s goings-on. The Laguna Niguel City Council approved Foster’s employment contract on Wednesday. It calls for an annual salary of $220,000, a 6 percent increase over what Foster is making in Colton. Foster said he will be making the move from Upland, where he resides with his family, to Laguna Niguel in the summer. He said he wants to wait until his 12-year-old son completes the school year. Colton Councilman Frank Gonzales credited Foster with quickly reversing a fiscal trajectory that was on a course to bankruptcy. Foster successfully negotiated concessions with the city’s police union totaling $1 million, and he got firefighters to agree to concessions that saved the city more than $1 million last year. In a city where an old guard stands close watch of local government and has doled out its fair share of criticism in years past, Foster entered Colton with an established sense of character, integrity and honesty that quickly earned him the respect and loyalty of many. Aside from the fact that Foster was willing to work more for less, Gary Grossich, a member of Colton First, a grassroots political and fiscal watchdog group, said he was especially impressed with how Foster continued improving the city’s financial condition even after losing $5 million in annual revenue when the city’s utility tax sunsetted in 2011.

Brookhaven, Georgia (population 49,000): The city of Brookhaven has finally chosen its city manager, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. Not new to the city’s happenings, Marie Garrett was appointed to stay on as the city manager for Brookhaven. She has been in the role on an interim basis since the municipality’s inception in December.

Muskegon, Michigan (population 38,401): Muskegon City Manager Bryon Mazade recently told city commissioners that he will retire on Oct. 1 after nearly 20 years of leading the community’s largest city, according to MLive. Mazade, 54, will take an early retirement and step down as the second longest tenured city manager in Muskegon’s history. He announced his retirement now to give city commissioners plenty of time to fill the city manager position, according to an email. The Muskegon City Commission is wasting no time in beginning to discuss the process it will go through select Mazade’s successor. Commissioners have a special work session Thursday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the selection of Muskegon’s next city manager, Mayor Steve Gawron said. Gawron said that he has seen few “apply himself with such great dedication to the city.” Mazade was appointed the city’s 14th city manager in November 1994 to replace David Wendtland, who left as city manager after four and a half years to become the president of the Muskegon Economic Growth Alliance – at the time Muskegon County’s umbrella economic development agency. Only George Liddle — who was city manager for part of a year in 1942 and from 1946 through 1967 — served the office longer than Mazade. Mazade took over Muskegon’s city manager form of local government after being assistant city manager for about six years. A native of Laketon Township and a Reeths-Puffer High School graduate, Mazade had been city manager of Coopersville and Newaygo prior to coming to Muskegon. He has a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration and master’s degree in public administration, both from Michigan State University. His first job out of college was as the recreation director in Coopersville, but he quickly learned he wanted a career in public administration. The early Mazade years at Muskegon City Hall were punctuated with political divisions on the city commission. Mazade was caught in the cross-fire as a Mayor Fred Nielsen-led commission tried to fire Mazade in mid-2001. But an outpouring of support from other municipal officials and community leaders forced Mazade’s commission opponents to back down. After 2001 and under the commission leadership of former Mayor Steve Warmington, Mazade enjoyed strong support from the city commission. Gawron and the current city commission will search for and select Muskegon’s next city manager. The selection process and final decision will come in a year in which Gawron’s office and two at-large commissioner seats are up for re-election with voters deciding those important elected positions Nov. 5. Thursday’s Muskegon City Commission work session on discussing how the city will find its next city manager will be in the commission chamber at City Hall, 933 Terrace St. The commission allows for public comment at its meetings.

Columbia, Tennessee (population 34,915): Anthony R. Massey will return to the town he once called home to serve as its chief executive officer, according to The Daily Herald. Columbia City Council unanimously approved hiring the former Columbia resident as city manager February 13 during a special called meeting at City Hall. Massey was the Lee County, Ga., administrator — a position he held since 2011, according to the Lee County website. Massey previously served as city manager of Frankfort, Ky.; Bristol, Tenn.; Savannah, Tenn.; and assistant city manager of Kingsport, Tenn. Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey said he was pleased with the decision and looks forward to working with Massey. Dickey said Massey graduated from Central High School then went on to Columbia State Community College where he obtained an associate degree in law. From there, Massey went to The University of Tennessee where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s in public administration. Under a contract approved by the city council, Massey will receive a base bi-weekly salary of $4,807.70 — which equates to $125,000 annually. He will also get $277 for a motor vehicle allowance and $35 for a cell phone, both payable bi-weekly. Until Massey purchases a house in Columbia, he will receive a $340 bi-weekly allowance for temporary housing for up to six months, according to the contract. The city will also pay for Massey’s relocation expenses, which includes moving his personal property to Columbia, the contract states. Dickey said Massey’s start date should be March 15, but he may choose to start on March 25.

La Vergne, Tennessee (population 33,389): The La Vergne Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted March 5 to appoint Bruce Richardson as the city administrator, according to The Murfreesboro Post. His appointment as city administrator of La Vergne is effective immediately. He has been working for the city since June of 1993. Originally, Richardson was hired as the assistant to the city administrator, but he was transferred to the Finance Department to work as the accounts payable clerk. After working in the Finance Department for almost a year, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen appointed him as the city recorder in August 1994. Richardson graduated in February as a certified municipal finance officer through a series of 11 courses offered by the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service. He is a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders, Tennessee City Management Association and the Tennessee Government Finance Officers Association. Originally from Plymouth, Vt., Richardson moved to Murfreesboro in 1984 and attended Middle Tennessee Christian School. He is a graduate of Harding University, where he graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Richardson and his wife, Becky, have four children. Richardson is city administrator of La Vergne, effective immediately.

Poughkeepsie, New York (population 32,790): Camilo Bunyi will serve as the City of Poughkeepsie’s next city administrator, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik, a Republican, cast the tie-breaking vote Tuesday night to confirm Bunyi, whom he appointed at the end of January. The Common Council vote split 4-4 to confirm Bunyi, who has been the city’s finance commissioner since 2008. Tkazyik then immediately voted to confirm him. Voting for Bunyi were Democrats Gwen Johnson, Joseph Rich and Ann Perry and Republican Thomas Parisi. Voting against him were Democrats Robert Mallory, who is council chairman, Nina Boyd and Mary Solomon and Republican Paul Herman.

Alabaster, Alabama (population 30,799): Alabaster City Administrator George Henry is now the city’s manager, and Marsha Massey is the city’s treasurer after the Alabaster City Council voted during a March 4 meeting to make several changes to the city’s staffing layout, according to the Shelby County Reporter. During the meeting, the council voted to separate the city clerk and treasurer positions into two city employees, created a city manager position and filled the city manager and treasurer positions. Massey previously served as both the Alabaster city clerk and treasurer. The council also voted to authorize Mayor Marty Handlon to hire a city finance director to help handle the city’s finances. Handlon previously said having a treasurer and finance director will help ensure a “system of checks and balances” when dealing with the city’s finances. Handlon also said separating the financial responsibilities into two positions will help offset the increase in work caused by the city’s growth over the past several years. Alabaster began advertising the finance director position opening on March 5. The staffing changes, which Handlon proposed shortly after taking office in November 2012, came after a few months of discussions by the City Council. Henry was appointed as city manager through 2016. Beginning in 2016, each City Council will have the authority to remove the city manager or reappoint the individual to another four-year term. The council also could agree to leave the city manager position vacant. Once appointed to a four-year term, it takes a two-thirds vote of the City Council to remove the individual mid-term. As city manager, Henry has the authority to appoint and remove city employees and appointees, and can make purchases up to $100 without council approval. Henry also will provide monthly financial reports to the council and help construct the city’s budget each year. Council members previously said Henry performed many of the actions of a city manager while he was city administrator. The council also named Henry as the acting city clerk. Council members previously said naming him acting clerk will allow the city to conduct a “trial run” with the city clerk and city manager positions combined before formally voting on the matter.

Wayne County, Georgia (population 30,327): It’s official—Jason Tinsley will be the new Wayne County administrator, according to The Press-Sentinel. The Wayne County Board of Commissioners had announced Tinsley as the sole finalist for the position two weeks ago but, under state law, had to wait until this week to formally hire him. Tinsley and his wife, Mary Lynn, were at a called meeting of the commissioners Thursday morning to hear the 4-0 vote. (The fifth commissioner, Jerry “Shag” Wright, arrived at the county offices late but stressed that, had he been present, he would also have voted for Tinsley.) “He’s very sharp,” Board Chair James “Boot” Thomas said of Tinsley after the meeting. Tinsley has served as the assistant county manager and finance director of Habersham County since 2006. For the past two years, he has also served as a consultant on local-government budgeting and finance for the the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, helping to develop on-line and distance-learning courses. Tinsley will start March 18 as an “at-will” employee of the Board of Commissioners. According to his contract, he will make $88,000 a year and receive $600 a month for travel and $50 a month for cell-phone use. Interim Administrator Nancy Jones said that she would stay on for a brief “transitional period” to help train Tinsley in his new duties. According to Tinsley, he has been carefully looking for “a great community” for “that next step” in his career, limiting his search to the type of community where he’d be comfortable “living for a long time.” He stressed that he sees taking the top administrative position here as a “long-term” move. Citing the “vital rec program” and “good school system,” Tinsley added, “Wayne County has all the amenities we’re accustomed to.” Tinsley—who will be moving here with his wife and three children—indicated that they plan to take part in community activities. Tinsley has worked as a recreation-ball coach and a Boy Scout leader, and his wife has been active in parent-teacher organizations.

Lee County, Georgia (population 28,575): Lee County commissioners are moving quickly to find an interim county administrator following the announcement Thursday that Tony Massey will be leaving to take a job in Tennessee, according to the Albany Herald. Massey confirmed that he has given his 30-day notice and will become city manager in Columbia, Tenn., his hometown. The town of approximately 35,000 residents is located about 45 miles south of Nashville. Massey, who has been county administrator in Lee County for about two years, said Columbia’s city government has about 400 employees. Massey, who was city manager in Frankfort, Ky., for seven years before coming to Lee County, said the move also allows him and his wife to be closer to a daughter who attends the University of Kentucky. Massey’s final day on duty in Lee County is March 15. Rick Muggridge, chairman of the Lee County Commission, said Massey’s announcement was not a surprise to commissioners, who discussed the matter during an executive session. Muggridge said no timetable has been set but that it may take six months or more to find a replacement. Job postings have already been placed on the county’s website, with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association. Regarding the interim replacement, Muggridge said he has already talked with qualified potential interim managers, including Bill Sawyer, Jack Krakeel and Lynn Taylor. Sawyer was county manager in Macon County and has experience in economic development work. He lives in Schley County and does interim work and special projects for governments. Krakeel does consulting work on public safety issues nationwide and retired a few years ago as county administrator in Fayette County. Lynn Taylor was county manager in Sumter County before her retirement. She also has worked in Athens-Clarke County. Lee County commissioners are tentatively set to meet with Sawyer at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Taylor at 4 p.m. Wednesday and Krakeel at 3 p.m. Feb. 22. Muggridge said no one within the county government had applied so far, but that current employees who do would be given full consideration.

Milford, Massachusetts (population 26,799): Richard Villani will become the new town administrator for Milford, according to the MilfordPatch. Selectmen voted 3-0 to appoint Villani as the town administrator, with a contract to be negotiated over the next several days. He will replace longtime administrator Louis Celozzi, who is retiring. Villani, 55, a Milford resident, is an attorney with a private practice in town. He was among five individuals interviewed for the position. The motion to appoint him as town administrator was made by Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis, who said he appreciated the strengths of all of the candidates, but felt Villani was the best choice. Brian Murray, the current chairman, seconded the motion, and also spoke to his qualifiations. Before the discussion and vote on Villani, Murray had advocated for Barbara Auger, the town treasurer of 16 years. But no other member made a motion to select her, and DeBartolomeis was then recognized, and spoke for Villani. The other finalists were: Noel Bon Tempo, a government teacher at Milford High School, and an attorney; William Kingkade Jr., a manager with the MBTA, and John D’Agostino, the town manager of Abington, a town on the South Shore. Villani has been a trustee of the Geriatric Authority since 1993. Prior to opening his business, he was a partner at Consigli, Brucato and Villani, and an associate attorney before that. From 1988 to 2003 he was an instructor at Newbury College in Brookline. He obtained his law degree at Suffolk University in Boston, and his bachelor of arts degree at Worcester State College (now University.) Villani was interviewed by the three selectmen on Feb. 12. The broadcast is now available on the Milford TV YouTube channel. In his interview, Villani emphasized his analytical and communications skills, and knowledge of the town. Last month, prior to the interviews of all finalists, DeBartolomeis had publicly disclosed that he and Villani are second cousins. He said the relationship was not one that required him to abstain from discussion or a vote, but said he wanted to disclose it publicly “so there is not perception of a conflict.” In his interview, Villani was asked how he would communicate with the Board of Selectmen. He described his communications style as “open, honest, direct. If you need information from me, I want to know. [The] Chairman will set the tone, and I respect that. [But] I feel if I get information, all of you get it at the same time.” He also said he wanted to know if the board felt he was doing something wrong. Negotiations will determine what Villani is paid, and when he begins. The Board had set the salary range when advertising the position as between $90,000 and $125,000.

Kingman, Arizona (population 26,068): City Manager Jack Kramer will resign effective July 1, according to the Daily Miner. No official announcement has been made, but according to Mayor John Salem, the longtime city employee said he would leave his post a couple of days ago. Salem had high praise for Kramer, who moved to Kingman in 1977. Kramer was attending meetings in Phoenix and was not available for comment. Salem said he expects the City Council to look at current employees and outside city government to find a suitable replacement. He would not speculate on what the City Council might do, but he expects the search to involve looking for someone with a background that meets the city’s needs in either economic development or administrative leadership. Salem said it’s possible the city might hire a third-party headhunting firm, but the cost might be prohibitive. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns, he said, has a more affordable program. According to his bio on the city’s website, Kramer began working for the city in 1979 when he was hired by the water department. He rose through the ranks. In 1985 he was promoted to Utilities superintendent and in 1996 to Public Works director. In 2007 he was named interim city manger – while still holding down his Public Works job. He was handed the job full-time the following year.

Milton, Massachusetts (population 26,062): Annemarie Fagan, interim town administrator, was chosen from a field of four candidates Thursday night to be Milton’s newest town administrator, according to Boston.com. Fagan, who has 18 years of experience working for the Town of Milton, has been the interim town administrator since the Selectmen voted not to renew Kevin Mearn’s contract seven months ago. Fagan said after Mearn’s termination, she made a point to meet with staff members and rebuild morale. Fagan has been Milton’s assistant town administrator since 2000. Prior to that she served four years as the Executive Secretary to the Board of Selectmen and a year as principal clerk of the Park Department. Fagan was the only Milton resident of the four remaining finalists and she was also the only candidate without a college degree or an advanced public administration education.

Inkster, Michigan (population 25,369): Inkster officials plan to launch a search for a new city manager after terminating Ron Wolkowicz from the position March 7 at a special City Council meeting, according to the Detroit Free Press. Councilmen Marcus Hendricks and Michael Canty, who both sided with the majority in the 4-1 vote, cited the city’s finances as a top concern. Hendricks said the city is expected to end the current fiscal year with a deficit in the ballpark of $750,000. The city’s annual budget is about $13 million, Canty said. Canty said Wolkowicz is still the director of the city’s Parks and Recreation and Public Services departments. Officials are looking to appointment someone who currently works for the city to fill the manager position on an interim basis. Wolkowicz did not immediately return messages left seeking comment. Canty said Wolkowicz became the city’s manager about a year ago. He previously served in that position on an interim basis, he said.

Woodstock, Illinois (population 24,785): The office soon to be vacated by City Manager Tim Clifton will be filled by his right-hand man, according to the Northwest Herald. Roscoe Stelford, who has served for 13 years as Woodstock’s finance director and treasurer and more recently as its deputy city manager, will take over the city manager role on May 1. The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to appoint Stelford to the position Clifton has held the past 20 years. Stelford, 45, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in accounting and finance, and is a certified public accountant. He worked at the Government Finance Officers Association in Chicago for nine years before landing a job as Woodstock’s finance director. The city has received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 12 of 13 years since Stelford was hired. Stelford will earn $140,000 a year. Sager cited Stelford’s intimate knowledge of and responsibility toward the city’s finances, as well as his ability to relay complex information in a simple manner, as contributing factors toward his hiring. He also praised Stelford’s creative outreach. Councilman Mike Turner provided the council’s lone “no” vote. He declined to comment after the meeting because the matter was about personnel. Councilwoman Maureen Larson said Stelford has accomplished a lot in his current position. Tuesday’s announcement ends a process that began in September and included 41 applicants. The search committee – which the city chose to assemble internally – narrowed that list to 10 applicants, interviewing those selections before forwarding four finalists to the city council. The city council conducted further interviews and background checks before cutting the list to two and approving Stelford’s contract Tuesday night. Stelford will take office on the first day of the new fiscal year. Clifton’s last day is April 30.

Reading, Massachusetts (population 24,747): Reading’s new town manager is a familiar face here: Robert LeLacheur, according to the ReadingPatch. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously March 12 to name LeLacheur, the town’s assistant town manager and finance director for the last seven years, the town’s top administrator after an hour of discussion about the three finalists for the post. The board interviewed the three on March 5. The board focused March 12 on two of the three finalists:  LeLacheur and Kerry Speidel, town manager of Lunenburg since 2007. Board members deemed the third finalist, outgoing Abington Town Manager John D’Agostino, too strong an agent for change here. D’Agostino described himself as a “change agent.” LeLacheur, who worked in the private sector — the finance industry, before moving into town government – a nontraditional career path, according to the selectmen, knows the community and could make improvements more quickly than a new-to-Reading manager, the selectmen said. Just because LeLacheur comes from “inside” the town and town government doesn’t mean he won’t have outside-the-box ideas, one selectman said in response to a resident who urged, by email, that the selectmen choose Speidel. LeLacheur himself and several selectmen emphasized that LeLacheur is not Peter Hechenbleikner, Reading’s first and only town manager, who will retire on June 1 after 26 years at the town helm. Selectman James Bonazoli said he would hate to see Reading lose LeLacheur if he did not become town manager. Selectmen Rick Schubert, Ben Tafoya and Bonazoli started the meeting “on the fence” between LeLacheur and Speidel. Selectmen John Arena and Stephen Goldy said they would select LeLacheur. Speidel has worked in municipal government for about 20 years, she told the selectmen, half in management and half in finance.  She has experience with regionalizing some town services. She attended a selectmen’s meeting before the finalists were interviewed. The selectmen said they did some follow-up research on the finalists after last week’s interviews, calling and talking with people in the finalists’ home communities. The selectmen also voted March 12 to form a two-member subcommittee of Arena and Tafoya to negotiate a job contract with LeLacheur. An audience of five people attended the meeting, whose only agenda item was a new town manager. Among them were Town Moderator Alan Foulds; School Committee Chairman Karen Janowski; Town Meeting members Phil Rushworth, who is also executive director of RCTV and Steve Crook; and one resident with no connection to town governance. Foulds had attended the meeting when Hechenbleikner was appointed, he told Patch. Rushworth wanted “to watch the Board of Selectmen make history” by choosing the town’s next manager. The selectmen said they received little input on the selection of a new town manager.

Hastings, Minnesota (population 22,359): Hastings City Administrator Dave Osberg submitted his letter of resignation to the city council on February 19, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. His last day is scheduled to be Friday, March 22. Osberg is leaving the City of Hastings to become the city administrator for the City of Eagan. He is set to begin his new job there March 25. The administrative committee of the Hastings City Council scheduled a meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, to discuss the vacancy Osberg will leave behind. The administrative committee includes Anthony Alongi, Danna Elling Schultz and Ed Riveness.

Lexington, North Carolina (population 18,912): Alan Carson, 51, will be Lexington’s new city manager effective Feb. 25 when his swearing-in will take place, according to The Dispatch. The interim city manager and former assistant city manager was awarded the position on Monday at the conclusion of the Lexington City Council meeting. When John Gray, former city manager announced his retirement in September, the city council decided to have an open process, searching for the best candidate for the vacant position. The field of more than 80 applicants was narrowed to five and then four were brought in for face-to-face interviews. Carson has held the position of assistant city manager/human resources director since 2003. Before this time he worked in human resources, customer service, but was hired in 1989 as the city’s first Utilities Marketing Manager. Carson received his bachelor’s of science degree from Radford University in Virginia, where he majored in business, according to a press release from city hall. Carson is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Davidson County, a 1998 graduate of the 170-hour municipal administration course from the Institute of Government and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 2007 graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the Institute of Government. Carson also currently serves on several boards throughout the city and county, such as the Lexington Tourism Board, the J. Smith Young YMCA Board of Directors and the Wake Forest Baptist Health—Lexington Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. As part of his interview, Carson said he wanted to see the city get involved in the council’s goals. The next few months will be filled with drafting the coming year’s fiscal budget along with incorporating the final draft of the city goals, once they are approved. Council approved the city manager’s salary as $120,000.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts (population 15,784): At its meeting Monday evening, February 11, 2013, the Longmeadow Select Board voted to appoint Stephen Crane as Town Manager, effective April 2, 2013, for a term ending June 30, 2016, at a salary of $105,000, according to the town’s web site.  Mr. Crane, currently the City Administrator in Lancaster, Wisconsin, since 2009, had previously signed his contract, and the Select Board signed the contract following its vote. Mr. Crane has a Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University.  His previous experience was with the cities of Lowell and Worcester.

Jasper County, Georgia (population 13,885): The Board of Commissioners (BOC) for Jasper County voted to hire Lorri Smith as County Manager at their regular meeting February 19, according to The Monticello News. Ms. Smith has been working in the role as interim county manager since Greg Wood was fired in August. This decision came after a public hearing was held and the ordinance passed that had previously stated that the county manager must reside in Jasper County. This requirement was removed in order for the vote to be taken in the regular meeting. In the public hearing, Skip Nowetner commented that “although I have nothing against Lorri, I don’t understand why we can not find someone qualified for this position in this county. We’ve had three previous managers from out of town and you see where that got us. I just can’t believe that there is not one local, especially with one of the highest unemployment rates.” After the public hearing ended, and old business complete, a motion was made and seconded. Before the vote, Commissioner Bruce Henry said, “I am strongly in favor of keeping our positions in Jasper County, the only exception being with Lorri Smith. I’ve been watching her work for the previous year and a half and she does a great job.” Before the vote was called, County Attorney, Jim Alexander told the board that this could be changed back at any time if that was their wish.

Portage, Wisconsin (population 10,336): Interim City Administrator Shawn Murphy has been asked to stay on in the permanent role, according to the Portage Daily Register. A contract agreement between the Portage Common Council and Murphy still needs to be signed, but both sides are in the process of working out the details. Murphy was chosen out of a pool of more than 30 applicants and was one of four final candidates who were invited to the city for extensive interviews over the weekend. Jahn said that the city’s Human Resources Committee, which handled the interview process, prioritized financial accountability, human resources and economic development expertise.

Hanson, Massachusetts (population 10,209): Town Administrator Rene Read plans to become town manager in his hometown of Duxbury after the completion of Hanson’s May 6 annual Town Meeting, according to the Boston Globe. The Duxbury Board of Selectmen on Feb. 25 appointed Read to succeed Richard MacDonald. Stephen Amico, chairman of the Hanson Board of Selectmen, said Read’s departure will be “a big loss” for Hanson, where he has been town administrator since December 2009. Amico said selectmen plan to form a search committee for a new town administrator. “I’ve had a terrific time working here in Hanson,” Read said, expressing his gratitude to selectmen, other officials, and staffers “in helping me accomplish all the work we were able to achieve in the three years I was here.”

Georgetown, South Carolina (population 9,138): Chris Carter spent the week of February 18 continuing to learn more about the City of Georgetown, meeting more of the city staff and planning for his first Georgetown City Council meeting which was held February 21, according to the Georgetown Times. Carter is Georgetown’s new administrator, replacing Chris Eldridge who left last May when he was hired as Horry County administrator. He assumed his new role on Feb. 7 and spent the first week being shown the ropes by interim Administrator Carey Smith whose final day was Feb. 14. Carter is the sixth full-time administrator in the city’s history. The first administrator, who began in October 1977, was David Treme. The others have been Mitchell Sizemore, Boyd Johnson, Steve Thomas and Eldridge. There have been two interim administrators — Miles Hadley and Smith. In an interview with The Georgetown Times this week, Carter said he has found a place to live — an apartment on Highmarket Street. But he will likely find a bigger place when his wife, Joan, joins him this summer. She is a teacher at Flat Rock Middle School in North Carolina. She has agreed to complete the current year and then hopes to find a teaching job in Georgetown County. Carter has nearly 25 years of experience in government work. He began in 1988 as the town administrator in North Wilkesboro, N.C., a position he held for six years. Carter said that era of his career provided him with experience working with different types of businesses because it was the national headquarters of both the Lowe’s Corp. and the bank that is today Wells Fargo. In 1994, Carter accepted the position as the administrator in Hendersonville, N.C. He said his time there provided him with experience in two key areas that will help him in Georgetown. He said Hendersonville, like Georgetown, is a “full-service city,” meaning it has city-owned electric, water and sewer service. It also has a thriving historic district. One year after being hired in Hendersonville, Carter helped create the city’s first historic preservation plan. He said during his tenure, several locations were placed on the National Register of Historic Places and some were designated as National Landmarks. He said, like Georgetown, the city had periodic tours of historic homes. He said Hendersonville also gave him the opportunity to oversee police and fire departments that, at the time, were similar in size as the ones in Georgetown. In 2008, Carter left Hendersonville and spent about a year as the interim administrator in Sylva, N.C. His final job before moving to Georgetown was the administrator for the town of Williston, S.C., a position he held for a little more than two years. Carter said in his brief time in Georgetown, he has discovered it has some great attributes. He said he would like to see Georgetown become a more popular stop for boaters. Carter said even though he has been in Georgetown for only two weeks, he has given a lot of thought to areas he hopes to help improve. Carter said during his walks downtown and his tours of other parts of the city, he has noticed the number of vacant buildings. He said it is his goal to not only get the buildings occupied but to have a waiting list of businesses wanting to come into the city. Carter said he hopes he will be able to stay in Georgetown until he retires.

Rincon, Georgia (population 8,906): Rincon City Council members unanimously chose Wesley Corbitt as city manager March 11, according to the Savannah Morning News. Corbitt, of Guyton, was appointed as interim city manager after the resignation of Michael Phillips in August 2011. He was finance director for Rincon before that. The other two finalists for the job were Karen Degges of Baldwin, Ga., and MarRonde A. Lumpkin-Lotson of Savannah. Degges is the former city administrator of Baldwin, Ga., which is northeast of Gainesville, Ga. Lumpkin-Lotson is administrator for international affairs and governmental relations for the City of Savannah. Phillips was hired in April 2009 to replace Donald Toms, who resigned in December 2008. Phillips was the city’s fourth city manager since 2006.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine (population 8,624):  A split Town Council voted March 5 to terminate the contract of Town Manager Mark Pearson, according to the Portland Press Herald. Before the vote, they debated for hours as residents and town employees alternately defended the manager and cheered the councilors who want to fire him. Councilors Linda Mailhot, Dana Furtado, Laura Bolduc and Sharri MacDonald voted to terminate the contract. Councilors Michael Coleman, Robin Dayton and Robert Quinn voted against the termination. In December, Pearson was asked by MacDonald, the council chairwoman, to resign. That touched off heated debates and revealed tension between the manager and a deeply divided Town Council. Pearson, who started his job in February 2012, is the town’s fourth manager since 2003. Mailhot made the motion to terminate his contract effective April 3, “given the fact the town manager filed a lawsuit against the town.” Pearson filed a request in York County Superior Court this week seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the council’s authority to override Pearson’s decision not to renew the contract of Public Works Director Bill Robertson. The council voted two weeks ago to rescind the letter notifying Robertson of Pearson’s decision not to renew the contract – a decision that Pearson’s attorney said the council does not have the authority to make. In the complaint, Pearson cites the town charter, which says the town manager is the chief executive and administrative officer so Town Council confirmation is not required for the non-renewal of an employee’s contract. Pearson asked the court for a declaration “that under the town charter the plaintiff has the sole authority to make the decision not to renew an employee contract.” The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting included an executive session to discuss “personnel matters” related to the town manager. Before the vote on the executive session, Pearson presented MacDonald with a written request that any discussion of his job be held in public. The closed session did not occur because three councilors voted against it. Five votes are needed to move into executive session. Mailhot then made a motion to allow councilors to notify Pearson of their intention to terminate his contract for no cause effective April 3 and have him take paid leave with full benefits for the next month. Mailhot, who said she was “dismayed and disheartened” by the council’s rejection of the executive session, said she would not publicly discuss personnel issues related to Pearson. Councilors Coleman, Quinn and Dayton questioned whether it was legal to consider a motion that wasn’t on the agenda. Dayton repeatedly asked fellow councilors for the reason behind the move to oust Pearson, only to be met by “stone silence.” Town attorney Rob Crawford said he believed it was appropriate for the council to consider the motion and to allow public comment on the issue. Before deciding to allow public comment, the council voted 4-3 to move for a vote without public comment. During the public comment session, opinions were split on Pearson’s employment. The town attorney read the council rules about public participation after comments were yelled from the audience. One man stood near the council holding a sign that read “Recall 4,” referring to councilors MacDonald, Mailhot, Bolduc and Furtado. Neal Weinstein, a town resident and the attorney who represents Robertson, questioned Pearson’s loyalty to Old Orchard Beach because he doesn’t live in town and ran for a school board position in New Hampshire. Kathy Smith, a town employee in the codes department, spoke in defense of the town manager, whom she called “great” for Old Orchard Beach. She said she is tired of the ongoing debate about Pearson.

Doraville, Georgia (population 8,330): Doraville has hired a city administrator from Minnesota to serve as its first city manager since it switched to a strong mayor form of government in 1981, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. City voters agreed to switch back to having a professional manager handle day-to-day operations last year. Shawn Gillen, who has served as city manager in the Minnesota town of Grand Rapids since 2007, will begin his new duties April 17. He will earn $113,000 annually in the role. Gillen holds a master’s degree in public administration and doctorate in public finance from the University of Kansas. He served as an assistant finance professor at the university before his job in Grand Rapids, which with 10,000 residents is about the same size as Doraville. Mayor Donna Pittman, who had been working full-time, will assume a part-time role when Gillen begins work.

Flushing, Michigan (population 8,316): Flushing officials have said they will explore all options in finding a replacement after Dennis Bow  announced his retirement as city manager, according to Michigan Live. Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Parks has been named interim city manager following more than 16 years of service by Bow who retired with little fanfare. It’s been “about two years,” joked Bow of previously announcing his retirement before formally stepping down in late January. With no current major projects taking place in the city, Flushing Mayor George Kozan said “Dennis left the city in very good shape.” Bow came to Flushing after holding previous city manager positions in Keego Harbor and Pickney, as well as working as a public accountant for 15 years. He said one of his biggest accomplishments was “seeing the city proceed smoothly at both the political and economic level. It was quite difficult the first few years I was there.” As economic turbulence began to grow in recent years, Bow said he was worried about the impact on the city as staffing levels were eventually reduced in every department. Bow may not  be riding off into the sunset entirely, though, as he’s shared some interest in coming back on a part-time basis as the city makes a decision on what direction its leaders would like to take the position in the future.

Spotswood, New Jersey (population 8,301): One of the first steps for a newly hired administrator is to become familiar with the community, according to the Sentinel. For Dawn McDonald, who was appointed borough business administrator in Spotswood last month, familiarity is not an issue, as she served as Spotswood’s deputy borough clerk from 2006 to 2009. But that’s not to say she thinks serving in her new capacity will be easy, especially with budget season already under way. The transition into the position can be difficult just due to the nature of being the administrator for a municipality. Like the borough’s new mayor, Nicholas Poliseno, McDonald, who most recently served as administrator for the borough of Interlaken, Monmouth County, said one of her major priorities is addressing the Spotswood EMS building and the water treatment facility, which were both destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. McDonald said she wants to bring fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency to Spotswood while streamlining communication with municipal employees. She also identified the long-sought dredging of Lake DeVoe as another significant initiative. Noting the great amount of community involvement among residents of Spotswood, she said she is very happy to be back in the borough. She said she looks forward to helping out beyond the scope of her requirements. Acknowledging that she is serving in a new capacity, she said her previous experience with the borough will be helpful, and noted that her mentor, Patricia DeStefano, is still the municipal clerk. McDonald said one of her strengths is in grant writing. In addition to her previous service in Spotswood, McDonald has municipal experience serving a variety of roles in East Brunswick, where she worked in the public works and parks and recreation departments. She said her time in Spotswood, East Brunswick and Interlaken has helped to equip her for her new role.

Elwood City, Pennsylvania (population 7,921): The time was right. For Dom Viccari, that was reason enough to support his resignation from the post as Ellwood City’s manager, according to the New Castle News. Viccari, now 80, has been working since he was 12. That’s when he began working in Steve Rubino’s The Korner Store at Franklin and Second streets. At the time, Rubino was a borough councilman. Viccari joked that his initiation into public service began then. He also has served on borough council as well as various committees. But now, he said, it’s time to allow a younger person to take over. He told council he will continue to work with the members “on the many exciting projects we’ve been developing and discussing over the past months.” He added he will stay on the job until council has appointed his successor and to help with his or her orientation “to make the transition as smooth as possible.” Among the projects is the downtown renewal, which council moved forward by approving the demolition of a structure at 629-631 Lawrence Ave. The work will be completed by Unis Demolition for $38,000. Council also approved the purchase of 312-214 Lawrence Ave. for $59,000. Another project Viccari plans to continue working on after his retirement is the reforestation of Ewing Park and other improvements there.

Signal Mountain, Tennessee (population 7,575): The Town of Signal Mountain reported today that Honna Rogers has announced her intent to resign her position as town manager, according to the Times Free Press. In an email, Rogers said that she has a young child and wants to spend more time with her family. Mayor Bill Lusk wished Rogers and her family well. Rogers said she will stay on the job until the budget for the coming fiscal year is drafted. Meanwhile, Lusk said the council will begin looking for her replacement.

Guadalupe, California (population 7,132): The paths of three men converged February 12 in Guadalupe, and together they are changing the direction the city is going, according to the Lompoc Record. City Council members officially hired Andrew Carter as the new city administrator and Gary Hoving as the interim public safety director. Members also thanked Tim Ness for his work as interim city administrator. Ness, who was Santa Maria city manager for 16 years, stepped in to run Guadalupe six months ago, when Regan Candelario resigned in August to accept a similar position in Fortuna, Calif. In those six months, Ness developed a budget reduction plan, instituted new employee policies, worked to jumpstart the DJ Farms residential and commercial development, and helped the council identify Carter and Hoving as the city’s next full-time administrators. Mayor Frances Romero and former mayor Lupe Alvarez both thanked Ness for his work. Alvarez said Ness was worth more than 10 times the $38.47 per hour he was paid. Romero said the hirings proved critics wrong who say Guadalupe can’t get quality employees because of the low salaries it offers. Carter’s annual salary will be $80,028, the same amount Candelario earned in his last year with the city. Carter, whose contract was unanimously approved, was chosen by the council Jan. 23 as its choice for the position following a nationwide search led by Ness. A resident of San Luis Obispo where he serves as a city councilman, Carter will go to work for the city Feb. 20. He is set to resign his council seat Feb. 19. Carter has 20 years of business management experience with the bulk of it in marketing and advertising with companies such as Nestle Waters North America, Dioptics Medical Products and Cellular One. From 1985 to 1988, he served as an account executive at Young & Rubicam, one of the largest advertising agencies in the country at the time. He has also taught business classes at Cal Poly, Cuesta College and the University of LaVerne. In addition to his business experience, Carter has served as a board member of the Economic Vitality Corporation, Workforce Housing Coalition and Residents for Quality Neighborhoods, all in San Luis Obispo County. Carter earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in New Jersey and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. For all his big city credentials, Carter said he grew up in a small farming community, so he believed Guadalupe was a good fit for him.

Live Oak, Florida (population 6,848): Live Oak City Administrator Joe Miranti resigned March 4 after just a few short weeks on the job, according to the Suwanee Democrat. Miranti resigned via a memorandum to all five council members and Mayor Sonny Nobles. The resignation was effectively immediately. 
In the memorandum Miranti cited city policy regarding his lack of authority to terminate department heads. 
He wrote that he wasn’t aware until after being hired that the city council retained the right to terminate a department head by a majority vote at a meeting and not the administrator. 
Miranti was hired as city administrator in December.

Grafton, Ohio (population 6,639): Patrick Mudge resigned Monday as Grafton village administrator, according to The Chronicle-Telegram. Mudge, who was on the job less than a year, said while he wishes the village well, he disagreed with some of the things that were happening there. Mudge said he successfully pushed to have leaf collection implemented in the village. He also wasn’t pleased with how the village was handling discussions about having the county’s 911 Call Center take over police dispatching duties. The Call Center already handles dispatching services for the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and several fire departments. Mudge said he understands the concept, but didn’t feel the discussions between the county and Grafton were handled as delicately as they should have been, given that the current dispatchers’ jobs were on the line. Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan said she was unaware of any tensions between Mudge and others in village government. But Mudge said he didn’t see eye-to-eye with some of the elected officials in the village, including Flanigan. He also said that he thought some of the issues facing the village should have been addressed sooner. He said his own secondary role as safety-service director, a role traditionally filled by the mayor in Grafton, was likely to have ended soon as part of the village’s efforts to save money. He said he didn’t necessarily disagree with that reasoning. Flanigan said Mudge sent an email formally leaving his job on Monday, although she indicated that Mudge had expressed his plans to do so in the days beforehand. She said she isn’t certain what prompted Mudge to quit. Mudge’s departure comes in the wake of several controversies that have swirled around the village in the past year. The village’s police chief, Lonnie Carroll, was fired by Flanigan with the backing of Village Council in August and has filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement. Flanigan has declined to say why Carroll was fired and replaced with Dan Clark, who was a part-time patrolman for the village until being elevated to the chief’s job after Carroll was ousted. Mudge also was involved in a controversial proposal that the village offer extra police protection in Eaton Township, something that was condemned by Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, who is responsible for law enforcement in the townships and whose deputies Eaton Township paid for extra patrols.

Shirley, Massachusetts (population 6,373): Selectmen on Friday morning accepted the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer David Berry, effective March 31, according to Nashoba Publishing. Selectmen Dave Swain and Kendra Dumont emerged from an executive session to say they had voted to accept Berry’s resignation. Andy Deveau, who was on the board and supported Berry, has resigned from the board and his spot has not been filled. Selectmen asked Berry in January to resign, but when he told selectmen he would not, they began to draw up charges to fire him. Berry had a “just cause” clause in his contract that the town could execute if they deemed Berry was not measuring up. Berry was placed on administrative leave by selectmen earlier this year, and he will use the remainder of his vacation time between now and the date his resignation becomes effective. He was hired in 2010 to replace interim Town Administrator Ron Marchetti, who was filling in for the town after the arrest and firing of Kyle Keady. Keady was arrested on a slew of wiretapping and other charges. Swain previously said he felt that because Berry had not been an effective manager, he and the other members of the board had enough reason to execute the clause. That next step, Swain said, could be working with the Massachusetts Municipal Association to hire an interim administrator. Dumont said she did not sign on to Berry’s contract because she could not support spending $90,000 on Berry’s salary, and she’s happy at this outcome. Swain, who did vote for Berry to be hired, said that situations like this are never easy, but it’s what had to be done. Berry attended Friday morning’s executive session but left before the meeting was adjourned. Messages left at his Lexington home were not returned Friday. Selectmen did not convene the meeting in open session before going into executive session, as is required by the Open Meeting Law. They also did not announce the reason for the executive session before they went behind closed doors, although their posted notice of the meeting stated they would be going into executive session under Section 21 (1) — which includes discussion of a dismissal of an employee.

Union Gap, Washington (population 6,145): It took two hours of interviews and only 15 minutes of discussion for the Union Gap City Council to name its new city manager Monday night, according to the Yakima Herald. Rodney Otterness, the current city administrator of International Falls, Minn., was chosen unanimously by the seven council members present. Temporary council member and former mayor Jim Lemon was absent for the vote. Otterness was chosen over former Port of Douglas County executive director Pat Haley of East Wenatchee. Council members said they picked Otterness because he has more than a decade of experience in city administration, including experience with labor negotiations, supervising various departments and financial management skills. Otterness said he will spend Tuesday in Union Gap to begin discussing the terms of his contract with the city, which require council approval. He said he hopes to enter office by the beginning of April after making the 1,600-mile relocation from his small Minnesota community on the Canadian border. International Falls has a population of 6,424, according to the 2010 census. It has a five-member city council and, according to the Weather Channel magazine, it is coldest city in the continental U.S. Council members were all smiles after the vote. Councilman Dan Vanover said he is excited about what the change in government means for the future of the city. Mayor Roger Wentz said Otterness’ direct knowledge of the office of a city manager was the deciding factor. He said naming a city manager was a “reinvigorating” feeling for the council. Monday night’s vote is the next to last step in transitioning to a council-manager form of government after voters did away with the city’s strong mayor system in a proposition on the November ballot. The measure was approved only a year after the former mayor Lemon had been re-elected, but it was a year in which Lemon’s office was dogged by controversy over staff turnover and accusations of abuse. The council members interviewed Monday night said they did not know why Lemon missed the vote. Phone numbers previously used by the Yakima Herald-Republic to contact Lemon appeared to be disconnected. The man who wrote the proposition that changed the city’s form of government, Councilman Dan Olson, said the city now must make their candidate a good offer.

New Ipswich, New Hampshire (population 5,099): Richmond’s town administrator is headed for a top leadership job in New Ipswich, according to the Sentinel Source. Roberta A. Fraser, who is also Winchester’s selectmen chairwoman, was offered the job of town administrator last week, conditional on the completion of a background check, said Selectmen Chairman George H. Lawrence. She was one of 30 candidates who applied, he said. Fraser will replace Marie Knowlton, who retired on Feb. 5 after seven years on the job. Fraser’s starting salary for the full-time position would be between $45,000 and $50,000 annually, Lawrence said. There is no requirement that the town administrator live in New Ipswich, he said. Fraser said this morning she plans to start the new job on March 18. After three years as Richmond’s town administrator, which is a part-time position, she was looking for something full-time, she said. She does plan to complete the final year of her three-year term on the Winchester Board of Selectmen, she said.

Peñitas, Texas (population 4,537): Citing health problems, the city manager here resigned Friday after a little more than two years on the job, according to The Monitor. Noe Cavazos said while he enjoyed his time with the city, after having quadruple bypass open heart surgery and diabetes, it was time to leave the demanding job. Cavazos, 58, started as the city manager in December 2010 after retiring from working for Hidalgo County for 30 years. The Peñitas City Council appointed Oscar Cuellar, the city’s chief financial officer, as the interim city manager Monday. Mayor Marcos Ochoa said they chose Cuellar to temporarily replace Cavazos because he’s familiar with the city. Cuellar, who is in charge of the Finance Department, also was the Peñitas city manager for about two years before leaving for a job in Donna in 2008. Ochoa said city leaders want Cuellar to work on existing projects, including plans to expand and extend Liberty Boulevard and plans for a new city hall, police station and fire station. Cuellar said he will continue his financial officer duties while working as the interim city manager. Before submitting his official resignation letter, Cavazos said, he had spoken with the City Commission about his health issues and let them know his wife wanted him to retire. Cavazos said he enjoyed working with the city commission particularly on economic development projects.

Millinocket, Maine (population 4,466): After more than 30 years in town government, the last thing Peggy Daigle wanted was another government job, she said Wednesday. But the Town Council has made an offer that Daigle thinks she cannot refuse. Councilors offered Daigle the opportunity to succeed Town Manager Eugene Conlogue and interim Town Manager Charles Pray as the town’s next top government official, council Chairman John Davis said. The offer was made Tuesday. If all goes well, the council will vote on March 14 to ratify Daigle’s tentative contract, Davis said. She and Davis declined to give contract details. Negotiations are progressing “but there are still a few things we need to talk about,” Davis said. Daigle has served as an interim city manager in Caribou and was town manager in Enfield, Houlton, Old Town and Patten. An East Millinocket resident, she was East Millinocket’s administrative assistant in the 1990s and served as director of Municipal Geographical Information Systems for the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town. Daigle resigned in May 2011 after seven years as Old Town’s manager. City Council Chairman David Mahan said at the time that Daigle’s resignation “was not for cause, simply a choice on the part of the City Council to take the city into a new direction with new leadership.” Millinocket’s councilors chose her out of 32 candidates, including Pray and five other finalists, Davis said. Her economic development experience helped make Daigle the strongest candidate for the job, Davis said. The new Great Northern Paper Co. machine on Katahdin Avenue has been dormant for several years and the Katahdin region has suffered a declining population and an unemployment rate double the state average. GNP and parent company Cate Street Capital are razing several GNP buildings as part of plans to build an industrial park on site. The park will complement a torrefied wood machine and a natural gas pipeline proposal that the LePage administration supports. Daigle has served as the part-time executive manager of the Bangor Target Area Development Corp. since October 2011. The regional economic development agency has helped businesses from Hampden to Old Town since 1972, helping to develop successful parks in Bangor, Hampden, and Hermon. It owns the Target Technology Center, an industrial park that is home to several fledgling enterprises developed with the University of Maine, Daigle said. Daigle is experienced, she said, at helping entrepreneurs “who are traveling through the Valley of Death on their projects and trying to get nontraditional financing to advance their projects to a state where they can get financing from more traditional means.” If her deal with Millinocket is made, Daigle said she plans to first meet with councilors, town government staff and local businesses to see how she can help. Given her business experience and Millinocket’s economic needs, Daigle said that it “seems a bit selfish” to retire when she could help the area.

Linden, Michigan (population 3,957): The Linden City Council picked Paul Zelenak on Saturday, Feb. 23, as the new city manager, according to MLive.  Zelenak, who currently serves as the Lake Orion village manager, was selected after thecity council interviewed him and three others on Saturday. Mayor David Lossing will begin contract negotiations with Zelenak and said he hoped to have a contract to bring back to the city council for approval at its March 11 meeting. Police Chief Scott Sutter has been serving as the interim city manager after the city’s previous city manager, Mark Tallman, resigned in September. At the time, all the city council would say was that Tallman wasn’t a “good fit.” Tallman was hired in April and had been on the job for four months.

Saluda, South Carolina (population 3,566): In a little more than a year, Tom Brooks, 40, has risen from a “half-day-a-week” employee with the Town of Saluda to its top municipal employee, according to the Index-Journal. Brooks, originally hired in January 2012 as Saluda’s director of economic and community development was appointed town administrator Monday by the Saluda Town Council. The appointment came following the resignation of former Town Administrator Randy Cole. Both Cole and Brooks said the transition was long-planned.

Rockport, Maine (population 3,330): Rockport’s town manager has resigned, according to WABI. Robert Peabody has been on paid leave for the three weeks prior to February 19. The town select board worked out a deal for Peabody to go the previous week, but it wasn’t signed off on until February 19. Peabody has been the town manager since March of 2004. His contract was set to run out in June of next year. Selectboard Chairman Bill Chapman says he can’t say what lead to Peabody’s resignation but that town clerk Linda Greenlaw is the acting town manager for now. The select board was scheduled to appoint an interim town manager at a regular meeting February 20.

Nash, Texas (population 2,968): After 18 years as Nash city administrator, Elizabeth Lea will be turning in her keys in early April, according to the Texarkana Gazette. Nash City Council members agreed to February 11 to accept a retirement letter submitted by Lea, effective, April 5.

Southport, North Carolina (population 2,899): Pat Thomas has resigned as City Manager in Southport, according to Mayor Robert Howard and WECT. Howard tells WECT he received Thomas’ letter of resignation on Friday, just one day after a Board of Aldermen meeting and town celebration over the release of the movie “Safe Haven.” Thomas took the job in Southport in April of 2012 after serving as Town Manager of Swansboro, in Onslow County.  His resignation in Southport is effective on April 16. Howard says Thomas’ letter did not include a reason for the decision, and did not specify any details on his immediate future plans.

Jaffrey, New Hampshire (population 2,757): Selectmen have chosen David R. Caron of Belmont to be Jaffrey’s new town manager, according to the Sentinel Source. Caron began his new job today. Town officials started the search in December, when then-Town Manager Michael J. Hartman accepted a similar position in Stoughton, Mass. Hartman held the position for five years. Caron has more than 30 years of municipal management experience, and previously worked in Belmont, Gilford, Londonderry and North Hampton. He has also served on state and regional organizations, such as New Hampshire’s Enhanced 911 Commission, the Local Government Center and the state’s Municipal Association Municipal Advocacy Committee. He has served as town manager in Londonderry, Gilford and Belmont. When Caron was offered the position by Jaffrey selectmen, he had been working as an interim town manager in North Hampton, said Selectmen Chairwoman Jeanne L. LaBrie. Caron said he applied for the Jaffrey position because he was impressed by how much residents felt a civic responsibility in the small town. Town officials hired the consulting firm Massachusetts Municipal Association to help with advertising and winnowing applicants. The firm received nearly 40 applications and was paid between $12,000 and $14,000 by the town. While the advertisement for the job said the salary would be $100,000, Caron will be making $108,000 during his three-year contract because he has chosen not to receive medical insurance through the town, LaBrie said. And although Caron started his job Monday morning, it’ll be some time until he has a desk and office. Structural issues a couple weeks ago at the town offices led to the town’s financial director using the then-vacant town manager’s office. Caron is currently using the conference room, and LaBrie said she hopes the space issue will be resolved within a week. Caron has a bachelor’s degree in public management from the University of Maine. He will be commuting from Belmont during the week, as his wife still teaches there, he said. Caron will also be at the town meeting Saturday morning. Department of Public Works Director Randall W. Heglin has been acting as interim town manager since Hartman left.

Croswell, Michigan (population 2,418): Croswell City Council chose Samuel Moore for Croswell city administrator, according to The Times Herald. Moore and four other candidates who were selected by the Michigan Municipal League interviewed for the position of city administrator on Sunday. Karl Tomion, executive search facilitator for the MML, said Moore must pass a background and reference check before starting as administrator. Currently, Moore serves as the community development director for Cass City, which is essentially an assistant village manager, he said. Moore, 28, said he was surprised by the number of grant projects the city has scheduled over the next couple of years. Moore will meet with the city attorney Monday evening to go over the details of his contract. Mary Willis, mayor pro tem for Croswell, said the Croswell streetscape project will be one of Moore’s biggest responsibilities in the coming year. Willis said Moore stood out from other interview candidates for his straightforward answers and commitment to transparency. Willis said the MML’s help in the selection process provides insight and expertise. The fact that Moore is not from Croswell should provide an interesting perspective to the city, Willis said. The position of city administrator for Croswell was left vacant in December when John Espinoza retired for health reasons. Amy Planck has served as interim city administrator during the search process. Moore currently lives in Cass City but plans to move to Croswell.

Landrum, South Carolina (population 2,400): Landrum City Administrator Steve Wolochowicz notified council Tuesday, Feb. 12 that he would be retiring later this spring, according to the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Mayor Robert Briggs said Wolochowicz, who began working as Landrum’s city administrator eight years ago, would be hard to replace. In a letter to council, Wolochowicz said he felt proud of the accomplishments the city has made in the almost decade since he took the position. Several of those accomplishments include developing a city website to promote the city as a tourism destination, to complete the development of Brookwood Park and to secure funding and begin construction of the N. Randolph Avenue sidewalk project among other tasks. Since Wolochowicz took on the job Landrum has developed a website, which now averages 138,000 hits per month. The city also transformed a middle portion of Brookwood Park that was overrun with kudzu into a paved walking trail and has seen the first phase of the N. Randolph sidewalk project completed. The second phase of the sidewalk project will go out to bid in June 2013. The city has also moved forward with plans to renovate the historic railroad depot. Councilman John Carruth said though he’s only worked with Wolochowicz for the past year, he feels more was accomplished than had been under past administrators. Carruth said Wolochowicz took on a leadership role that many others did not in the past. Mayor Briggs said he hopes the city can find a replacement that can handle the daily stress of a city administrator’s job. Wolochowicz leaves the position April 30.

Lake Placid, Florida (population 2,219): At Monday night’s town council meeting, three new people were sworn in or promoted to new positions, according to Highlands Today. Former Chief of Police Phil Williams was sworn in as the new town administrator, while Vickie Bollinger was sworn in as deputy clerk. She will shadow longtime outgoing clerk Arlene Tuck for the next couple of months, until Tuck retires. James Fansler was promoted to interim chief of police. Williams requested this be a temporary arrangement, to be reviewed after being in his new position for one year. Fansler’s new position will be reviewed for performance in three months. His salary will increase by $5,000 a year. He thanked Williams and the council for putting their trust in him and promised to give the people of Lake Placid his best.

Tryon, North Carolina (population 1,625): Tryon Town Manager Caitlin Martin was terminated on Friday, Feb. 8 after working with the town for five months, according to the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Council met Friday morning in a special closed session where they made the decision to terminate Martin. Mayor Pro-tem Roy Miller said the town decided to go in a different direction. At the time the vote occurred in open session, commissioners Miller, Doug Arbogast and Wim Woody were the only ones present and the vote to terminate was unanimous. All council members, including mayor Alan Peoples and commissioner George Baker attended the closed session meeting for discussion. Martin was the first female manager to work in Polk County and began working with the town on Sept. 10, 2012. Tryon’s manager position was the first for Martin as she graduated with a masters in public administration from the College of Charleston in May 2011. Tryon has appointed fire chief Joey Davis as the interim manager, a position he held prior to the hiring of Martin. Davis is also the planning and zoning administrator and code enforcer. Davis was appointed interim manager following the town’s firing of former manager Justin Hembree. Hembree was the town’s manager for almost three years, being hired in January 2009 as the interim, then being appointed permanent manager in June 2009. He was fired on Jan. 3, 2012. The town has struggled finding a permanent manager since former manager Jim Fatland resigned in December 2007 after working with the town for approximately five years. Following Fatland, the town hired Dr. Jack Miller, who only Board of Aldermen appointed Stuart Turille as its new Town Manager at its regular meeting last night, according to WWAY. Turille most recently served as Town Administrator for St. Pauls, where he managed five departments and was responsible for successfully obtaining approximately $2 million in grants for the town within five years. Turille’s professional goal is to work with a coastal community with the understanding that they have unique issues from inland communities such as beach nourishment, hurricane preparedness, seasonal tourism, and absentee property ownership. He has prior coastal experience having previously worked for Broward County, FL. Turille holds a Master of Public Administration from Florida State, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia. Turille will begin working for the Town of North Topsail Beach on April 1, 2013.

Westminster, Vermont (population 289): Town Manager Matt Daskal got his “Welcome to the Job” moment just 30 days into his tenure, according to the Brattleboro Reformer. The young Connecticut native took the job in July 2011, one month before Tropical Storm Irene took an unusual path up the East Coast and make a beeline for Vermont, causing widespread damage the state had never experienced before. Just more than a year and a half later, the Westminster Selectboard has accepted Daskal’s letter of resignation. Daskal, 25, told the Reformer his final day in Westminster is set for the end of March, as he will begin his new job in Manchester on Monday, April 1. He said the selectmen accepted his resignation on Tuesday, March 5. A statement released to the Reformer said Daskal wishes the community well and wants to thank the many people that pitched in their support and dedication during his term. According to the statement, Daskal guided the town through the response and recovery of Irene and the flooding of May 2012. Selectboard member Craig Allen said he is happy with Daskal’s performance and was impressed he was able to secure roughly $1.1 million from FEMA to reimburse the town for bridge and road repairs following the disaster. He said brand-new Selectboard member Paul Banik will be introduced at today’s Selectboard meeting and the board will talk about how to replace Daskal. Allen said there will be a discussion about whether to hire an interim town manager and about  possibly forming a committee to appoint a permanent one. Board members also will discuss picking a new administrative assistant to the town manager, as the one under Daskal announced her resignation when she found out she was moving. The meeting is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Paul Harlow, who just vacated his Selectboard seat, has seen several town managers since he joined the board in 1997 following the death of member George Cote. He said Daskal handled the job with grace, especially after Irene struck. Harlow said the Selectboard is essentially the town manager’s boss and is in charge of filling the position. He said Daskal had the proper training and enthusiasm, making him by far the best candidate a year and a half ago. He told the Reformer the Selectboard requested help from the Vermont League Cities and Towns, which provided a job description and potential candidates. Daskal was chosen following an interview because he excelled at the technical aspects of the field and seemed to be good with handling financial issues. Harlow said it is not unusual for a town manager to leave Westminster after a short time, calling it the “nature progression.” He said he thinks the average tenure is about three to five years. Daskal said his work in Manchester will be similar to what he has been doing in Westminster. He told the Reformer he is originally from Wethersfield, Conn., and attended Connecticut College, where he double-majored in history and sociology and earned a certificate in community action. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University before working on special projects for the Capitol Region Council of Governments in Plainville, Conn. Daskal said he will still be available to the Westminster community for several months after assuming his new post.

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

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

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

Juliio Fuentes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Transitions: Lehigh County, PA; Henderson, NV; Blount County, AL and more

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania (population 349,497): Bill Hansell keeps landing in jobs no one elected him to, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t qualified to do them, according to The Morning Call. The new Lehigh County executive is a veteran of local government who vows to depoliticize the office during his short tenure, which will begin with his swearing-in Tuesday. His ascent, onlookers joke, makes him the Gerald Ford of local government. Hansell, a Democrat, was appointed a Lehigh County commissioner and later chose not to run for the seat. Less than a year later, on Aug. 8, the commissioners named him county executive to replace Don Cunningham, who resigned to run the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. Ford famously became vice president and then president without benefit of the ballot box. That Hansell, who is 75 and declares himself an unapologetic New Deal liberal, managed to garner that appointment speaks to his ability to deliver despite the ideological rift between him and the board’s most conservative members. That may be his key strength. Vic Mazziotti, a member of the board’s conservative reform slate, was absolute in his opposition to Hansell because of that deep political divide. Over two weeks, Hansell flipped Mazziotti, who joined in on what would be a unanimous vote. Hansell said that in conversations with Mazziotti, he stressed their shared vision of how government should be run. For the next 16 months, Hansell pledges to be a manager, not a politician. Early in his career, Hansell was borough manager in Catasauqua and then South Whitehall Township manager. He’s served as business administrator for Allentown and worked for 20 years with the International City/County Management Association. Commissioners have praised him for his encyclopedic knowledge of local government rules, structure and obligations. He helped write Northampton County and Easton’s home rule charters. Hansell was raised by deeply Catholic, Great Depression-era parents. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship based on merit and a disability — he has little vision in his left eye. His mother stayed home while his father worked three jobs, including as a firefighter for the security of a pension. In Mazziotti’s initial opposition to Hansell, he warned that the candidate’s philosophical positions are “diametrically opposed” to his and other members of the board, which is 7-2 Republican. As a commissioner, for example, Hansell voted for the 16 percent tax increase in the 2011 budget that energized the board’s new conservative slate to unseat commissioners who supported that plan. Rolling back that tax increase would be the centerpiece of their campaigns. Hansell, however, reassured Mazziotti that to the extent possible, “99.9 percent,” he would function as a county manager, not a politician. A manager doesn’t attempt to dominate the board or fight partisan battles, but rather serves at the pleasure of the board. Still, at least one observer says Mazziotti and other commissioners can take Hansell’s word that he will eschew politics for policy. Given Hansell’s short stint — he doesn’t intend to run for executive next fall — that’s the appropriate emphasis, said Commissioner Dan McCarthy. A Democrat, McCarthy also applied to be county executive. Until recently, you couldn’t tell a Democrat from a Republican on the Lehigh County board. Traditionally, county government is more about efficiently delivering services than partisan absolutism. As McCarthy points out, there’s really no Democratic or Republican way to run a prison or a coroner’s office. But Cunningham, a Democrat, said the fall election ushered in a board he described as the most politicized of his tenure. This board has butted heads with the administration over pass-through grants, bridges, staffing contracts and the reassessment. Hansell will take office in that context of conflict. That may assist him in brokering deals with the Republican commissioners and won’t elicit the same automatic responses from the Republicans that a more partisan Democrat might. There’s also a certain amount of loss in that, as a Democratic voice is muted. But if taken like a scoreboard, Democrats aren’t really handing it over to the Republicans, because Cunningham wasn’t winning many either. Commissioners rejected the pass-through grants, haven’t agreed to fix the Reading Road Bridge in Allentown, turned down the staffing agreements and overruled him on the reassessment. Hansell will present the budget his first day in office, but he said it’s a spending plan he can support. He said it doesn’t include a tax increase. Despite an expected push from the conservative slate to roll back taxes, Hansell said he stands by the 16 percent tax hike. That support, he said, is based on his belief that the tax rate could stand for several years and would give taxpayers some stability. If the board wants to make more sweeping changes to the budget, Hansell hopes they’ll wait till next year when he and freshmen members are more versed in the budget and have a chance to implement changes to the budget format. Hansell will introduce new performance measurement standards and at the board’s behest pursue a new system of priority-based budgeting, which could require county departments to rank their programs by singling out the 20 percent they consider of least priority. Mazziotti said a candidate’s willingness to explore priority-based budgeting was a factor in his choice for executive. After the vote, he said the board was hiring someone to manage the county, and Hansell is “head and shoulders” the most qualified. And if there are disagreements, he added, the Republican supermajority can overcome any divide.

Henderson, Nevada (population 257,729): When he was the general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, people could sometimes find Jacob Snow riding on buses to experience the public transit system firsthand, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. With his new position as Henderson city manager, his experiences as a Henderson resident will influence his leadership in the city and vice versa. Instead of bus rides, Snow might be found frequenting the recreation centers or even plopping down in an employee’s cubicle to get to know him – if he isn’t busy signing paperwork or attending meeting after meeting. As the city manager, Snow is responsible for directing city policy and strategic planning and overseeing all the departments and divisions. Snow’s story with Henderson didn’t begin in April with his appointment but with his parents in the early ’50s. Henderson had just been incorporated and didn’t have much of an appeal to the family, Snow said. Instead, they settled in Boulder City. Henderson was often the topic of discussion at the dinner table growing up, he said. After college, he and his wife moved back to Boulder City. Snow said his wife liked the way Henderson was developing and wanted to be part of the community. After high school, Snow went to Brigham Young University. Snow fell in love with the subject and pursued a bachelor’s degree. He went on to get his master’s in geography with an emphasis in urban planning. Snow started at the Clark County Department of Aviation, where he worked for 10 years. By the time he left, he was the assistant director and oversaw McCarran International Airport, the Henderson Executive Airport and the North Las Vegas Airport. Snow landed at the Regional Transportation Commission in 1999. He went on to help with projects such as the Las Vegas Beltway. Of all the projects Snow takes pride in, his favorite is the Henderson Spaghetti Bowl, which is the intersection between U.S. Highway 95 and the Las Vegas Beltway. Since his time at the Clark County Department of Aviation, Snow’s wife would point out how great it would be if he worked for the city of Henderson. After former city manager Mark Calhoun announced his retirement, Snow submitted his resume. He was hired in April. City Council members have said that Snow’s hiring has created a dream team of the city staff. Many of the council members knew and worked with Snow when he was with the transportation commission. Councilwoman Debra March began working with Snow when she was the vice chair for the Urban Land Institute. Snow was on the board. After she was appointed to the City Council, March joined the transportation commission board and continued to work alongside Snow. March added that Snow’s background will help the city continue finding creative solutions to problems. Adding to the pressure of a new job, Snow was tasked with finding a new chief of police after former chief Jutta Chambers retired. March was impressed by Snow’s ability to jump in. His search led to the recommendation of Patrick Moers, who was sworn in in July. A few months into the job, Snow said he is still learning. Snow believes the city is primed to emerge from rough economic times and begin redeveloping. As his wife originally suggested, Snow does ride his bicycle to work. And on occasion, he will even get back on a bus to take a ride.

Blount County, Alabama (population 57,322): The Blount County Commission voted 3 to 1 Tuesday morning to terminate Ralph Mitchell from the position of county administrator, following a 65-minute executive session, according to The Blount Countian. A hearing date of Sept. 6 was set in compliance with the employee manual to allow Mitchell to defend himself from charges or allegations.

Northglenn, Colorado (population 35,789): After four years with the city of Northglenn, city manager Bill Simmons is retiring, according to Our Colorado News. City Council unanimously approved by an 8-0 vote a retirement agreement for Simmons during its regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 13. Ward III Councilwoman Susan Clyne was absent. Simmon’s retirement is effective Dec. 31. He was hired by the city in November 2008. No council member commented on the retirement plans during the meeting. Simmons, however, thanked council for approving the agreement. Simmons will receive severance payments through May 3, 2013, totaling $57,000. He will also receive a lump-sum payment for any unused and accrued vacation time up to Dec. 31. As part of the agreement, Simmons will be available through May 3, 2013, to assist with any issues related to the transition of a new city manager. Mayor Joyce Downing said council wasn’t expecting the retirement. Simmons filled the vacancy left when former City Manager A.J. Krieger resigned. Krieger, who was hired in October 2006, left the city in May 2008.

Churchill County, Nevada (population 24,877): When it came to being selected Churchill County manager, the second time indeed did prove to be a charm for Eleanor Lockwood, according to the Lahontan Valley News. Lockwood’s 15 years of service in the Churchill County Planning Department was the deciding factor Monday morning when county commissioners selected her as the new county manager. Lockwood, who has been planning director since 2000, was bypassed when she applied for the county manager’s position in 2004. This time, she got the nod by a 3-0 vote in a decision over two other finalists, Dan Holler and Michael McMahon. Lockwood is due to take over in her new role on Sept. 4. She replaces Brad Goetsch, who resigned on May 3.

South Lake Tahoe, California (population 21,403):  At the conclusion of Tuesday’s City Council closed session, the council unanimously voted and offered the full time permanent City Manager position to Nancy Kerry, according to KRNV. The terms of the two-and-a-half year contract are still being negotiated. Ms. Kerry has been with the City of South Lake Tahoe since 2008 working in various departments. She worked alongside the previous City Manager to develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan with meaningful performance measures later operationalized into an effective City Business Plan linking priorities to measurable outcomes throughout the organization. Ms. Kerry has 12 years in government and more than 15 years in private business started in Southern California. Prior to moving to Tahoe, she worked for the City of Solana Beach, San Diego County, San Diego Association of Governments and San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Kerry also has a background in the private sector as Vice President of her father’s manufacturing company for many years and providing private consulting services to organizations. Ms. Kerry earned her Bachelor’s Degree from San Diego State University where her GPA garnered a rare Summa Cum Laude with distinction award. She continued her education by earning a Master of Public Administration degree, also from SDSU, where her grades and participation were recognized when she was named the Outstanding Graduate Student of 2001 by the School of Public Administration.

Artesia, California (population 16,522): After serving the City of Artesia for more than 18 years, City Manager Maria Dadian says she plans to retire and will step down from her post in late October, according to the Cerritos-ArtesiaPatch. When asked about her decision, Dadian said it was simply the right time. Dadian, a California State Los Angeles graduate, has served the city since January 1994, when she was hired as the Assistant City Manager. She was appointed to City Manager in 2000, and has been the driving force, alongside the City Council, behind many of Artesia’s projects, including the redevelopment projects and other city improvement projects. Mayor John P. Lyon, who has worked with Dadian for most of her tenure, said her service to the community has been commendable and that Artesia won’t be the same without her. Prior to her work with the City of Artesia, Dadian began her career in municipal government working for the City of South El Monte in 1975. In March 1982, she accepted the position of Parks and Recreation Director with the City of Hawaiian Gardens, and after four years was promoted to Assistant to the City Administrator. After 11 years of continuous service with the city, she was named interim Executive Director of Hawaiian Gardens’ newly established non-profit organization called the Coalition for Youth Development. During her municipal career she has been contracted by both public entities and private businesses to organize and implement public safety and recreation programs. Dadian has not yet revealed what she plans to do after retirement. Her last day as City Manager is slated for Oct. 19. The City of Artesia will be entering into a transitional period, and during this time the City Council plans to provide considerations to selecting a new city manager. The City Council will convene on Monday, Aug. 27 to commence this work, according to the city.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts (population 15,784): The Select Board has chosen Bonnie L. Therrien to serve as Longmeadow’s new town manager, according to The Republican. The town is currently in negotiations with Therrien, who interviewed for the position on Aug. 15 and was one of five finalists. The board voted unanimously on Aug. 17 to select Therrien, the interim town manager in North Branford, Conn. During her interview Therrien described her management style as open, fair and objective. Therrien has more than 25 years of experience working with municipal government. She is the former town manager of Hebron and Wethersfield, Conn., served as the deputy city manager for Hartford, Conn., and most recently in North Branford. Therrien has a master’s degree in public administration and criminal justice from American International College. Asked about her communications plan for her staff and the public, Therrien said she meets with department heads twice a month and strongly believes in public forums and hearings to keep the public informed. Therrien said every year before residents vote on the budget she asks to be invited to their homes, where she meets with groups of 15 to 20 people and answers any questions they might have about the budget process. During the interviews the board said it would offer the candidate a salary between $105,000 and $115,00, a reduction from the original $115,000 to $135,000 range. This is the second attempt to hire a town manager in the past month. The town originally entered into contract negotiations with Thomas Guerino, the town administrator in Bourne, but they could not come to an agreement on the contract. Therrien was selected from an original list of 33 applicants narrowed down by the Collins Center for Public Management.

Reedsburg, Wisconsin (population 10,014): For those who haven’t met new Reedsburg city administrator Ken Witt, Thursday night is a good chance to do so, according to the Reedsburg Times-Press. As part of the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Five program, a meet-and-greet gathering is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Common Council chambers, 134 Locust St. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. Witt was hired in June and started working July 23. City officials said at the time he was hired for his budgeting expertise and ability to work well with department heads and personnel, as well as a history in aiding economic development. Witt comes from Sparta, where he was city manager for eight years.
Southborough, Massachusetts (population 9,767): At a meeting early on the morning of August 22, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to offer the job of Southborough town administrator to Mark Purple, current interim town administrator in Ashland, according to mysouthborough.com. For all three selectmen the right choice was Purple. Chairman John Rooney pointed to Purple’s experience in municipal administration as being key to his decision. Purple has been the assistant town administrator in Ashland since 2006. Prior that he was an assistant town manager in Framingham. Rooney also commended Purple’s leadership style. Calling him “very impressive,” Selectman Dan Kolenda said Southborough could benefit from Purple’s experience implementing costs savings in the communities in which he has served. He also said he was swayed by the fact that Purple began his early career working as a truck driver and laborer. While they were unanimous in their top pick, selectmen said all three finalists for the position were well qualified. Purple, along with fellow finalists West Boylston Town Administrator Leon Gaumond Jr. and Lincoln Assistant Town Administrator Anita Scheipers, was interviewed by the board on Monday night. Rooney said hiring a strong town administrator like Purple will allow the Board of Selectmen to focus on “bigger issues and community goals,” instead of being mired in the day-to-day operations of the town. The Board authorized Rooney to begin negotiations with Purple on a contract immediately.

Warren, Maine (population 8,589): Longtime Town Manager Grant Watmough will be stepping down as town manager after nearly 17 years, according to the Bangor Daily News. Watmough turned in his letter of resignation to selectmen at their Wednesday night meeting. He will continue on through Nov. 26. He declined to comment on his reasons for retiring this year beyond what was stated in the letter. Watmough has been town manager since January 1996, succeeding Christine Savage. He served four additional years previously as the town’s code enforcement officer. Doug Pope, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said Watmough’s announcement will accelerate the search for a new manager. He said Watmough had planned on retiring next summer but decided he would begin retirement earlier. Watmough was reappointed to his post in April for another year, but by a close vote by selectmen. The vote was 3-2 with the two members opposed to his reappointment saying in April that the town needed to go in a new direction and that some long-term problems have not been addressed. The majority of selectmen, however, voiced support for Watmough and cited his service to the community. Pope said selectmen are considering hiring a company that specializes in recruitment of municipal managers. Watmough also is serving as code enforcement officer following the resignation of the code officer earlier this year.

Aransas Pass, Texas (population 8,204): The city council accepted City Manager Reggie Winters resignation during executive session, according to The Aransas Pass Progress. Winters submitted his letter of resignation last Friday and the affectivity [sic] is immediate. In accordance with his contract, Winters will continue to be paid through September 19, 2012. According to City Secretary Yvonne Stonebraker, an interim city manager is expected to be named next week.

Aberdeen, Mississippi (population 5,612): Greenwood Springs resident Michael P. King has been named the new Monroe County administrator, according to the Monroe Journal.
King ran his own business as a residential contractor for eight years. Before that he was an industrial engineer with Glenn Enterprises. King has a degree from Mississippi State in industrial technology. He lives in Greenwood Springs with his wife and two sons.

Russell, Kansas (population 4,506): At Tuesday’s Russell City Council meeting, City Manager Ralph Wise announced his resignation from the office effective October 1, 2012, according to KRSL. Wise will continue his current duties until that date, and official word has not been given on an interim or permanent replacement.

Soldotna, Alaska (population (4,163): The council offered Mark Dixson, of Soldotna, a position as city manager, added the city manager’s position back into the state’s Public Employee’s Retirements System (PERS), according to the Peninsula Clarion. Larry Semmens, current city manager, said there was about a week of overlap planned between his exit and Dixson’s entrance Oct. 1 but that he planned to leave the city ahead of his Oct. 31 final date. Semmens, who technically retired last year, continued to work for the city after the council decided to cut the position of city manager from the PERS system and hire him as a contract employee. At the time, Semmens said the move saved the city money as it was no longer liable for his family’s medical costs, just his. Dixson, however, wanted to earn PERS credit, so the council agreed to put the position back into the system in a move Semmens said would again save the city money. When the position is out of PERS, Semmens said the city still pays 24.16 percent of the city manager’s salary into the system in what’s known as unfunded liability, essentially back payments into the system as it is currently underfunded. When Dixson starts, the city’s share will be reduced to 22% of his salary, he said. Dixson’s starting salary will be $120,000 a year and it will go up in $5,000 increments for the next two years. At that time it will then be determined by the council as part of its annual budget process, according to city’s employment offer.

Hiram, Georgia (population 3,546): Hiram City Council approved the hiring of Robbie Rokovitz as city manager at a special called meeting earlier this week, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. Rokovitz was chosen from six candidates, whose names were announced by the council earlier this month. Rokovitz comes from the city of Cedartown, where he served as city manager. The vote was unanimous, and Mayor Doris Devey said she thought Rokovitz would “bring a lot to the city of Hiram.” Rokovitz has accepted the position and will be sworn in as city manager Sept. 4, according to Devey. The city manager started his career in Alpharetta, where he served as a police officer. He has also worked at Lanier Technical College, where he taught criminal justice classes, served as a financial manager with Gwinnett County, was city manager for the city of Holly Springs and also served as assistant city administrator at the city of Alpharetta before working in Cedartown. Rokovitz will replace interim City Manager Billy Beckett, who has worked at the city of Hiram since early June.

Overton, Texas (population 2,554): Overton City Council, in a special meeting Thursday with Mayor John Welch, chose its former city manager Joe Cantu to return to the post, according to the Kilgore News Herald. In a telephone exchange with Acting City Manager Deana McCasland, Friday morning, Cantu stated he would accept the job. Assembled at City Hall, Welch and Councilmen Pat Beets, Philip Cox, C. R. Evans Jr. and John Posey went into executive session for about 15 minutes, returned to the meeting chamber and Welch nominated Cantu for city manager. Cox motioned for approval of Cantu and Evans seconded. All four members next voted in favor. Councilman Jimmy Jennings was absent. The other witnesses were McCasland, as city secretary, and Police Chief Clyde Carter. Cantu was Overton city manager for less than two years in the mid-1990s. He was also CM at Shenandoah, Peñitas and Elsa – all in Texas. Originally from McAllen, he studied at University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg. Cantu has 43 years in law enforcement is now a patrol officer for the La Joya Police Department. He is married and has two grown daughters.

Hampton Falls, New Hampshire (population 2,236): Town Administrator Eric N. Small is retiring from the town of Hampton Falls, according to SeaCoastOnline. The public is invited to join the Board of Selectmen and town employees at the Hampton Falls Town Hall, 1 Drinkwater Road, for an open house Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 1 to 5:30 p.m., to thank Small for his service to the town of Hampton Falls over the past 26 years. Small, a Seabrook resident, will retire effective Aug. 31. .

Swansboro, North Carolina (population 1,902): The new manager for the Town of Swansboro is new to town but not to the area, according to The Jacksonville Daily News. David Harvell, who is currently serving as assistant city manager in Havelock, has been named Swansboro’s new manager by a unanimous vote of the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners voted to hire Harvell Tuesday night, concluding a five-month search to fill the position vacated in March by former Manager Pat Thomas, who took a job as city manager in Southport. Retired local government manager Tommy Combs has served as interim manager for the town and guided the town board in its search for a replacement manager. Mayor Scott Chadwick said the process was a thorough one as the board reviewed all 98 applicants, narrowed the field to 30 or so and then reviewed them further to get down to the 10 finalists they interviewed. Chadwick thanked Combs and Town Clerk Paula Webb for the work they put into assisting with the process and commended commissioners for their commitment to the process. Chadwick said Harvell stood out among a strong field of candidates and described Harvell as “very personable and professional” and able to make a quick transition to his new duties thanks to his familiarity with the area and the town. His experience also includes time as town manager in Atlantic Beach. He resides in Carteret County in nearby Pine Knoll Shores. Harvell said he’ll bring with him a knowledge of the area and the region and his first task will be to get to know the community at the local level. And he’s impressed with what he already knows about the small seaport town and its history. Harvell is to begin work on or before Sept. 17. He will receive an annual salary of $78,000, as well as a monthly allowance of $100 for cell phone and $450 for vehicle. Commissioner Junior Freeman said that from their review of the applications, Harvell has the experience and background the town is looking for. Harvell’s experience in Eastern North Carolina impressed Commissioner Jim Allen. While several of the commissioners took part in the previous manager search, it was a new experience for the others. Philpott said there was also full participation of the board, with every commissioner having the opportunity to review all the applications. Commissioner Gery Boucher said that in his previous job as dean of Craven Community College’s Havelock campus he got to observe Harvell’s ability to communicate with a diverse population of people. And during the interview process, Harvell showed he had gotten to know the town.

New Buffalo, Michigan (population 1,883): Mayor Rusty Geisler’s days on New Buffalo’s City Council may be numbered, but only because he’s been offered the job of City Manager, according to The Harbor County News. It happened during the regular monthly Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, during a discussion of what course of action to take following the unexpected resignation of City Manager Mike Mitchell on Aug. 10. Council member Warren Peterson started the discussion by stating that it was important to replace Mitchell as soon as possible. He also noted that one of the problems that has plagued past city managers in the current economy is the difficulty they have relocating here. Often, they have a hard time selling the homes they are living in when they are offered (and accept) the job here, he said. Council member Susan Maroko suggested taking advantage of the resources available through the Michigan Municipal League, which offers free assistance finding both interim and permanent employees for positions in city government. That’s when Council member Ray Lawson spoke up to suggest what he thought was a better idea: Offer the job to Mayor Geisler. Council member Migs Murray concurred, and after reminding all present that Geisler grew up in the city, knows just about everything there is to know about the city and on that basis alone is the likely best choice for the city, it was she who made the motion to do precisely that. The offer was contingent upon Geisler’s acceptance of a “letter of understanding” (essentially, the terms of his employment), which had yet to be written, as well as his resignation from the City Council if he should accept the city manager’s position. During continuing discussions preceding the vote, Maroko said she had “no problem” with Geisler serving as interim city manager, but it was her opinion that the city’s residents deserve what she called “a professional search” for a qualified replacement. Maroko also pointed out that, just as Assistant to the City Manager Ryan Fellows had previously been disqualified from seeking the city manager’s job because he didn’t have a masters degree, Mayor Geisler doesn’t meet all of the qualifications either. That didn’t matter a whit to Lawson, who ventured that Geisler “is probably a better choice than all the past city managers we’ve had.” When it came to a vote, the motion passed 3 to 1, with Maroko voting no and Geisler abstaining after recusing himself from the entire discussion. Acting in her role as mayor pro tem, Murray proposed holding a special meeting as soon as possible to prepare the letter of understanding. The meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at City Hall. As advised by City Attorney Harold Schuitmaker, Geisler stated for the record that, if he finds the terms of the letter of understanding to be acceptable, he will promptly submit his resignation from the council. After the meeting, Geisler said he had no idea that he was going to be offered the city manager’s position, and he expressed gratitude for the votes of confidence that his colleagues delivered on his behalf.

Tranistions: Eau Claire, WI; Stanton, CA; Milton, MA and more

Eau Claire, Wisconsin (65,489): The Eau Claire City Council says its finalist for the job is the current manager of the Village of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, according to WEAU. The council says it picked Russell Van Gompel, who has been the manager in Brown Deer for 14 years. He’s expected to start in early November. The council will formally take up his contract details on August 14. They say the interim city manager, Brian Amundson, will continue to serve in that role until Van Gompel starts. Van Gompel has also been a village administrator and finance director. He graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in business.

Stanton, California (population 36,186): Stanton’s city manager Carol Jacobs will be resigning her post Sept. 6 to serve as the city manager in Eastvale in Riverside County, according to the Garden Grove Journal. Jacobs has served Stanton as its administrative services director and as its city manager for six years. The official position of city manager will go unfilled and its duties, according to Shawver, will be taken over by Jim Box, the assistant city manager. Jacobs’ latest ongoing challenge for the city of Stanton has been to balance the budget. Economic drop out creating a gap between revenue and necessary expenditures caused a fiscal emergency in Stanton over the last few years. Now, massive cuts have been made to the employee pay, staffing and services available in the city. There are now fewer than 20 city employees in Stanton. Contracts with Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Sherriff’s Department have been re-negotiated in order to bring down the climb of annual costs for public safety in the city.

Milton, Massachusetts (population 27,003): With the controversy over Town Administrator Kevin Mearn still lingering, Milton selectmen will accept applications in the next few weeks from private recruiters and residents interested in serving on a committee to help find the next town administrator, according to The Boston Globe. Selectmen voted 2-to-1 on July to not renew former Mearn’s contract, then voted three days later to terminate his contract. The two selectmen favoring his ouster expressed concerns about communication between Mearn, selectmen, and Police Chief Richard Wells. The decision to form a search committee of five to seven people has not been formalized with a vote, but selectmen agreed to each submit two names to the pool of applicants. A vote is expected to formalize the process at an Aug. 23 meeting. Prior to the discussion about forming a committee, Chairman Tom Hurley read from a statement in which he expressed frustration with the way the town administrator’s contract vote was executed. Selectman Bob Sweeney responded to Hurley’s statement and requested that the board move past controversies surrounding the vote. Selectman Denis Keohane chastised Hurley for not giving himself and Sweeney proper notice of his statement and said that while he does have a response, he was not prepared to give it Thursday night.

Statesville, North Carolina (population 24,532): Statesville City Manager Rob Hites surprised city council members and fellow senior city employees when he announced Monday that he would be retiring from his post effective Aug. 31, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. Hites, who was hired by the city in February 1998, has spent nearly half of his 30 years in city government working as Statesville’s top executive. Hites said he had planned to retire next year but expedited his plans when the council approved a cost-cutting plan of offering retirement packages to certain qualified employees as a means of trimming the workforce. Hites said he planned to announce his retirement plans at the council’s pre-agenda meeting last Thursday but the meeting was cancelled earlier in the day when it was learned that the meeting would not have a quorum. He said that he had known since early last month that he would be taking the retirement package but kept the information to Assistant City Manager Lynn Smyth and Kutteh. Hites, 60, said he did not know what his immediate plans would be. He said he would like to teach U.S. history or government at the college or high school level but did not say that he would necessarily pursue that path. Prior to coming to Statesville, Hites was city/town manager in Lumberton, Southport and Pittsboro. He also worked in the governments of Durham and Gibsonville and as a contractor for the city of Greensboro. Of the 33 city employees who qualified for the retirement package, only 16 accepted. The council can choose to hire a new city manager from the current staff or advertise to seek external candidates for the position. Hites is earning a salary of just under $129,000.

Woodstock, Illinois (20,151): Tim Clifton will retire in April after serving nearly 20 years as Woodstock’s city manager, according to The Woodstock Independent. Mayor Brian Sager announced the planned retirement July 23 and said the Woodstock City Council will determine a specific search process and timeline for hiring a new city manager at its Sept. 4 meeting. Sager said Clifton has brought strong leadership and professionalism to the position and the impacts of his leadership can be seen throughout the city. Clifton was hired as city manger in November 1993. Before coming to Woodstock, Clifton worked as district customer support manager and governmental marketing consultant at Unisys in Okemos, Mich. He served as city manager of Monroe, Mich. and Boyne City, Mich., and as assistant city manager of Kalamazoo, Mich., before that. While Clifton didn’t point to one single accomplishment during his tenure, he said every city manager wants to leave with their city in a better position when they leave, something he believes has been accomplished. He pointed to the capital improvement programs, the tax increment financing istrict, the economic growth in the city and the management of city finances during difficult economic years as positives during his tenure. While the Council faces the challenge of hiring a new city manager, Clifton said he knows to step out of the way. From now until April, Clifton said he is focused on the tasks at hand. He said various economic development projects, potential retail opportunities and a major year in terms of road construction will keep him busy until his final day as city manager. Sager said he is confident the city will move forward in a positive manner.

Port Angeles, Washington (population 19,038): The Port Angeles city council last night approved a new contract for Dan McKeen to be the next city manager, according to KONP. The former PA fire chief will make $135-thousand dollars a year in his new job. That’s the same amount he was making as the interim manager and is 22 thousand dollars less than Kent Myers made when he left in April. Mayor Cherie Kidd says McKeen also agreed to take out any special benefits that were afforded the city manager and will take the same benefit package as any other department head. McKeen also will get a car allowance of $375 a month. The previous manager’s contract called for the city to purchase a new car and pay more than 62-hundred dollars a year in car allowance. Kidd says she is happy with the contract and shows McKeen’s willingness to be fair and help the city during a tough budget period as well.

North Aurora, Illinois (population 16,760): The village is having to look for a new village administrator, according to the Kane County Chronicle. Village Administrator Wes Kornowske has resigned to take a position with a national trucking company in Green Bay, Wis. His last day is Aug. 23. He did not name the company, saying it was a private firm. Kornowske is from Green Bay. North Aurora Police Chief David Summer will be interim administrator. Kornowske had been the village’s chief administrative officer since March 2010 before being promoted to village administrator last year.

Panama City Beach, Florida (population 12,108): After announcing his retirement more than one year ago, Richard Jackson, Panama City Beach’s city manager of 33 years, has finally set a quit date, according to the News Herald. The Panama City Beach Council approved a resolution accepting the $120,000 per year contract for new City Manager Mario Gisbert at Thursday’s regular council meeting. Gisbert assumed his position as the new Panama City Beach City Manager at 12:01 a.m. Friday when his contract went into effect. Jackson will continue working with Gisbert during the transition period through the end of September. The contract will remain in effect until terminated by either the city or Gisbert. His $120,000 per year salary includes benefits. Gisbert, who has been the city’s assistant manager and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) project manager for two years, was appointed by the council in late June to replace Jackson. Gisbert, an architect by trade, also held a land development position with the St. Joe Co. The contract, drafted by Baenziger and Associates, the firm hired to coordinate the job search, outlines Gisbert’s salary and evaluation procedures, duties and obligations and grounds for termination. Baenziger and Associates filtered 132 applications for the position and brought back eight finalists to the council. Gisbert was not chosen as a finalist, but was added back to the list upon request by Councilman Keith Curry. After the council further narrowed down the list, Gisbert beat out five other finalists for city manager position, including Bay County Assistant Manager Bob Majka, garnering three of the five votes from the council.

Colusa, California (population 5,971): Colusa and Jan McClintock simply did not mix, according to the Colusa Sun-Herald. That is the headline reason Councilman Tom Reische and Kirk Kelleher gave the day after leading a 3-2 majority vote to terminate the contract of the embattled city manager. The City Council on Tuesday night fired McClintock — ending the longest tenure of any of the many administrators who had come before her. The action goes into effect in two weeks. The vote, with Councilwomen Donna Critchfield and Kay Hosmer dissenting, followed McClintock outlining what she believed to be four years of successes and stable leadership as city manager. McClintock’s usually vocal critics sat quietly in the chamber gallery, and her fiercest council foes offered no comment either despite the outgoing city manager’s own objections to how she had been treated with false accusations from the public, and distrust and deception by the council in recent months. But Reische said Wednesday the situation had gotten to a boiling point, adding McClintock had simply alienated too many people inside City Hall and out. He specifically blamed McClintock for the poor relationship the city has had with the county and a number of local business owners. Kelleher would not elaborate on the issues behind his vote. He said it was a culmination of things, and now that the decision was made, it is time to move forward. Critchfield and Hosmer lashed out at the council majority before casting their votes, accusing them of having personal agendas and failing their fiscal responsibility to the city. Critchfield did not identify the employee, but four independent sources confirmed it involved public works employee John Baldarama over a linen service contract. McClintock disciplined Baldarama because he apparently did not have the authority to execute the contract, and the issue expanded from there. Kelleher said he knew very little about the details of that situation and denied that it was part of his reasons to fire McClintock. Reische said he thought the city manager was in the wrong, but said general issues with city staff and not one specific incident influenced his vote. Hosmer followed in the same vein as Critchfield, accusing some of the council members of serving their own “personal” and “political” needs rather than the city’s welfare. She said the decision to end the contract now, instead of allowing retirement as presented in McClintock’s proposal dated June 28, will cost the city significantly. Hosmer specifically noted the city’s obligation to pay McClintock’s health benefits for life. That situation is created because McClintock announced she intends to retire anyway, making her eligible for the PERS benefit unless she returns to another public position within that system. At her current rate, the city will pay $704 each month. That can change annually, depending on what plan the former city manager chooses. When McClintock becomes eligible for Social Security, the city’s obligation lowers to a supplemental cost, the current average of which is $225.99 monthly. But the cost to the city is balanced by some savings as well. McClintock’s salary was $93,862 annually, minus 2.5 percent ($1,346.55) that was withheld as part of her performance clause. Additionally, the city will not be paying her car stipend of about $350 a month. So the savings through the end of the year would be about $34,270 — all but $1,400 in salary — and less if McClintock left as early as Nov. 7 as stated in her retirement proposal. However, the city is also paying Randy Dunn an additional $2,237.72 per month for handling the duties as acting city manager — a cost that is expected to extend into the new year. The City Council approved the compensation package unanimously Tuesday night. It is based on 30 percent of his salary as fire chief. Reische and Critchfield are on the ad hoc committee looking into the recruitment process. The division between the Reische-Kelleher camp and the Critchfield-Hosmer camp is no surprise. The council members have lined up on opposite sides of many issues, and the political rhetoric has become more personal in recent months. In the end, Mayor Pat Landreth had the deciding vote. The mayor thanked McClintock for her service, then repeated his public refrain that the city needed to move forward. Landreth has said the city was in a kind “of limbo” because of all the division and discourse — and understood McClintock has been at the center of that storm. She has been on paid administrative leave since July 17.

North Hampton, New Hampshire (population 4,301): North Hampton has an immediate need to select an interim Town Administrator to take over until a permanent replacement can be found for outgoing administrator Steve Fournier, who will begin his new post as Newmarket’s town administrator after Labor Day, according to the Hampton-North Hampton Patch. Fournier has spent five years as North Hampton’s town administrator. After a nonpublic meeting of the Select Board Thursday night with Fournier, the Select Board openly discussed the next steps in the search process. Chairman Jim Maggiore said he had been in contact with Newmarket Town Councilor Al Zink and asked if the council could share some of its applicants’ resumes with North Hampton. Select Board member Larry Miller said he didn’t want the process for selecting a new town administrator to spread out over nine months, as the Newmarket search did. Select Board member Phillip Wilson said he suggested looking at three factors when weighing a new candidate. After some discussion, Maggiore said the board will come back to the Select Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 13, prepared to talk about the challenges and characteristics they would look for in a candidate. They are also considering using a recruitment company to help with the search. They also said Monday would be the target date to come up with an ad to look for an interim town administrator. Fournier said he would help to identify recruitment companies as well as prepare an ad for the interim administrator based on his own job description. One 30-year resident attended the meeting last night. He thanked Fournier for a job well done and also suggested the town look into changing the role of town administrator to town manager.

Milo, Maine (population 1,847): A former town official from Belfast will be the town’s new manager if he accepts a $60,000 contract, interim town manager Roger Raymond said Thursday, according to the Bangor Daily News. With Selectman Donald Banker opposing, the Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 during a special meeting on Thursday to offer David Maynard the contract, Raymond said. Maynard indicated that the salary is acceptable and is expected to sign the contract on Friday, Raymond said. If he does, he will start work on Aug. 21. Maynard would succeed Jeff Gahagan. Gahagan resigned as the treasurer of the Three Rivers Kiwanis club on April 5, a day before resigning as town manager, in the midst of an investigation by the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department, according to Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy. The investigation continues. Gahagan told town leaders that he was resigning from the town manager position for health reasons. No allegations about any missing town money have surfaced, but selectmen said they will have an auditor review town finances from April 23 on as a precaution. Raymond was also hired that month. The board praised Gahagan for what they described as his superb work as town manager, saying that when he took the job, the town was in heavy debt and now carries a $500,000 balance. A later audit of a shared town-Kiwanis club account showed $600 missing, officials have said. Police Chief Damien Pickel referred comment on the investigation to the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department. A dispatcher said that no one handling the investigation was available early Thursday night. Maynard worked for Belfast as town manager from 1982 to 1986 before moving out of state, Raymond said. Raymond said he had no further details about Maynard because he was not part of the selection process. He referred comment on the matter to Wilma Stanchfield, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen. Stanchfield did not immediately return a call placed to her home on Thursday night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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