Transitions: Guilford County, NC; Miramar, FL; Brunswick County, NC and more

Guilford County, North Carolina (population 495,279): In the wee hours of the morning of Friday, March 22, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to offer the job of Guilford County manager to Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing, according to The Rhinoceros Times. Lawing, who will replace former Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox, has agreed to accept the position and start working for Guilford County on Monday, May 6 at a salary of $183,000. The vote to hire Lawing was 6 to 3, split along racial lines, with the county’s six white commissioners (five Republicans and one Democrat) voting to hire Lawing, and the board’s three black commissioners (all Democrats) voting against the move. Those voting in favor of hiring Lawing were Chairman Linda Shaw and Commissioners Bill Bencini, Alan Branson, Kay Cashion, Hank Henning and Jeff Phillips, and those opposed were Commissioners Carolyn Coleman, Bruce Davis and Ray Trapp. The three commissioners who voted no said that they favored another candidate, a black man who has worked as a top local government administrator in other states, as their first choice. At the meeting, right before the vote, Trapp said he favored the other finalist over Lawing, but he said his decision had nothing to do with skin color but, instead, with qualifications. Davis said he felt the decision to hire Lawing was like Guilford County doing “Michael Jackson’s moonwalk dance” because the county pretended to be moving forward on matters of diversity, but it was in reality moving backward. After the vote, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Linda Shaw said she was very pleased with Lawing’s hiring and she said she felt Lawing and Guilford County would be a very good fit.

Miramar, Florida (population 124,302): Miramar City Manager Robert Payton abruptly resigned from his job Monday evening, according to the Miami Herald. Payton, 54, had been with the city for almost 37 years, starting as a garbage man and working his way up to city manager in 2001. During his tenure, Miramar became one of the fastest growing cities in Broward Country. But in 2010, he was embroiled in the public corruption case against former City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman. Payton, who prosecutors said facilitated a corrupt deal on Salesman’s behalf, never took any money and therefore was never charged in the crime. He eventually testified against Salesman. Deputy City Manager Wazir A. Ishmael has been appointed interim city manager.

Brunswick County, North Carolina (population 110,097): After 12 years as County Manager in Brunswick County, Marty Lawing has submitted his resignation, according to WECT. Lawing has accepted a job as County Manager in Guilford County. Reports say Lawing will make $183,000 in his new position, which will begin May 6th. His last day in Brunswick County is May 3. Commissioners in Guilford County voted 6-3 Thursday night to hire Lawing to replace Brenda Jones-Fox, who retired. Guilford County has a nine member commission, compared to the five members that serve in Brunswick County. No word on who will take over Lawing’s position in Brunswick County on an interim basis.

St. Mary’s County, Maryland (population 107,484): The St. Mary’s County Commissioners have appointed Dr. Rebecca Bridgett as county administrator to replace the late County Administrator John Savich, according to The Bay Net. Bridgett is a former Charles County Administrator who was fired from the position on a 3-2 vote in June of last year. County Human Resources Director Sue Sabo has been acting county administrator since Savich’s passing away. After her firing Bridgett was named acting director of the Human Resources and Administrative Services Division of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Before being appointed county administrator in 2009, Dr. Bridget was director of the Charles County Department of Social Services for five years. Before that she was acting executive director of the Maryland Social Services Administration, Department of Human Resources where she provided key leadership on child welfare policy development and was responsible for a staff of 50, according to a press release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Bridgett’s firing as Charles County administrator was controversial. After her firing Bridgett’s attorney Roger Fink, a former county attorney, said the majority of the commissioners violated the notification provisions of her contract by failing to give her notice and time to resign rather than be fired. On Tuesday with the announcement of Bridgett’s hiring as the new St. Mary’s County Administrator, Commissioner Lawrence Jarboe (R: 3) said, “Charles County’s loss will be our gain.” He added that it was good to see that a woman like Bridgett competed with a number of applicants “and rose to the top on her qualifications.” Dr. Bridget holds a Doctor of Education from NOVA Southeastern University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (population 106,038): When this city’s next manager takes over this summer, he will wade into a long, sticky controversy over the walloping salary that the post commands, according to The Boston Globe. Richard C. Rossi, a longtime deputy city manager, signed a three-year contract that guarantees a $330,000 annual salary, by far the highest paid to a Massachusetts municipal manager and nearly twice that of Mayor ­Thomas M. Menino of Boston. Rossi will make less than the outgoing city manager, Robert Healy, who makes $347,000 a year and is leaving the position at the end of June. Rossi says the demanding nature of the job justifies the high pay, but his compensation package has reignited criticism that taxpayers are funding a grossly inflated salary. Now, some members of the City Council, which voted 7 to 2 in February to approve Rossi’s contract, concede that the salary is high and are weighing how to curb the manager’s ballooning salary. Cambridge, a nationally recognized city of 105,000 people, is home to Harvard, MIT, and a booming biotech industry. It is hailed for its prized bond ratings and revenue-generating property taxes. For the past several years it has been on a building boom, with a new public safety building, youth and recreational ­facilities, and major renovations to its library and high school. Residents have shown their approval with high marks on city-conducted surveys. Rossi, who started collecting trash for the city some 42 years ago, became deputy in 1981 and is now paid $287,000. As chief executive, a role Rossi will assume July 1, he will set policies, submit annual budgets, and appoint heads of city ­departments and boards. In an interview last week, Rossi stressed his commitment to maintaining the city’s fiscal strength and said he remains committed to delivering high-quality service and responsiveness to residents. Rossi also defended his salary, saying that running a city is demanding work that requires expertise in planning, personnel management, and economic development. Rossi’s contract includes a city-owned car, cellphones, and tablet computers. He will have a life insurance policy of $120,000. The city has agreed to pay additional monthly retirement benefits. Mayor Henrietta Davis, who hails Rossi as a strong visionary and leader for the city, said that outgoing manager Healy, who lives in Lowell, stayed in the job for three decades and that ­annual pay increases pushed his high salary ever higher. ­Rossi, who lives in Watertown, has been the deputy since 1981. Both men have received cost of living and other salary adjustments over the years. In ­addition, Healy received a 3 percent salary increase on June 1, 2009 as well as on Jan. 1, 2010, 2011, and 2012, according to his contract. Minka vanBeuzekom, also on the City Council, noted that Rossi’s salary is fixed for the three years of his contract and does not allow for the usual pay increases. For some residents, however,  the high salary is unsettling. Some had hoped that when Healy announced his retirement, the council would use the opportunity to open the search outside City Hall. Frederic Turkington , president of the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association, said the administrator’s salary is comparable to that of other chief executives in similarly sized cities in California, Arizona, and Texas. Unlike elected officials, who are usually underpaid, city managers are comparable to a superintendent of a school department or a general manager of a mass transit system who deserve higher pay, said Turkington. But even by those criteria, Rossi comes out on top. Beverly Scott, general manager of the MBTA, is paid $220,000 annually and the superintendent of Boston public schools makes $266,750.

College Station, Texas (population 95,142): The College Station City Council voted on Thursday to drop the “interim” designation for acting City Manager Frank Simpson, according to The Eagle. The council voted unanimously to place Simpson into the top spot following its executive session. The governing body decided to internally promote Simpson without a search for applicants, a move that prompted a round of applause from the council chamber. It is unclear how much Simpson will make in the position. City officials said the selection was made without determining the salary. They said it would likely be comparable to former City Manager David Neeley, who earned $171,000 annually, including benefits. Berry was noncommittal on when a contract would be finalized, but said she hoped to sit down with Simpson on Monday after the Good Friday holiday. Prior to taking over for Neeley on January 11, Simpson served as deputy city manager for two years. He came to College Station after working from 2004 to 2011 as city manager of Missouri City, a suburb of approximately 67,000 near Houston. Before that, he served for four years as city manager of Webster, a smaller suburb of Houston with a population of 10,000. Simpson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from Texas A&M. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children. The council’s decision came as a surprise to city staff, notably Simpson. He said he was excited about the new role.

Moore County, North Carolina (population 89,352): The Moore County Board of Commissioners has named Tax Administrator Wayne Vest the new county manager, according to The Pilot. Vest, who has served as interim county manager since December, was chosen during a closed session meeting prior to Tuesday’s regular meeting of the board. The new manager said he foresaw “no big changes” in his new role. Vest initially took the place of the late Jim Westbrook, who died in an automobile accident on Nov. 27, the day after Westbrook began his duties as interim manager. The previous county manager, Cary McSwain, retired Nov. 30. Commissioners’ Chairman Nick Picerno praised Vest as the person that board members hoped would accept the county manager position. Picerno said the board, convinced that Vest was the best choice for the position, never reached the interview stage with other applicants. Other board members congratulated Vest on his new position. Commissioner Jimmy Melton said that Vest’s credentials reflect well on all county employees.

Rio Rancho, New Mexico (population 89,320): O’Fallon’s (MO) former city administrator has found a new position as city manager for Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a suburb of Albuquerque, according to the O’FallonPatch. Riesberg was terminated from his position in O’Fallon on Jan. 10 by a vote of the O’Fallon City Council. He took over as O’Fallon city administrator in January 2010, having previously serviced as city manager for Sedalia, Missouri, since 2005. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Riesberg was the top candidate of 30 who applied for the position. He received a unanimous vote of approval from the Rio Rancho city council. Rio Rancho, with a population of 87,000 is comparable in size to O’Fallon, with a population of 80,000. Rio Rancho’s previous city administrator retired “involuntarily” this past July, the Journal reported. Riesberg will see a $25,000 per year pay increase from his position in O’Fallon, a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Riesberg’s salary in New Mexico will be $150,000 per year.

Cayuga County, New York (population 79,738): After spending nearly three years as Cayuga County administrator, Tom Squires is leaving to pursue new opportunities, according to The Auburn Citizen. Joseph Runkle, deputy chairman of the Legislature, said Squires told county department heads about his decision during a meeting Wednesday. Confirming his planned departure, Squires declined commenting on where he planned to work, simply stating “I have a fantastic opportunity.” However, The Citizen has confirmed that Squires has accepted a job at Mohawk Valley Community College. In an internal email, dated Thursday, Feb. 21, President Randall VanWagoner told the Utica college’s employees that Squires accepted his offer to serve as MVCC’s new vice president for administrative services. Squires started working for the county in 2010, becoming the second person to serve as county administrator. He succeed Wayne Allen, who was fired without public explanation in 2009. Before working for Cayuga County, Squires served as Onondaga County’s deputy comptroller for about 13 years. And according to the email, he has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Bryant-Stratton College for many years. Reflecting on his time in Cayuga County, Squires said the time he spent working as county administrator “has been the best” chapter in his career history. Although he said he was excited about his new job, he said he was sad to leave behind a great group of coworkers. Before April 12 — his last day as county administrator — Squires said he wants to help the county fix its emergency communications system and see the Legislature decide whether it should merge the Cayuga County Nursing Home with Mercy Health & Rehabilitation Center. In the meantime, Runkle said the Legislature plans to seek a successor. To put steam into the search process, he said the Legislature is currently working to form a search committee.

Manassas, Virginia (39,300): Manassas city manager John Budesky announced at Monday’s city council meeting that he would resign from his post to take care of an ailing family member, according to the ManassasPatch. Budesky made the announcement just days after his one-year anniversary with the city. He told city council members Monday that his decision to leave wasn’t an easy one. Budesky is relocating to Hanover to be near the sick family member and has accepted another position in the Richmond area. Budesky joined the city March 5, 2012 replacing interim city manager Patricia A. Weiler who was serving in place of former city manager Larry Hughes who retired. City Council stands behind Budesky’s decision and will work with him over the next 90 days through the adoption of the budget and the Capital Improvement Plan. In the next few weeks the City Council will be exploring many options including interim possibilities as well as a long-term solution. The selection process will be thoughtful, yet expeditious when considering the next city manager, according to a release issued Tuesday afternoon by the city. In the last year, Budesky led the city through the development of a Vision and Priorities Implementation Plan, introduced an award-winning Capital Improvement Program in partnership with Manassas City Public Schools, built bridges with the business community and introduced a balanced budget consistent with the priorities of the city council, according to the release.

Merriville, Indiana (population 35,215): Town Administrator Howard Fink is leaving his position to take another job within the same field, according to the NW Times. Fink’s last day with Merrillville will be April 9, he said. Fink has handled Merrillville’s daily operations as town administrator. He said he is thankful for the opportunity he had to serve the community. Fink joined Merrillville about seven years ago. He started as the town’s community development director in the Planning and Building Department. At the end of 2008, Fink’s responsibilities increased when he became town administrator. Fink said there have been many “accomplishments and successes” during his service with the town. He said Merrillville’s financial situation is among the areas in which he helped improve. Councilman Tom Goralczyk said Merrillville is losing a “valuable asset” with Fink’s departure. Goralczyk said Fink attracted many developments to the town. Fink thinks Merrillville has shown it’s “pro-economic development.” He said it’s been “a team effort” to bring businesses to the community. In addition to his colleagues in Merrillville, Fink said he will miss the “meaningful friendships” he made in the town and Northwest Indiana. Although he didn’t live in Merrillville, Fink believes he was considered part of the community. The Town Council will meet in executive session next week to determine how it will proceed with filling the position, Goralczyk said.

Texarkana, Arkansas (population 30,177): Mayor Wayne Smith held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the departure of City Manager Harold Boldt, according to KTBS. The decision to part ways was made Monday night during an executive session with the Board of Directors. City officials anticipate naming an interim city manager later this week. Mayor Smith says the interim city manager will not be an employee of Texarkana, Arkansas. When discussing the city manager’s departure, Mayor Smith told reporters that management styles sometimes get stagnated. City officials will soon be deciding on a search committee for a new city manager. Boldt had been with the city since 2005. In a telephone interview, Boldt said he had resigned from office and was most proud of his accomplishments with the Crossroads Business Park. Mayor Smith says the terms of agreement between Board of Directors and the former City Manager are still being finalized.

Garden City, Michigan (population 27,408): The Garden City Council voted Monday evening to have Robert Muery as its new permanent city manager with a split vote, according to the Observer & Eccentric. Negotiations now must take place with Muery who has been the acting city manager, wants to remain its police chief. Councilwoman Patricia Squires made the motion which was supported by Councilwoman Jaylee Lynch to name Muery the city manager. Council members Joanne Dodge, Michael Jones, and Mayor Randy Walker supported Muery while David Fetter and Jim Kerwin voted no. Fetter had made a motion to support Jade Smith, the deputy mayor of Westland, but that motion went nowhere. Smith came in first overall with scores cast after interviews with seven candidates. Scott Randall of Arkansas came in third in the scores. There was also a concern expressed that the scores seemed manipulated by some council members to show unusually high or low scores for some candidates. It prompted Jones to suggest dismissing the highest and lowest scored candidates.  What followed was a discussion by Fetter that Muery’s holding both positions fell within the confines of the Incompatible Public Offices Act, PA 566 of 1978 which says that cities with less than 25,000 people can have these dual roles, if needed, but not those with a higher population. Garden City has 27,000 people.  Fettger said that he wouldn’t support something that he viewed as illegal — one position is subordinate to the other. Fetter said that the law has been upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court and upheld in an opinion by City Attorney Tim Cronin. There is a concern, if a potential future conflict. Lynch, however, said that there are other cases where a person held both dual jobs in Garden City that didn’t violate the incompatibility act, although she agreed that there could come a time when there is a problem. She said that each must be considered individually on a case-by-case basis. Walker said that the council picks and chooses what attorney opinion it chooses to support. Likewise, Dodge said the information she has read “goes all over the place.” Lynch further maintained that having Muery continue with both jobs meets Governor Rick Snyder’s direction that municipalities find ways to consolidate to save money. Muery has served in both positions since Garden City Manager Darwin McClary was first suspended in August and then fired on Sept. 24. Kerwin said that Muery is a fine city manager but added that he didn’t want to “violate the law.” Muery said after the meeting that his interest in serving in both positions was to continue to save the city money. In the end, all council members congratulated Muery and wished him well. Resident Dick King said that it appears that the council violated the charter by unknowingly placing Muery in the dual position. Resident Ray Wiacek urged residents to view this meeting two or three times to see if they could make any sense out of it.

Temple Terrace, Florida (population 25,314): The City Council has hired the head of Tampa Bay Water as its new city manager, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Gerald Seeber got the nod after the council’s first two picks for the job bowed out. He expects to start work in Temple Terrace at the end of April. Seeber has more than 25 years’ experience as a city manager, including stints in New Port Richey and Oviedo, near Orlando. He said he had missed the pace and give-and-take of city government during his five years as general manager of Tampa Bay Water, supplier of wholesale water to governments in the Tampa Bay area. Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura said he and the council are excited about Seeber. Seeber, 59, who will be paid $135,000 annually, replaces longtime city manager Kim Leinbach, who is retiring. The City Council voted to negotiate with Seeber when two candidates from Arizona dropped out. The first candidate, Jeff Mihelich, assistant city manager of Surprise, Ariz., told council members he had to decline the offer because his daughter wanted to finish high school in Arizona. The second candidate, Dana Hlavac, deputy county manager for Mohave County, Ariz., could not provide a commitment in the time period the council had set, Chillura said. Seeber said he was “perfectly okay” with being the third choice, adding that in the public search for city managers, such a situation is not unusual. Seeber served as city manager of Oviedo from 2004 to 2008 and New Port Richey from 1988 to 2004. Seeber served as village manager of Brown Deer, Wis., from 1982 to 1988. He graduated from Marquette University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned a postgraduate degree in public administration from Pennsylvania State University in 1978. The new manager said that while Temple Terrace, like all Florida cities, suffered from the recession, the city’s tax base was strong. Seeber said he and his wife, Denise — parents of four grown children — are planning to put their Safety Harbor home on the market and move to Temple Terrace. He had informed Tampa Bay Water board members earlier this year that he was looking for a job in city government, he said, so this move was not a surprise to them. Chillura said Seeber’s knowledge of water issues will be a boon to Temple Terrace, and he has a good working relationship with a number of officials in the Tampa Bay area.

Reading, Massachusetts (population 24,747): The Board of Selectmen, by unanimous vote, have named Assistant Town Manager Bob LeLacheur to be Reading’s next town manager, according to the Boston Globe. LeLacheur, who was among three finalists for the position, will replace Peter I. Hechenbleikner when he retires in June after serving as town manager for 26 years. A screening committee, with help from a consultant, whittled a list of about 25 candidates down to the final three. The other finalists were Abington Town Manager John D’Agostino and Lunenberg Town Manager Kerry Speidel. LeLacheur has worked in Reading since 2005. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager and partner for Merganser Capital Management Inc. in Cambridge and Boston. He also had worked on Wall Street, at Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

El Segundo, California (population 16,775): As homecomings go, the situation Greg Carpenter landed in a year ago wasn’t particularly sweet, according to Easy Reader. Carpenter was named El Segundo’s city manager while the city was in the midst of a dispute with its historical benefactor and biggest business – Chevron, which actually named the town in 1917 after it established its second refinery here. Perhaps even more significantly, the Great Recession had hit El Segundo particularly hard, forcing city government to reduce its size from 320 fulltime employees to 260 while still attempting to deliver similar service levels. Carpenter, who graduated from El Segundo High in the Class of ’82, had never expected to return home as city manager. He’d left to go to college at Long Beach State University, where he studied Geography. He subsequently worked 18 years for the City of Long Beach – and two years in Lawndale – working his way up through the ranks to become planning manager. He loved the satisfaction of seeing projects come to fruition in the planning sphere and didn’t have a particular ambition to go any higher in city government. In 1998, Carpenter achieved his dream of bringing his wife and two sons back to his hometown to live as he commuted to Long Beach. Then, in 2008, he was hired as planning manager in El Segundo. Last year, he became an obvious choice to step in and calm the turbulent waters that had overtaken the city in the wake of its economic troubles and dispute with Chevron. A year later, the city is emerging from its economic difficulties, and peace with Chevron has been established in a deal that is expected to net the city $134 million in additional taxes over the next 15 years. Broader forces are at work in both issues, of course, but Carpenter’s steady hand has been a key part of the equation. Council person Marie Fellhauer said that Carpenter has been the right person at the right time and place for the city. His hometown roots, she said, have made for a seamless fit. A wall-sized overhead photo of the five square miles that is El Segundo hangs on the wall of the city manager’s office. Carpenter seems to know every square inch. He points to one particular area with special fondness, the far west stretch of Hillcrest Street – his childhood home, which at that time was the far west of the city itself. Carpenter actually had some kind of a presentiment for his City Hall. As a high school senior, he took part in a career week in which students were assigned to a department head and had to write a staff report to present to a mock city council also comprised of students. Three decades later, the actual El Segundo City Council asked its planning director to take over as interim city manager after abruptly parting ways with former city manager Doug Willmore. As Carpenter took the helm, council members realized they’d found their city manager. Carpenter, who also obtained his master’s in public administration at LBSU, is in some ways still a geographer at heart. One of the many things he loves about his job is that he’s still learning things about the geography of El Segundo – for instance, the fact that Grand Avenue as it slopes towards the ocean is no longer El Segundo, but Los Angeles. He also had identified part of what makes the city, with its nighttime population of 16,700 residents and daytime workforce of roughly 70,000 people, so utterly unique. All four city borders – Chevron along the south, Hyperion and NRG along the west, LAX north, and the aerospace industry east – in some sense seal off the old-fashioned little town in the middle from the outside world. As city manager, what strikes Carpenter most, and what he is most grateful for, he said, are the people he is serving – not just the five direct bosses he has in the City Council, but the entire residential and business community. Part of the ethos of city hall in El Segundo has long been a certain no-nonsense practicality – the city was first in L.A. County awarded as the most business-friendly and has again been nominated for the award because of its relative lack of red tape and delay. A project that might take six months to be inspected and approved in Los Angeles is often handled in days in El Segundo. For Carpenter, this is a key part of the city’s uniqueness, and it’s reflective of his own character, as well: Both the city and its manager work with little fanfare but instead focus on moving forward. Fuentes said that the city’s organization has come to reflect Carpenter, as well. She noted that the confidence he has inspired in employees, and the pride he takes in their work, has been a key factor in his success as city manager. Fellhauer said that Carpenter’s calm, and care, have been especially valuable at city hall. Carpenter credits others for much of what has gone well. He said his wife of 25 years, Julie, who works professionally as a human resources director, makes his life easier by keeping the family’s home front organized. And he credits the council, city employees, and the community itself. More than anything, as Carpenter feels a sense of gratitude for finding himself somewhat unexpectedly as the city manager of the town he loves best.

Hastings, Minnesota (population 22,359): In March of 1989, Dave Osberg took a new job. He had been working in St. James when the city administrator position in Hastings opened up, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. City Hall had a much different dynamic back then. There was significant unrest in the council prior to Osberg’s hiring, and it continued in some measure into the first part of his career here. Anyone who came into his position would have had a tough time, Osberg said. On Friday, Osberg will put in his last day as Hastings City Administrator, two days past his 24-year anniversary. His next project will be leading staff in the City of Eagan as that city’s administrator. The option to take the job in Eagan came at just the perfect time for Osberg to make the change. Back in 2000, Osberg applied for a position in Maplewood, but the timing just wasn’t right. Now that all of his children are grown – his youngest recently started college – it’s much easier for him to shift his career. Had Eagan’s former administrator retired either a few years sooner or later, Osberg said he’s not sure he would have made the move. Twenty-four years is a lot of time to rack up some significant accomplishments, and Osberg certainly has a few. His best memories, he said, are working with the people. Many of the people he’s worked with over the years have become more than just co-workers or business contacts; they’ve become friends, he said, and he expects those friendships to continue even after he moves to Eagan. Osberg has helped the city on several key projects throughout the years. One of his early projects was working on moving City Hall from Sibley Street (in what is now the Onion Grille) to its current location along Fourth Street. It took two to three years to secure the building. Mid-way through his career here, Osberg worked on annexing about 160 acres of land that is now the Wallin Development in west Hastings. It took several people to make that project a reality, with lots of negotiations between homeowners and the Catholic church. Osberg remembers driving home after the project was completed and stopping at the intersection of 15th Street and General Sieben Drive. That day, he got out of his vehicle and walked into the freshly paved intersection, reflecting on the process that made that very road and realizing that he had helped make it happen. More recently, Osberg has been part of another “fun project,” the acquisition of the former Hudson building in downtown Hastings. It’s a great feeling to know he had something to do with that, Osberg said. While Osberg has had his share of good memories, the top staff position in the city isn’t without challenges. The most difficult issues Osberg has had to deal with have been related to personnel. He can generally tell when one of those issues is at hand. Osberg keeps his office door open, and whenever someone closes it to talk to him, nine out of 10 times he can expect to be talking about people, he said. He recalled one of his earliest projects, back in 1989. Just 30 years old and new to Hastings and the job, he got thrown into the fire with a pair of development projects. The Housing and Redevelopment Authority (the predecessor of the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority) was working on a possible hotel development and a senior housing development. While adjusting to his new position, Osberg had another detail to overcome. He had been hired in March of 1989, but didn’t move his young family to Hastings until May. For about two months, he lived with friends and family in Hastings during the week and would go back home for the weekends. Through it all, though, he had the help of other staff here and the city council. When Osberg takes his new job in Eagan, it will be a return to the city. He worked for the city from 1981 to 1982 as an administrative and planning assistant. He remembers one of the projects he worked on back then, a request for proposals for architects interested in drafting plans for Eagan’s new city hall. He worked with Eagan’s former administrator, Tom Hedges, back then, and the two became good friends. Hedges became both a personal and professional mentor to Osberg. Osberg said he knew that if Hedges were to retire, it would mean he would have a major decision to make – either stay in Hastings or enter the running to replace Hedges. On Monday evening, Osberg sat at his final city council meeting. The city council made significant and sometimes lighthearted efforts to express its thanks and appreciation for Osberg’s leadership over the years. Council members individually thanked him for his professionalism, positive attitude, respect for city staff, trustworthiness, commitment and dedication. Mayor Paul Hicks, elected to the council in 1990, has been a part of Hastings government almost as long as Osberg. Osberg gave an emotional response. When he started working for the City of Hastings, he said, he didn’t know how welcoming the people here would be of him and his family, how many personal and professional growth opportunities there would be, how serious the community would be about electing committed officials and that he would be leading such dedicated employees. Had he known all that, he might have expected his stay here to be as long as it has been today. He specifically thanked four people. He thanked Hicks for his leadership, support, guidance and friendship. He thanked Ed Riveness, the only council member who was around when Osberg was hired, for taking a chance on the 30-year-old from St. James and for being such a rock on the council. He thanked Tom Montgomery, the staff member he’s worked with the longest. And he thanked Melanie Mesko Lee for helping him overcome his mid-career struggles when she joined the city 14 years ago. Osberg also thanked his family – his wife, Laurie, and four children for their patience and support. He shared with the council and public a card his daughter sent before he accepted the position in Eagan. It read, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Osberg expressed his heartfelt thanks, “and I wish all of you nothing but the best,” he said.

Riverdale, Georgia (population 15,251): Longtime Riverdale City Manager Iris Jessie has resigned her position after almost nine years on the job, said officials, according to the Clayton News Daily. Mayor Dr. Evelyn Wynn-Dixon said Jessie resigned in “excellent standing” with the city. Wynn-Dixon said Jessie didn’t give a reason for leaving. Jessie couldn’t be reached for comment. No other members of Council could be reached for comment. Council approved hiring Jessie in May 2004. She was one of 63 people who applied for the job and one of only five interviewed by city officials. Jessie came to Riverdale from an assistant city manager’s position in Norfolk, Va., a job she held for more than five years. Her three-year contract became effective June 7, 2004, and gave her an annual salary of $90,000 plus benefits. Riverdale paid up to $3,000 for her moving expenses, provided her with a $600 monthly car allowance and immediately gave her 20 days vacation. Wynn-Dixon was not mayor at the time but said Jessie became a mentor for her when she took office in 2008. Wynn-Dixon said Council will announce the interim city manager next week. Council meets in regular session April 8 but could hold a special called meeting if needed before then. She didn’t say when the hunt would begin for a permanent city manager but pointed out that Jessie has left an enduring legacy.

Abington, Massachusetts (population 14,605): The Abington Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to hire Carver town administrator Richard J. LaFond as the new town manager effective July 1, pending successful contract negotiations, according to the Boston Globe. LaFond has been town administrator in Carver since 1996 and he served as executive secretary for Abington for two years prior to that. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stonehill College, earned a master’s in public administration from Suffolk University, and has worked in area town governments for the past 24 years. LaFond and his wife, Julie, have two teenage sons. After voting to hire LaFond, the board went into executive session to discuss negotiations. LaFond said he’d like to settle soon on a contract, then start building good will in Abington. Outgoing town manager John D’Agostino’s tenure ends June 30.

Martinsville, Virginia (population 13,559): Martinsville City Council is promoting Leon Towarnicki to city manager, according to the Martinsville Bulletin. Following a closed session held to discuss a personnel matter, the council voted (unanimously) Tuesday night to promote Towarnicki to the city’s top administrative post. Towarnicki has worked for the city since 1982. He was the city engineer before he was promoted to public works director two years later. He was named assistant city manager in 2007. He has held the title of interim city manager since former city manager Clarence Monday left in January 2012.

Kingsburg, California (population 11,537): Kingsburg City Manager Don Pauley announced his retirement, effective July 19, at the Kingsburg City Council meeting on March 20, according to The Kingsburg Recorder. Pauley has served 13 years as Kingsburg’s city manager and has 37 years total of city management experience. In a letter to the City Council announcing his retirement, Pauley wrote that the time had come for him to retire. Pauley said he was grateful for the opportunities he has had to serve the citizens of the communities in which he has worked. He said he appreciated working with Kingsburg city employees and said they were “model employees and public servants.” Pauley, and his wife, Peggy, plan to continue living in Kingsburg and “remain active and informed residents.” Michelle Roman, mayor pro tem of Kingsburg, said she wishes Pauley “the best” on his retirement.

Castle Pines, Colorado (population 10,602): It was a short tenure for the latest Castle Pines city manager when Ted Soltis resigned after six months on the job, according to Our Colorado News. Soltis is the second full-time city manager to leave the City of Castle Pines since 2010, said Mayor Jeffrey Huff. The previous manager, James McGrady, served in the position from 2010 to 2012. McGrady served as an interim city manager in a role the city knew would be temporary, Huff said. Before McGrady, the city contracted its managers through a corporate agreement with CH2MHill, he said. Huff declined to say how many city managers have served in Castle Pines, but public records indicate at least four people have served since the city’s 2008 incorporation. Soltis signed his contract with the city in August 2012 for a term that began in September 2012. He resigned Feb. 26, according to an announcement from city council. When he came to Castle Pines, Soltis received a relocation bonus of $12,500, according to his employment agreement. The agreement stipulates that if he leaves the city before one year, he will return his bonus on a pro rata basis at the rate of $1,041 per month for each month remaining in the first year of his employment. Soltis earned $8,500 per month and was required to give the city a 45-day notice before resigning. His departure came shortly after his six-month anniversary with the city, at which time he was to undergo a performance review, according to his contract. Three members of city council are assembling parameters for the process to select a new city manager, Huff said. The city does not expect to replace Soltis before August, Huff said. Staff members and residents are instructed to go to city council members with any concerns or questions.

D’Iberville, Mississippi (population 9,690): Michael Janus has been fired from his job as city manager in D’Iberville, according to the Mississippi Business Journal. The mayor and board of aldermen took the action Wednesday in an ongoing dispute over an agreement that Janus signed with a Pascagoula consulting firm. At a meeting last month, Janus said he never notified the city council about that deal, and he never got city approval. City officials tell The Sun Herald Janus will be paid through July 1 when his contract expires. Sharron Perkins will continue as D’Iberville’s interim city manager. Janus took a leave of absence in February when the contract issue arose. Although the council members hadn’t voted on the contract with Maxwell-Walker Consultants, they agreed to pay the firm a $180,000 finder’s fee for obtaining a $3 million BP grant to cover some of the city’s cost for the Ocean Expo aquarium. Mayor Rusty Quave said the FBI has joined the investigation and has been to City Hall. Last week, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said the city has 30 days to return $1.4 million of that $3 million BP grant and may require repayment of $945,000 more if the city can’t provide additional documentation. Quave said he and other city officials met with MDEQ this week in Jackson, but wouldn’t disclose the details of the meeting. In an email to the Sun Herald following Wednesday’s meeting, Janus said the council had authorized him to enter into contracts.

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia (population 9,342): One hour after Clay Kissner was sworn in as Fort Oglethorpe’s new city councilman, the council forced the resignation of seasoned City Manager Ron Goulart, according to the Times Free Press. Moments later the council named Harold Silcox, a former City Council member, as interim city manager. Within 30 minutes, Silcox fired two longtime department heads. Goulart, who was given four months severance pay, and Police Chief David Eubanks and Public Works Director Jeff Long, who were not given severance pay, say politics was at work. Even one councilman claims Friday afternoon’s speedy house cleaning will set the city back for years. For the last five months, the council has been two members short and has deadlocked on key issues such as Sunday alcohol sales. Former Councilman Eddie Stinnett died of a heart attack in October, and Charles Sharrock was ousted the same month after sexual harassment claims. His seat hasn’t been filled. In a special election Tuesday, voters elected Kissner to fill Stinnett’s seat. He was appointed at 2 p.m. Friday, an hour before council members held the special meeting. The meeting — which was noted on a bulletin board but not announced in a public notice to the media like normal practice — was called by Mayor Lynn Long. Goulart announced his resignation when the council emerged from an executive session. Lynn Long then made a motion for Silcox, who was sitting in the audience, to fill Goulart’s position. Gray was the only council member to object, and when he tried to have an open discussion in the meeting about both Goulart’s resignation and Silcox’s appointment, he was shushed. The councilmen quickly emptied the room after the meeting, some denying requests for comment on their decision. When asked whether Goulart was forced to resign, Lynn Long repeated: “That was his decision. That was his decision.” But Goulart said that on Thursday he was confronted by the mayor, who came to his office and told him to resign or be fired. After Friday’s meeting, the newly appointed interim city manager took Eubanks and Jeff Long into a City Hall office. First Silcox fired Eubanks and then Jeff Long — breaking policy in the city’s charter. City policy states that when a city employee is fired, officials must give the reasons in writing along with instruction that the employee has 15 days to appeal. Neither Long nor Eubanks said they were given a reason in writing. Jeff Long, who is also a Catoosa County Commission member, said he was told the reason he was fired was for making a motion on the county panel that hurt Fort Oglethorpe. Earlier this month, Catoosa County officials asked local lawmakers for legislation to deannex 42 acres of prime real estate on Battlefield Parkway. If passed, Fort Oglethorpe would lose all property and sales tax revenue. When Silcox was questioned about who was in charge of the police force, he mistakenly said “Eubanks.” Then corrected himself and said talk to the mayor. Before City Hall was closed for the weekend, city employees sat frozen in their chairs with shocked faces. Police officers stood outside the meeting hall with arms crossed. A woman walked up to Goulart and hugged him, saying, “I’m terribly, terribly sorry for what they’ve done to you.”

Augusta, Kansas (population 9,265): At the conclusion of Monday night’s City Council agenda and taking care of business items, Augusta Mayor Kristey Williams called for a 10 minute executive session concerning a non-elected personnel matter, according to the Augusta Gazette. Following the executive session, City Manager Bill Keefer announced his resignation. Keefer’s letter did not include any specific reason for his decision, but at the Jan. 7th council meeting there was controversy concerning the renewal of his contract. After attempting unsuccessfully to negotiate the city manager’s contract in a public meeting, the governing body finally agreed to extend Bill Keefer’s contract for one year including a two percent merit pay increase. Following two noisy executive sessions, Councilor Matt Childers made a motion to extend Keefer’s contract for employment for two years including the two percent merit pay increase. Mike Rawlings seconded the motion that failed 2-5 with Mike Martin, Matt Malone, Mike Huddleston, Sue Jones, and Mike Wallace voting against renewing the contract. At that point, Wallace made a motion that attempted to amend the contract between Keefer and the city. Childers interjected and asked for legal counsel from City Attorney David All. Childers was concerned about benefits being taken out of the contract. All explained that the question was over a clause that protects the city manager from termination by paying his salary and medical insurance for a year should he be terminated or if his contract is not renewed. If Keefer chose to, he would be able to work as an “at will” employee. After lengthy discussion Mayor Kristey Williams called for a vote on the motion to extend the contract. It passed 5-2 with Huddleston and Martin voting against renewing the contract. Missing council members at Monday night’s meeting were Mike Huddleston, Mike Wallace, and Matt Malone.

Park City, Utah (population 7,822): Diane Foster, who has served as the interim Park City manager since last fall, on Monday was named to the permanent position, completing a five-year climb up the ranks at the Marsac Building, according to The Park Record. Foster had been the deputy city manager and was previously the environmental sustainability manager. She joined City Hall in 2008 in the environmental position. A prepared statement issued by City Hall indicated the Park City Council will vote on an employment contract on Thursday. Foster will succeed Tom Bakaly. He was the city manager between 2003 and his departure in 2012 to become the top municipal staffer in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council conducted a national search for a city manager in 2012, but it did not result in a hiring. The elected officials then opted to conduct an internal search prior to a second national one if it was needed. An undisclosed number of staffers applied for the position.

LaFayette, Georgia (population 7,111): LaFayette city manager Frank Etheridge is being let go, following an executive session of the city council Monday, March 25, according to CatWalkChatt. The council met Monday night to go over the official audit for the city’s budget year 2012. The audit, performed as in years prior by CPA Lloyd Williamson of Williamson & Co. CPA in Cartersville, examined the city’s finances from October 2011 to September 2012. The audit showed that the city had lost less revenue in budget year 2012 than in any of the four years prior. Etheridge was hired by the city of LaFayette in October 2011. He replaced the previously-ousted manager Johnny Arnold. As of this afternoon, neither mayor Neal Florence nor any of the city council members who were reached would give a public statement on Etheridge. Council member Wayne Swanson said officials had been advised by the city attorney not to make any comments on the matter.

Union Gap, Washington (population 6,145): New Union Gap City Manager Rod Otterness will make $90,000 a year, according to city officials. The contract was approved March 11 — well ahead of schedule — when all eight council members voted in favor of the contract, according to the Yakima Herald. City officials previously said they expected contract negotiations to go on until the end of March, but council member Dan Vanover and Mayor Roger Wentz said Otterness was more than agreeable in negotiations. Otterness, 56, who is finishing up his time as city manager in International Falls, Minn., will start his new position April 8. He said he wants to jump right into the job, but tempered any lofty expectations for the immediate future. The contract includes $5,000 for the cost of a 1,600-mile move to Central Washington, half of which Otterness would have to pay back if he leaves before three years on the job. Wentz said he has already seen good chemistry develop between Otterness and other city officials in their limited meetings. He said he believes Otterness will lead by example, as shown by his eagerness to keep contract negotiations simple. Interim city manager Chris Jensen, who doubled as the city’s Fire Department chief, had a contract that paid $110,000 per year. Jensen will relinquish his city manager duties when Otterness comes in but will remain as fire chief. Finalizing the contract was the 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 Jim 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. Lemon faces a reckless driving charge in a trial set for April 17. The charge stems from a November incident in which he is accused of peeling out of a parking lot and spraying a city public works employee with gravel following an argument. Otterness spent the last eight years as city manager for International Falls, but had been looking to move on for a while. Since December, he was a finalist for city manager positions in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Thief River Falls, Minn. Prior to that, he worked for city government in Buhl, Minn., and as an attorney for Grand Rapids and Hibbing, Minn. He also served as an analyst with Minnesota’s Department of Education. Otterness earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations from the University of Minnesota, and a law degree in 1985 from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

Marion, Virginia (population 5,936): As John Clark prepares to retire, Bill Rush is stepping back into public administration, according to SW VA Today. For the next two weeks, the two men are working side by side as the town managers of Marion. At the end of its meeting Monday night, the Marion Town Council approved Bill Rush as the new town manager, pending a background check. The position is not Rush’s first in such a leadership position in Smyth County. He served as Chilhowie’s town manager for about five years. He stepped down in November 2006 to pursue a business venture oriented toward private economic development. Marion Mayor David Helms said the council received 25 applications and interviewed five candidates before deciding on Rush. Much of the meeting though was directed toward recognizing Clark, who will be retiring at month’s end. Monday’s meeting was his last council session after more than 12 years of serving Marion as its manager. When he was offered the Marion position, Clark said it had been a long-term personal goal to return as the town manager after his first job, which was a temporary position with the town of Marion. Suzanne Jennings, chair of the council’s personnel committee, praised Clark, citing his loyalty, dependability and honesty. Other council members echoed her comments. The council noted that Clark had earned his salary many times over in the grants and other funding he achieved for Marion. Helms remembered that the council told Clark when he was hired that its members would like him to bring home a Virginia Municipal League achievement award. He earned two for the town. But, Clark’s quality that the mayor most heralded was his honesty and willingness to admit his mistakes. Clark responded with appreciation for the council’s support. That statement echoed his concluding remarks in his final town manager’s report to council. Clark, a native of the Broadford community, graduated from Rich Valley High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He joined Marion’s staff in November 2000 after serving four years as the town manager of Saltville. Like Rush, he had previously served as the town manager of Chilhowie and held the same post for the towns of Tazewell and Independence. He had also worked in public administration with the Mt. Rogers Planning District Commission.

Belding, Michigan (population 5,764): Members of the Belding City Council officially accepted a city manager contract with Margaret “Meg” Mullendore on Monday evening at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding, according to The Daily News. In a unanimous vote, council members approved the two-year contract at the special meeting. According to the contract, Mullendore will receive a starting salary of $72,500 and upon receiving a “satisfactory” evaluation rating at six months she will receive an additional $2,500 to the salary. Council members also agreed on a 45 cents per mile allowance for city business purposes, two weeks vacation, life insurance, health insurance, retirement, sick and holiday pay, and maximum moving expenses of $3,500 with proof of receipts. Mullendore did not counter the contract that was originally sent to her following the March 19 meeting. Former city Manager Randy DeBruine was hired with a salary of $75,000 in 2004 and resigned in December 2012 with a salary of $93,000 on a contract that extended through 2014. Mullendore will officially start the position on April 8. Mayor Pro Tem Andrea Belding said was pleased to see the process to find a new city manager come to a close within the allotted 90 days for the process to be carried out. All council members said they were “satisfied” with the decision, siting various reasons ranging from potential savings of money to the city to the qualities that Mullendore will bring with her when she starts the position. Councilman Thomas Jones thanked City Clerk Kareen Thomas and Finance Director/Interim City Manager Sam Andres for their work during during the absence of a city manager.

Aurora, Nebraska (population 4,453): The Aurora City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to offer the job of city administrator to Marlan Ferguson of Grand Island, according to the Aurora News-Register. Three finalists interviewed over the last two days, and the council deliberated for approximately 30 minutes in executive session before announcing its decision. Contract negotiations will now begin with Ferguson in a process Mayor Marlin Seeman said he hopes will be finalized within the next few weeks.

Brandon, Vermont (population 3,966): Town officials have a lot of work ahead to find a replacement for Town Manager Keith Arlund, whose resignation is effective this weekend, according to the Rutland Herald. Arlund submitted his letter of resignation to the Select Board during an executive session March 11, taking board members by surprise. Friday morning, on his last day in the office, Arlund confirmed he is leaving, but did not comment as to the reasons why. He just said “it was time.” Selectman Devon Fuller, the board chairman, said Friday the board was not expecting Arlund’s resignation two weeks ago. Fuller said Arlund cited an opportunity in the private sector as the reason for leaving his post. The board will meet with representatives from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to discuss what services and options are available for the town manager search. The board will also consider an interim town manager. Arlund was hired in 2004 after serving as interim town manager for four months while town officials looked to replace former town manager Michael Balch. At the time of his hiring, Arlund said there was a lot happening in Brandon and that he saw a lot of opportunity for him there. Prior to serving in Brandon, Arlund held the same post in Ludlow until 2002. He is a graduate of Vermont Law School and served six years in the military. Upcoming projects for the new town manager will include the reconstruction of Route 7, the water main project in the downtown area and the ongoing recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.

Yuma, Colorado (population 3,544): Sid Fleming is on the job, according to The Yuma Pioneer. Following an executive session during the Yuma City Council’s regular meeting on March 19, the council voted 6-0 to approve a contract between the city and Fleming as the new city manager. It then unanimously passed another motion appointing Fleming as the city manager with a starting annual salary of $70,000. Fleming was on the job Monday, providing a seamless transition as former city manager Doug Sanderson’s last day was Friday. He spent his first couple of days on the job visiting with employees and council members, and trying to meet others in the community. Though he comes from the Wichita, Kansas, area, small-town living is nothing new to Fleming, who grew up in Coldwater, Kansas, a town of about 900 near Greenburg. Fleming is married, and he and wife Sarah have three children, Thomas, who is 10 and currently in fourth grade, daughter Elsie, who is 8 and in second grade, and daughter Luna, who will turn 2 in about two weeks. They currently have to deal with being apart during the week, as Fleming’s family will stay in the Wichita area until after the school year is over. Fleming said modern technology is helping the family stay in contact. Fleming was working as an intern with the City of Newton in Kansas, a position he has been in just since January, before coming to Yuma. Before that, he spent a little more than two years as the interim division manager for sewage treatment, for the City of Wichita. He also was the biosolids supervisor, beginning in January 2007, and keeping that job while adding the sewage treatment manager position to his duties in September 2010. He left the City of Wichita in December 2012. Fleming first began working for Wichita’s municipal government in January 2004 as the industrial sampler. Fleming does have a varied background, including spending one school year as a chemistry and physics teacher at Lyons High School in Lyons, Kansas. His education includes receiving a degree in Biology/Chemistry from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, in May 1996, attending the Kansas University School of Medicine for 1-1/2 years, studying aboard for one semester in Bulgaria, and receiving a Masters of Public Administration in December 2011 from Wichita State University. It was while working toward his Master’s, Fleming said, that he decided he wanted to take a shot at city administration. For now, he is on a crash course of learning about the people and the city’s infrastructure.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,336): The city administrator of Wells has been fired after a yet-unspecified complaint was lodged against him, according to The Free Press. The City Council met in closed session this week and unanimously decided to end the six-month tenure of Steve Bloom, effectively immediately. An employee in City Hall Thursday said further details will be revealed pending the return of the vacationing city attorney. City officials Thursday declined to comment on the nature of the complaint. Bloom came to the job with more than two decades of experience in city and county government and also was a teacher for six years. He was due for a six-month job review and had been working under probationary status. Bloom could not be reached for comment.

Monticello, Utah (population 1,981): Greg Westfall is the new Monticello City Manger, according to the San Juan Record. Westfall, who has worked for the city for the past three years, assumes the city manger position on April 1. He replaces Kelly Pehrson, who has been hired as the chief administrative officer for San Juan County. The hiring decision was announced at a special meeting of the city council on March 18. Westfall is currently the assistant city manager and recreation director. He was hired three years ago as recreation director and quickly moved into the assistant city manager position when Pehrson was hired as manager. Westfall is excited for the opportunity to be city manager. He mentioned a number of projects that will keep the city busy in the future, including the annexation of the Rocky Mountain Power substation, construction of the Big Four tractor building, metering of the secondary water system, construction of a community center / golf clubhouse, and continuing development of the city airport.
Westfall has a dual bachelors degree in business management and entrepreneurship from Colorado Mesa University and a masters degree in public management from Ashland University. He is married to Jennifer Redd Westfall and has two children.

Conway, Massachusetts (population 1,897): After 11 weeks without one, Conway has found its new town administrator, according to The Recorder. The development director of Community Health Center of Franklin County, Amanda Majewski-Winn, 27, of Bernardston will serve as the town’s most long-awaited employee. She’ll start the $50,000 salaried 37.5 hours a week job on April 8. The Selectboard unanimously voted to hire Majewski-Winn Monday night. Majewski-Winn sees her new job as a chance to work in the public sector again. She previously worked as the town administrative assistant for Pelham. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as the executive assistant for Greenfield Mayor William Martin — experience that attracted the search committee. After working for the mayor, Majewski-Winn tried her hand in the nonprofit sector at the Community Health Center based in Greenfield. The hiring of Majewski-Winn is a fresh start for Conway. On Jan. 7, the former town administrator, Edward MacDonald, resigned 47 days after starting the job. The Selectboard later discovered MacDonald had never quit his job as administrator in Chester — a promise he made when he accepted the position in the fall. In February, MacDonald slapped his former bosses with a lawsuit alleging they violated the state Open Meeting law and demanding a payout of $14,301 in wages and benefits MacDonald claims he’s owed. The Attorney General’s office is still investigating the allegation. Unlike her predecessor, Majewski-Winn said the Conway job will be her only job. Majewski-Winn is a 2006 graduate of Greenfield Community College. Originally of Sunderland, Majewski-Winn attended Frontier Regional School. She is married to Greenfield Fire Chief Michael Winn. From the start of the search process, Majewski-Winn was a favorite among the search committe. Majewski-Winn beat 17 applicants for the job, five of whom were interviewed by two search committee sub-committees. The search committee — made up of Rose, Selectmen Rick Bean, Jim Moore and John O’Rourke, Finance Committee member Andrea Llamas and Town Treasurer Jan Warner — split into two groups and held two preliminary screening interviews. The committee created sub-groups to avoid having to publicly announce candidate names. Majewski-Winn will have to hit the ground running. The town has been without any administrative help for two months in the height of the budget season. She also comes in the middle of the town’s big debate on the best use of the Rose property off Shelburne Falls Road — a fate that has perplexed the town since it received it in 2006. The town will also move to hire an administrative aide to handle clerical duties. The town has held off on the position until it hired an administrator.

La Pine, Oregon (population 1,681): Just a little over a year ago, La Pine hired Steve Hasson as its first city manager, according to KTVZ. But now he’s leaving for another adventure. Hasson told his staff about his resignation last week: He’ll be going to Portland to take care of a farm his wife inherited. He’ll stay for about another month, though, and that’s because Hasson says he still has a few tasks to finish up before he leaves. Among the many accomplishments Hasson is proud of: He helped the city assume sewer and water operations,and also helped transfer land use authority from the county and get grants for sidewalks to boost economic development. He said the city received $1 million last year that it can use for any number of things. In his last days on the job, Hasson will advise the budget committee on its budget, finalize several contracts and engage the community on its development. City staff say they have appreciated the work he’s done. And while his successor has not been chosen, Hasson wants to assure the community he’s leaving them in good hands. So what’s next for Hasson, besides taking care of the farm? Hasson would like to teach at Portland State University. He’s currently in the process of getting a Ph.D. — and he’s also writing a mystery novel.

Prairie City, Iowa (population 1,665): Prairie City is pleased to welcome Emmanuel (Manny) Toribio as our new City Administrator, according to the city’s web site.  Manny comes to us after a six year position as a Planning Technician for the City of Des Moines.  Having received his Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State in 2006 and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Drake in 2010, Manny is ready to utilize his education and experience in his new role with the City of Prairie City. Manny grew up in West Liberty, IA, graduating from high school there in 2002.  Having grown up in a community similar to Prairie City, with the long history and strong community spirit, Manny was excited when the City Administrator position became available.  He looks forward to building strong relationships with members of the community, council and staff. Manny and his wife, Emily, currently live in Ankeny, IA, but plan to relocate to Prairie City soon.  In his spare time he enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, traveling and walking his two dogs, Tubby and Toddles.  Manny also finds time to give back to the community with Animal Lifeline of Iowa, Salisbury House Young Professionals and Toastmasters. Stop in and welcome Manny to Prairie City.

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.

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.

Transitions: Long Beach, NY; Rockville Centre, NY; Ashland, OR and more

“I think the most important part of this job is being able to use the resources available to you, and in my police career I’ve had a lot of experience with that.”–Keith Spadaro

Long Beach, New York (population 33,275): Officials said the details of a contract between Long Beach and City Manager Jack Schnirman should be finalized by March after the City Council passed a resolution last week allowing the city to enter into a contract with Schnirman, according to Newsday.The two-year agreement will provide security for Schnirman and clear guidelines for his responsibilities to Long Beach, said Councilman Scott Mandel. Mandel said having a contract “puts the position on a level that’s outside of political influence to some extent.” Former City Manager Charles Theofan did not have a contract, council members said, but former City Manager Glen Spiritis did, and so have others. Council president Fran Adelson said the council would follow past guidelines, but that this contract would have fewer privileges. “There was a provision in a contract that gave the city manager a car, and that provision has been stricken,” Adelson said, citing costs of gas, insurance and wear and tear. Council vice president Len Torres said the city hopes to auction off the black, eight-cylinder Chrysler 300 that Theofan drove during his tenure. Schnirman said this contract won’t have “executive days,” and that he would be entitled to only as many leave days as other management employees. According to the International City/County Management Association, more than 89 percent of city managers have contracts. The contract will reflect Schnirman’s annual salary of $157,988 and will be made available to the public once finalized, council members said.

Rockville Centre, New York (population 24,023): After a four-month search involving more than 30 applicants, Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray and the Board of Trustees have chosen a former New York City police inspector to be the new village administrator, according to the LI Herald. Keith Spadaro will replace Frank Quigley, who was removed from the position in October, Murray announced at a special Monday-afternoon Board of Trustees meeting. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Spadaro, 50, who has been a village resident for 19 years. He and his wife, Stacy, have three children, Katie, 19, Keith 16, and Caroline, 14. Though Spadaro will not begin his new job until March 19, Murray and former village consultant Anthony Cancellieri will bring him up to speed on village affairs in the coming weeks. Murray removed Quigley from the position four months after he was elected, as he assembled his administration. Spadaro held a variety of positions in his lengthy career with the NYPD. Most recently, he was the commanding officer of its Office of Information Technology, where he oversaw the 1,400 members of the Communications Division. Spadaro graduated from Buffalo State College with a business degree in 1983, and then joined the Air Force for officer training and flight school, but his military career was cut short because of an injury he suffered in college. For several years he worked as a stock trader for a number of corporations. In 2001, while serving as an NYPD lieutenant, he earned a law degree from New York Law School.

Ashland, Oregon (population 20,255): Six months after being fired as Deschutes County administrator in a split vote of county commissioners, Dave Kanner was named Thursday as Ashland’s new city administrator, according to KTVZ. Mayor John Stromberg made the announcement in a news release. The position is appointed by the mayor, with the city council expected to confirm the appointment at its Feb. 21 meeting. Most recently, Kanner served as the County Administrator in Deschutes County, Oregon. Previously, Kanner served as the deputy county administrator in Jackson County, assistant to the city manager in Wilsonville and senior public affairs specialist at Metro in Portland. Kanner will begin work on Monday, February 27. Larry Patterson — former Bend city manager — has been serving as Ashland’s interim city administrator, managing operations of the city since October. Kanner will succeed former city administrator Martha Bennett, who left to accept the position of chief operating officer at Metro in Portland. Last August, commissioners Tammy Baney and Tony DeBone voted to fire Kanner. In written evaluations, the pair and colleague Alan Unger, who wanted to keep Kanner, highly praised his fiscal management, honesty and integrity. But Baney felt Kanner was not conveying her voice on county policy, and DeBone wrote that Kanner did not provide enough feedback to the managers of county departments.

Gautier, Mississippi (population 11,280): Gautier’s new city manager said she is ready to help make this city a thriving place to live, work and enjoy, according to WLOX. City council members hired Samantha Abell after firing former manager Sidney Runnels late last year. Samantha Abell is the new woman in charge of the day to day operation in Gautier. She said it’s a job she said requires a strong vision. The new city manager is no stranger to the city. She was formerly the economic director and plans to use those skills to entice more businesses to move here. Abell said creating a more walkable downtown and building a town center are also some of the big projects in the works. Abell said promoting the natural areas and building upon the riverfront will also enhance the quality of life in the city. Changing the aged signage in the city to make it more welcoming for visitors is also on the to-do-list. With help of the mayor, city council and citizens, this new city manager believes Gautier will be a better place to live, work, and enjoy.

Mathews County, Virginia (population 8,978): Melinda Moran, manager of the Town of Clarksville for the past 18 years, has been appointed Mathews County Administrator, effective April 16, according to the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal. The announcement was made following a procedural vote at a special meeting Saturday afternoon by the Mathews County Board of Supervisors. Moran will replace Steve Whiteway, who retired on Jan. 31 after serving more than 11 years in that post. Moran began her tenure as manager of the Town of Clarksville in May of 1994. According to a release from the county board, during Moran’s time in the lakeside Virginia town, she “led administrative efforts to establish a lasting shift from a traditional agricultural and manufacturing-based economy to tourism and service-based economy.” Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a master’s in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Tech. As the new county administrator, Moran will earn $90,000 a year. Clarksville, the first incorporated town in Mecklenburg County, is located on Virginia’s southern border. With a population of 1,139, according to 2010 U.S. census figures, Clarksville is situated on Kerr Lake. Each July, the town hosts the Virginia Lake Festival, attracting approximately 80,000 visitors during the three-day event. The search for a replacement for Whiteway began last summer, attracting a “substantial number of candidates,” Burns said. Several of those candidates were called back for follow-up interviews.

Cohasset, Massachusetts (population 7,542): Wednesday night Cohasset Selectmen unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Town Manager Michael Coughlin effective immediately, according to WATD. Coughlin has the right to a public hearing which could reverse the decision. Attorneys for the town and Coughlin have agreed to hold the hearing March 13th at 7 p.m. The town will continue to pay Coughlin his salary until the hearing and final resolution. Coughlin began the job last August 1. When they hired him, selectmen lauded his “consensus-building style.” In his first week on the job, he asked all department heads for their goals and objectives. Many department heads attended the brief Selectmen’s meeting and subsequent informal question and answer session with Chairman of Selectmen Ted Carr. A former JAG Army Captain and youth sports coach, Coughlin frequently communicates in sports analogies, calling himself coach and town employees the team. He says he spoke and emailed Carr daily. Carr said the became friends. Selectmen voted to remove him without cause, referring only to “communications with the board.” Coughlin formerly served as Town Administrator in three other towns, leaving each after three years. Selectman Diane Kennedy read a statement during the meeting. No other selectman spoke. She stressed the board’s action was not the result of a pending bid by the town’s  water commissioners. Coughlin said the bid, or RFP (request for proposals), lay at the heart of the dispute. The town manages 90 percent of its water system. A private water company, Aquarion, manages the system in the north section of town. Aquarion also manages the water systems of neighboring Hingham and Hull. Hingham has discussed terminating its relationship with Aquarion because of annual rate increases. Chairman of Cohasset’s Water Commissioners Peter DeCaprio has proposed the town ask for bids from private water companies to manage the entire water system. DeCaprio is managing director of the Crow Point Partners hedge fund of Scituate and New York City. The fund received a $15 million investment from Aquarion’s parent company, an Australian holding company. Coughlin has publicly objected to the water commissioners’ bid, saying only he, as the town’s procurement officer, can manage the provision of goods and services to the town. Selectmen will meet Friday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. to plan for interim management of town government.

Pleasant View, Utah (population 7,482): The city has hired a new chief administrator, according to the Standard-Examiner. At a recent special meeting, council members approved, with a 4-1 vote, an employment agreement for Melinda Brimhall to take on the duties of city administrator. Brimhall’s contract with the city began Feb. 8. Her salary is $78,000 a year, with benefits that include three weeks of vacation, sick leave and holiday leave. She also will receive health and retirement benefits and a travel allowance of $300 per month, using her own vehicle. The city administrator position will be evaluated annually. Mayor Doug Clifford said the city is happy to have Brimhall on board. The previous city administrator, J.J. Allen, accepted a job with the city of Clearfield, necessitating the new hire. Brimhall grew up in Utah County and graduated from Weber State University with a double major, earning degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She also has a master’s degree in administration from Brigham Young University. Brimhall is coming to Pleasant View from Grand County where she worked as council administrator for two years. Before that, she was was a management analyst for three years in Casa Grande, Ariz., and a management assistant in Chandler, Ariz., for three years. Brimhall said she has family in Pleasant View and is pleased to start working in the area. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and her puppy, Flynn. She also enjoys biking and other outdoor activities. Brimhall was sworn into office Tuesday night by Judge Patrick Lambert.

Corning, California (population 7,093): A packed house watched Tuesday evening as the City Council chose Public Works Director John Brewer to take on additional duties as city manager, according to the Daily News. Brewer, who begins his new position March 1, starts at $6,689 per month, according to the staff report. In one year, Brewer would be eligible for a raise to $7,041 per month followed by eligibility for another raise the following year to $7,412 per month. Brewer will be filling the shoes of City Manager Steve Kimbrough, who went to part time while taking retirement in 2011. Kimbrough is unable to keep the position due to Assembly Bill 1028. Effective Jan. 1, a retiree under PERS cannot work for more than a year without his retirement being affected. Councilman John Leach, the lone no vote, said he objected to the contract for Kimbrough because it has an indemnity clause and automatic renewal. Kimbrough’s duties under contract would be limited to assisting with the budget and training Brewer and other staff to prepare the budget. He would remain covered under the city’s indemnity, which protects him in case he is sued in the scope of his work for the city, City Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick said. Kimbrough would be paid $4,500 a month from March to June, with a 30-day notice of termination. The contract would renew for an additional year if not canceled. Former Councilman Ross Turner questioned whether the position of consultant was to be opened up with request for proposals or had just been created with one person in mind.

St. Clair, Michigan (population 5,485): With City Superintendent Scott Adkins heading to a new job with Roseville in two weeks, the city council will have to act swiftly to replace him, according to The Times Herald. Adkins said he submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday to Mayor Bill Cedar Jr. If the council accepts his letter, Adkins’ last day will be March 1. The Roseville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Adkins as city manager with a one-year, $94,000 contract. Adkins said he’ll start March 6. Adkins said he asked for a one-year contract with Roseville so both parties could evaluate if they were a “good fit” for each other. He said he has created a list of transition items he plans to discuss with St. Clair department heads and council members. One of the things Adkins was working on was bidding out city services, per the council’s request. Adkins said he started searching for a job in another city because of the council’s openness to privatizing city services. He said he didn’t want to wait for the council to put his job out to bid as well. He’s served St. Clair since 2006 as superintendent and makes $81,177 per year. Adkins’ contract with St. Clair was to expire in mid-2013. There is a clause in the contract that allows him to submit a resignation and attempt to give 30 days notice, but it isn’t mandatory, Adkins said. If the council fires Adkins, the contract states the city must pay him a six-month severance package, he said. St. Clair City Clerk Janice Winn said the council has directed her to assume some of the superintendent’s duties for an interim period when past superintendents have left. The Michigan Municipal League has a list of qualified people who can serve as interim city managers, Adkins said. He said he notified the mayor and some members of the council more than 30 days ago he was seeking employment elsewhere. Adkins also applied for the city manager position in Algonac on Jan. 31 and was offered the job, as Algonac City Manager Karl Tomion is retiring March 11. Algonac City Council voted Feb. 7 to accept resumes for the position. According to a schedule set by the Michigan Municipal League, it will take about 10 weeks before Algonac is ready to make an offer to a new city manager. Tomion said he’s trying to expedite the process, and has already received some resumes. He makes $72,000 per year.

West Peoria, Illinois (population 4,414): John Carlson, the city administrator in West Peoria for the last nine years, will leave at the end of April, according to the Peoria Journal Star. Carlson, who is 60, has worked in government for 32 years, coming to West Peoria in 2003 after retiring from the Peoria City/County Health Department as director of administration. Carlson said he had no hidden agenda behind his decision to leave West Peoria. Carlson cited several accomplishments in his letter of resignation and thanked the council and Dillon, who has been mayor all of the Carlson years, for the opportunities they provided him. Carlson, who told Dillon of his intentions at the end of January, will stay on until April 30, the end of the city’s fiscal year. Dillon said the search for a replacement will likely be done locally, in the hope of landing a home-grown professional like Carlson. He said he has been bursting with the news of the impending resignation since the end of January. Dillon hopes the hiring process ends up with a new administrator ready to take Carlson’s place the day his resignation takes effect.