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.

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

Ken Pulskamp

Ken Pulskamp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: San Luis Obispo County, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Fayetteville, NC and more

San Luis Obispo County, California (population 269,637): Dan Buckshi is the new San Luis Obispo County administrative officer, according to CalCoastNews. Buckshi succeeds Jim Grant, who recently announced his plan to retire in September. The county picked  Buckshi, who has served as the assistant county administrative officer for the past two and a half years, over four other candidates, all of whom are currently employed by the county.

Scottsdale, Arizona (population 217,385): Scottsdale City Council July 10 approved a $45,000 severance package for former City Manager David Richert and appointed Dan Worth, the city’s public works director, acting city manager, according to the Scottsdale Independent. Mr. Worth accepted the position under the presumption he would fulfill the role until a recruiting process could find a permanent replacement. Both measures were approved with unanimous votes. Mr. Worth was hired at a base salary of $180,000. Former City Manager Richert submitted his resignation at council’s July 2 meeting. He joined the city in 2008 and served the last two years as city manager. Mr. Richert left his post saying there was not sufficient support by the mayor and city council to remain effective in his position. Scottsdale City Council met with Mr. Richert Monday, July 2 as part of his annual review process. Mr. Worth has been leading the city’s solid waste, street, fleet and facility operations in addition to capital project management. He first came to the city in May of 2004 as the city engineer, responsible for administering the city’s $1 billion capital improvement program. He is 22-year veteran of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, where he was an officer in a variety of engineering and public works leadership positions.

Fayetteville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s next city manager says the community’s “size, complexity and energy” appeal to him, according to The Fayetteville Observer. Ted Voorhees takes the reins of the state’s sixth-largest city in August. As a deputy city manager in Durham, Voorhees has spent the last decade helping transform Durham’s downtown from empty tobacco factories into offices, apartments and restaurants. City officials said he emerged the top choice among four finalists seeking to succeed Dale Iman, who resigned in March following a tenure of 5 1/2 years. Voorhees, 48, will manage a city with 1,500 employees and a $187 million budget.

Topeka, Kansas (population 127,473): A divided Topeka City Council voted Tuesday evening to hire Jim Colson, the deputy city manager of Glendale, Ariz., as Topeka’s next city manager, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Council members voted 6-3 to approve a two-year contract with Colson calling for him to start work Aug. 27 and be paid a salary of $170,000 a year. Council member Sylvia Ortiz suggested residents would “scream” when they saw how much the city would be paying Colson. The annual salary of Topeka’s last permanent city manager, Norton Bonaparte, was $137,500. Colson and the city had negotiated the contract that was approved Tuesday prior to that evening’s meeting. After two years, the contract automatically renews from year to year unless either party notifies the other in writing by July 1 that its terms won’t be extended. The contract calls for the city to provide Colson 10 work days each annually of vacation leave and sick leave, with all unused vacation and sick leave carrying over from year to year. The city agrees to provide Colson a vehicle at its expense for official business use. The city also agrees to pay Colson a lump sum of $28,000 for relocation expenses. Colson becomes Topeka’s second city manager to be hired on more than an interim basis. Voters in August 2004 approved a charter ordinance switching to a city council-manager form of government from a strong mayor-council form. The new government took effect in April 2005, with Neil Dobler serving as interim manager. Bonaparte then was Topeka’s city manager from March 2006 until he left in July, 2011, under a severance agreement he reached with the council. Dan Stanley was interim manager until early last month, when he was replaced by current interim manager Pam Simecka, who plans to return next month to her former job as finance director. The city since February has been under contract with Tallahassee, Fla.-based Bob Murray & Associates to help it find and recruit a permanent manager. The city announced June 21 that the initial list of 49 applicants had been pared to two finalists: Colson, who has been deputy city manager since 2009 of Glendale, Ariz., and Margie Rose, who has been an assistant city manager since 2002 at Corpus Christi, Texas. The council conducted public interviews with Colson and Rose on June 23, then met in executive session that day to discuss the candidates. Colson, a native of Michigan, has been deputy city manager since 2009 at Glendale, which 2010 census records show has a population of about 226,000. Tuesday’s news release from the city of Topeka said Colson was responsible at Glendale for all community development services, such as planning, building safety, engineering, transportation, downtown redevelopment, community revitalization, the city’s airport and code compliance. Colson has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University, a master’s of arts in theology from Western Seminary and a master’s of urban planning degree from the University of Michigan.

Westminster, California (population 89,701): The Westminster City Council placed its city manager on administrative leave Monday – giving him two options: termination or retirement, according to The Orange County Register. After a 40-minute special closed session, Mayor Margie Rice and Councilmen Tyler Diep and Tri Ta announced their vote to place City Manager Mitch Waller on paid leave. They named Assistant City Manager Eddie Manfro interim manager. Waller, a former Westminster police chief who has worked for the city for 29 years, will be on paid leave until “he retires or is terminated,” Rice said. Last week, the city finalized the layoffs of 67 employees and continues to face a budget deficit, although that shortfall was cut from $10.4 million to $3.7 million this fiscal year under Waller’s stewardship. The “lion’s share” of the deficit was addressed and “all of our economic indicators are slowly starting to head in the right direction,” Waller said recently. City Council members declined to say after the meeting why they voted to take the action against Waller. In an interview before the closed session, Rice was critical of Waller’s management style. The mayor accused Waller of leaving the council out of the decision-making process during the recent layoffs, but did not blame him for the city’s financial budget woes. Waller sat in the council chamber until council members called him in to give him their decision, which they announced immediately afterward in open session. No one from the public attended. Earlier in the day, Waller addressed the mayor’s criticism, saying he regularly meets with her during a one-on-one weekly meeting and also whenever she is working at City Hall, at least twice a week. Waller said he was surprised by the council’s decision to call for a special closed session and said it was odd that it came soon after Diep presented a request regarding the chief of police post. Diep wanted the council, and not the city manager, to appoint the police chief, but that request never made it to a council discussion. Diep withdrew it from the council’s agenda last month. Police Chief Ron Coopman announced earlier this month that he was retiring from his job at the end of this month. Waller said Diep’s proposal to give the council more control over the police chief would create the potential for conflicts between the council and a chief who would then become “an at-will political appointee … beholden to those who appoint him.” Last week, the city finalized the layoffs of 29 full-time employees, or 12 percent of the workforce, and 38 part-time employees, or 26 percent of Westminster’s part-time staff. Fewer employees will mean reduced services to residents, including slower response to police calls and a “potential for drastic delays” in lower priority calls, officials have said. No sworn personnel were laid off but more than 20 full- and part-time civilian employees were laid off. Immediate effects have included the closure of the City Hall’s mall office and a reduction in the police department’s front lobby hours. Westminster has faced a $1.5 million annual deficit since the recession began in 2008, officials have said. This year, the picture got bleaker. The state abolished all redevelopment agencies. Since the entire city of Westminster was under a redevelopment area, the loss of redevelopment funds raised the community’s budget deficit to about $10.4 million. The layoffs will save the city $3.2 million, and city staff said it had saved an additional $4.1 million with other measures. But Westminster entered the new fiscal year with a $3.1 million deficit. City staff also has considered other measures that the council has rejected: increasing fees for services and hiring a consultant to promote a new tax for the November ballot. In another financial setback, Westminster was forced last week to pay nearly $9 million to the state for money state authorities said was due after the abolishment of redevelopment agencies. Like other cities in the same position, Westminster made the payment “under protest.”

Miami Beach, Florida (population 87,779): The ouster of Miami Beach’s long time city manager could cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars, according to The Miami Herald. Ever since Jorge Gonzalez submitted his resignation following weeks of turmoil, city officials have asked for the value of Gonzalez’s full compensation — the basis for his pending severance. The city’s human resources department has now provided an answer: $501,768.77. In a July 12 email to the city attorney, Human Resources Director and former Gonzalez chief of staff Ramiro Inguanzo attached a spreadsheet that he said “captures the aggregate compensation for 12 months for Jorge.” Among the items included in the spreadsheet: Gonzalez’s $231,000 salary; $50,000 in insurance policies; $24,000 housing allowance; $56,000 in annual paid time off; and $62,600 related to his public pension. Inguanzo said everything in the spreadsheet was pulled from the city’s payroll system, except for a list of Gonzalez memberships and subscriptions paid for by the city that Gonzalez valued at $12,654. Commissioners will discuss Gonzalez’s compensation during their Wednesday meeting at City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. The value of Gonzalez’s compensation is key due to the circumstances surrounding his resignation. Gonzalez, who ran the city for nearly a dozen years, stepped down amid a push for him to resign or be fired. His contract expired in August of next year, but called for him to receive a severance of “12 months aggregate compensation” if he resigned “following a suggestion, whether formal or informal, by the city that he resign.” So questions have not been about whether he would receive a severance, but about how much he would receive. Gonzalez, however, said he has not made any demands for severance or claimed a final aggregate compensation total. He said his talks with city lawyers have not yet focused on which items — or at what value — should be part of his severance. Gonzalez officially resigned July 8. He remains on the city’s employee rolls while burning accrued time off worth more than $100,000. City Attorney Jose Smith said members of the city’s legal staff and a private attorney met Monday afternoon with Gonzalez and had a 30-minute, “very preliminary conversation.” He declined to comment on individual items on Gonzalez’s compensation list. Some city commissioners said they were surprised at the overall figure provided by human resources, even though all but Commissioner Jorge Exposito voted at least once to amend Gonzalez’s contract. It isn’t yet clear if city commissioners will vote on Gonzalez’s severance. Gonzalez said his contract calls for his severance to be arbitrated should he and Smith not agree on his package. Smith, however, said it is likely that commissioners will vote on at least some aspects of Gonzalez’s severance, or vote to send the parties to an arbitrator. Also Wednesday, commissioners also are slated to vote on an interim manager contract for Kathie Brooks, who is leaving her position as budget director to run the city while commissioners hunt for a permanent replacement. Brooks’ contract is worth $220,000 annually, though it only runs through mid-January and can only be extended by a vote of the city commission.

Troup County, Georgia (population 67,044): Assistant County Manager Tod Tentler dropped the assistant title after former County Manager Mike Dobbs retired last week, according to the LaGrange News. Tentler was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting to succeed Dobbs as county manager. Tentler came from Columbus to Troup County as parks and recreation director in 1998. In July 2007 he received the additional duty of assistant county manager. Tentler said the main challenges he will face as manager is overseeing the county during tough economic times. He added that national and state mandates coming down the line are putting more pressure on local governments to “pick up the slack.”

Huntington Park, California (population 58,114): The City Council Monday night approved a three-year contract with Rene Bobadilla to serve as its first permanent city manager since last December, according to the Los Angeles Wave. Bobadilla is currently city manager in El Monte and is expected to assume his new duties the first week in September. Bobadilla has agreed to a lesser salary, $196,392, than he currently receives. Bobadilla also will receive medical, dental and vision insurance benefits. Other benefits are the use of a car leased by the city for commuting or traveling on city business. Bobadila also will have a cell phone. The City Council approved the contract on a 5-0 vote after a brief closed session on the issue. Huntington Park has not had a permanent manager since Greg Korduner retired at the end of last year. Police Chief Jorge Cisneros served as city manager for a time, followed by interim administrators Raul Romero and currently Mary Strenn. The latter two are retired administrators. Bobadilla is expected to be available at all times, the contract states. He’s also expected to “be reasonably active” in professional and civic organizations. He does not have to live in Huntington Park, but must have a permanent residence nearby, the contract states. Bobadilla may accrue sick leave at the rate of eight hours per month and accumulate vacation leave with 12.66 hours of service a month. He will be a member of the Public Employees Retirement System and may retire at age 55 with a pension of 2 percent of his final salary. He must contribute 1.5 percent of his salary toward his pension.

Port Arthur, Texas (population 53,818): Six months and one day without an official City Manager in Port Arthur, and Monday, Floyd Johnson was welcomed on his first day on the job, according to KIII TV. Floyd Johnson says he has worked as a city official from Florida to California. He was City Redevelopment Director in two Florida cities, but he was also City Manager in Fort Lauderdale. He was forced to resign in 2003 for late responses to budget issues, but Johnson says city leaders rejected a budget he felt was more responsible. Now he’s ready to start work in Port Arthur, replacing 15 year City Manager Steve Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons left after receiving a $220,000 severance package after threatening to sue. Johnson, a Virginia native, says that improvement begins by providing reliable services to the people of Port Arthur. Services like trash pickup after trucks broke down leaving garbage piling up, and public transit. Port Arthur bus services were stopped for three weeks because of mechanical issues causing city buses to catch fire. Now the city is leasing buses from New Orleans until Port Arthur works out a solution with their bus manufacturer. Long term, Johnson says he can see Pleasure Island becoming an attraction for tourists. Johnson’s annual salary is $155,000 a year. He received moving expenses of $12,000. He also gets a housing allowance of $1,000 a month for up to six months.

Sarasota, Florida (population 51,917): Thomas Barwin, the former village manager of Oak Park, Ill., has been selected as Sarasota’s new city manager, according to the Herald-Tribune. In contrast to their earlier vote to start a new search for better candidates, city commissioners chose Barwin unanimously this go-around, praising his record of building consensus and his history in redevelopment. Barwin has about three decades of experience leading local governments in Michigan and Illinois. He faces a tough job, with divisions lingering in the wake of the ouster of Robert Bartolotta, who was forced to resign in January amid allegations that he violated public records and computer fraud laws. Barwin also will be at the mercy of his five bosses — the city commission — who have struggled to agree on everything from whether Sarasota’s downtown should be lined with parking meters to the hiring of a city manager. Sarasota also faces another deficit year, rising retiree pension and medical costs and the specter of criminal investigations by the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For evidence of how tough his job will be, look no further than Monday’s meeting agenda. In the same day Barwin was selected, two city commissioners — Terry Turner and Paul Caragiulo — pushed for competing ballot measures that could either give Barwin more authority as a so-called “strong city manager” or make him potentially unnecessary under an elected mayor. The strong city manager amendment, which was supported by Turner and local business and pro-growth groups, gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. Caragiulo’s attempt to get a strong mayor referendum on the ballot failed to get enough support from commissioners to make the ballot. Still, Barwin said he is not sweating. Barwin’s hire is not yet final. The city will now enter into negotiations with Barwin, who hopes to take over the helm by late August or early September. His salary could range from $150,000 to $180,000 per year. Once his contract is finalized, Barwin will move from Illinois with his wife of 32 years, Margaret. Barwin has four adult sons. In hiring Barwin, the commission snubbed the other finalist, Edward Mitchell, the longtime city administrator of West Palm Beach. In their discussions, commissioners voiced reservations about hiring Mitchell, who kept his job after a corruption and a pay-to-play-scheme occurred under his watch. A special meeting is scheduled for July 30 to finalize Barwin’s selection. If he signs a contract then, Barwin hopes to move to Sarasota within 30 days. His willingness to take the job quickly eases fears that arose after Interim City Manager Terry Lewis said he would not stay during a second search for city manager candidates. That process that could have left Sarasota leaderless until the end of the year.

Hillsborough Township, New Jersey (population 38,303): Former Hillsborough Mayor Anthony Ferrera has been named the new township administrator, according to the Hillsborough Patch. Ferrera, who served on the Township Committee from 2004 to 2011 and as mayor in 2007 and 2008, will replace Michael Merdinger. Ferrera, now serving as director of the Division of Workforce Portfolio and Contract Management in the state Department of Labor, will take over the $124,000 township post on Aug. 20. Merdinger will leave at the end of August. Ferrera, a Republican, was unanimously approved by the all-GOP Township Committee. Ferrera, who earned a master’s degree in business administration from Stevens Institute of Technology, had a 20-year career with AT&T before joining the state. Ferrera also served on the township Planning Board, the Business and Economic Development Commission, the Recreation Commission and the Cultural Arts Commission. On the Township Committee, he served as chairman of the police committee and the finance committee.

Puyallup, Washington (population 37,022): Pierce County’s third-largest city soon will be in the market for a new chief executive, according to The News Tribune. Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg apparently is leaving his post after nearly two years. The city has contacted a consulting firm to help search for an interim city manager. Dannenberg, 64, became city manager in the fall of 2010 after filling the post on a temporary basis for about six months. Before that, he was Puyallup’s parks director for nearly 13 years and worked for the City of Pullman for two decades, including as director of public services. Since Dannenberg took over in Puyallup, he’s navigated budget cuts and a new political landscape. The seven-member City Council has four news faces and a new majority this year, and has reversed several policies established by last year’s council. Puyallup’s finance director, Cliff Craig, is filling in as acting city manager.

Jackson, Michigan (population 33,534): Jackson City Manager Larry Shaffer said he’s enjoyed his 13 months as the city’s top administrator and is in no way being forced out, according to MLive.com. Tuesday night, the Jackson City Council approved a separation agreement that clears the way for his Aug. 3 departure. The severance agreement will cost $64,000. Shaffer said his decision to leave was a result of him reexamining what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Mayor Martin Griffin said Tuesday it became evident during the 2012-13 budget process that some council members had differences with the city manager. At a City Council meeting in May in which the budget was discussed, Councilman Dan Greer chastised Shaffer, saying it looked like a position the council didn’t want had been “tried to be slipped in,” although Greer later said his comments sounded stronger than he intended. But Shaffer said any issues council members had with his budget had little effect on his decision. Councilwoman Laura Dwyer Schlecte said during a June council meeting that Shaffer’s job performance review by council members “wasn’t stellar.” But council members later said that most were satisfied with his performance, and Griffin said Shaffer’s overall rating was about 3.1 on a scale with 5 being the highest. Councilman Carl Breeding said then he was dissatisfied with Shaffer’s performance, but others were not. Shaffer said he has been discussing his desire to leave with council members over the last couple of weeks. The City Council met with Shaffer behind closed doors during Tuesday’s council meeting for about 20 minutes. They returned to open session and approved a separation agreement without any discussion. Shaffer said that the city manager job is demanding and he had to consider whether he wanted to continue working a job that requires 50- to 60-hour work weeks.

Taos County, New Mexico (population 32,937): Taos County has begun its search for a new manager, and the county is keeping mum as to whether any other employees are slated for termination, according to The Taos News. Outgoing county manager Jacob Caldwell was given 45 days notice of his termination and placed on immediate administrative leave at the county commission’s July 10 meeting. No explanation for Caldwell’s termination was given at the meeting. A termination letter dated July 11 and signed by commission chairman Joe Mike Durán stated that Caldwell was being terminated “for cause” and referenced a clause in Caldwell’s contract. The contract stipulates that Caldwell could only be let go if he “is indicted for a crime, does not work, is grossly insubordinate or is unable to perform the duties of county manager.” The letter from Durán did not specify which reason the commission was citing in terminating Caldwell. Durán told The Taos News Tuesday (July 17) that the commission had a good reason for letting Caldwell go. Durán declined to go into greater detail out of concern that the county would have to pay the remaining time (until Feb. 2013) on Caldwell’s $110,000 annual contract. Commissioners Larry Sánchez and Andrew Chávez said they could not comment on the reasons for Caldwell’s termination. Commissioner Nicklos Jaramillo did not return multiple messages seeking comment. Chávez lost a reelection bid in the June primary and will also give up his seat in January. Jaramillo will term out at the beginning of next year. Incoming commissioner Tom Blankenhorn, who won the June primary in District 4, said last week he was worried that the current commission sought to fire other county employees before the end of the year. A handful of county employees have said they have heard they may be next to go, but no additional terminations had been made since last Tuesday. County administrators did not respond to questions to confirm if other employees had been let go, or if certain employees had been targeted for dismissal. The county posted the manager job July 12 — two days after Caldwell was given notice of termination. The job posting is set to close Aug. 17. The listing says a manager will “typically enter into a contractual term of employment,” meaning a new manager could be contracted to work well after the new commissioners take office. Interim Taos County Manager Barbara Martínez, who was appointed to temporarily replace Caldwell, said no one had yet applied for the manager job. The minimum requirements in the county manager job listing include a “master’s in degree [sic] public administration, political science, business administration, finance, law or a closely related field.” The listing states that candidates with eight years of “progressively responsible experience” in state or local government are preferred. It also states that “an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered by the Taos County Commissioners.” The Taos County Commission typically interviews a final field of candidates in private before offering someone the manager job.

Monroe, North Carolina (population 32,797): Wayne Herron has resigned as Monroe’s city manager after more than three years on the job, according to WCNC.com. City officials confirmed Wednesday that Herron resigned at the end of Monroe’s city council meeting Tuesday night. Two assistant city managers have been appointed to run government operations until a replacement is hired. Herron did not give a reason for his resignation, but he had come under criticism from some Monroe residents for recommending against a $3,000 performance bonus for Police Chief Debra Duncan. In a 4-3 vote last month, the city council rejected a proposal to award the bonus to Duncan. Several council members said their vote against the bonus was based on Herron’s recommendation. Herron was hired as planning service manager in 2001 and was promoted to assistant city manager in 2008. He became city manager in April 2009. His salary was about $150,000.

Hermosa Beach, California (population 19,506): The top administrator for a popular resort town in Utah is expected to become the next city manager in Hermosa Beach, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Tom Bakaly, the city manager in Park City, Utah, was set to have his contract approved Tuesday by the Hermosa Beach City Council. More than 75 candidates applied for the open Hermosa Beach city manager’s post, and the council interviewed four of the top contenders. Bakaly, 48, will earn a base salary of $185,000, with an additional maximum 7 percent bonus awarded annually at the council’s discretion, sources said. Bakaly joined Park City’s staff as finance manager and director of capital programs in 1995, rising to the position of assistant city manager in 2001. He was named city manager in 2002 and oversees a staff of 200 full-time city workers and a $45 million annual budget. Hermosa Beach has an annual budget of about $37 million. The beach town’s former city manager, Steve Burrell, retired in March after 18 years on the job. John Jalili, a former top administrator in Santa Monica, was tapped by the council to fill in as Burrell’s interim replacement. Bakaly visited Hermosa Beach twice during the interview process, and the city paid for both trips. After Burrell’s retirement, city officials hired a recruiting firm, Teri Black and Co., for $17,500 to search for his permanent replacement. Before coming to Park City, Bakaly worked for seven years for the city of Pasadena, serving in various positions, including budget director during the recession of the 1990s, Hermosa Beach city leaders said. In Pasadena, he helped oversee the management of large sporting events held there, including the World Cup, Rose Bowls and Super Bowls. In Park City, he prepared the community for the 2002 Winter Olympics and the popular Sundance Film Festival. Bakaly, who grew up in Pasadena, earned a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in public financial management from USC. He is married to Pam Bakaly, and they have a teenage son, Henry. If his contract is approved by the Hermosa Beach City Council, Bakaly is expected to begin his new job in early September.

Camas, Washington (population 19,355): The Mayor of Camas, Scott Higgins, has chosen to keep the current City Administrator, Lloyd Halverson, in his current position until Spring of 2013, according to the Silver Star Reporter. Camas City officials announced today that after culling through 51 applications for the position of City Administrator, and narrowing the field to two, Erik Jensen and Craig Martin, it was decided by Higgins that neither  “were the right fit for Camas’ future.” Erik Jensen of Portland is the former administration department director for the City of Hillsboro, Ore., and Craig Martin of Sweet Home, Ore. is the current Sweet Home city manager.  Both were interviewed by Higgins on Thursday, July 12. According to a statement released by the City, Higgins said he intended to pause and reflect before starting a new search. The statement also added that city officials did not “find any of the finalists as suitable to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for the city of Camas.” Lloyd Halverson, 65,  was hired as Camas’ first city administrator in 1989, and announced his plans at the City Retreat in January that he intended to transition toward retirement, first becoming part-time by September of 2012, and ending his employment in Spring of 2013.

Greene County, Virginia (population 18,403): Greene County Administrator Barry Clark sent out an e-mail last week announcing his resignation, according to CBS19. He simply said he was leaving his position effective November 30 and would be on administrative leave in the meantime. Some people in the county said they were shocked by the news. One county employee said that he too was worried about his job. In addition to the County Administrator’s sudden resignation, the Public Safety Director Dave Lawrence has been given a two-week notice after 12 years serving the county. His position has apparently been consolidated with others. He was told on July 13 that his last day will be July 31. No one at the County Administration Office would comment, but people in the community have some concerns. Crystal Morris, Greene County business owner, says she would like to know who will be the next County Administrator, but so far no official word on even an interim person for the position. CBS19 has reached out to the members of the Board of Supervisors but has not heard back yet from any of them. They do have a board meeting Tuesday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. The agenda was posted on the door of the County Office Building. Legal or personnel matters will be discussed first in executive session.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts (population 15,784): The Select Board voted Monday night to enter into contract negotiations with town manager finalist Thomas Guerino, but the decision did not come easily, according to MassLive.com. The board spent over an hour discussing Guerino and fellow finalist Mark Stankiewicz. There were two failed motions, one in favor of Stankiewicz that was not supported by any other members and a motion in favor of Guerino which failed 3-2. There must be a super majority for the town manager vote. Select Board Chairman Paul Santaniello said he was not willing to endorse either candidate. Santaniello said he would like to see the board hire an interim manager and begin a new search in December. The rest of the board was strongly against Santaniello’s suggestion. Members Marie Angelides, Mark Barowsky and Richard Foster favored Guerino, the town administrator in Bourne, while Mark Gold favored Stankiewicz, who is the former town manager in Plymouth. Foster and Santaniello went to both candidates’ communities last week to meet with their boards and department heads. Foster said he felt strongly that Guerino would fit the needs of Longmeadow. Angelides agreed saying he is very involved with the day to day operations in Bourne and has found creative ways to save the town money which Longmeadow also needs. Barowsky said he felt comfortable with Guerino from the first interview and felt his answers to questions were frank and honest. Gold said he has strong reservations about Guerino, but was unwilling to share them publicly with the board. He said Stankiewicz was a town manager not a town administrator and had more experience. He initially voted against Guerino. After more discussion including the possibility of delaying the vote to later in the week or the month Gold said that with great disappointment he would be willing to change his vote. Santaniello stood by his decision to not vote for either candidate. Angelides said both were good candidates and this does not rule out Stankiewicz if Guerino and the town cannot come to a contract agreement.

Brunswick, Georgia (population 15,383): Brunswick City Manager Bill Weeks has completed a six-month probationary period successfully and will get the job permanently depending on contract negotiations, according to The Florida Times-Union. The City Commission voted unanimously to make the appointment after a brief executive session during its regular meeting. Weeks, formerly assistant city manager, became acting city manager in September 2011 when Roosevelt Harris retired after 36 years on the city payroll. Weeks held the job while the commission searched for a permanent replacement for Harris, a process that saw Thompson and former Commissioner Mark Spaulding apply for the job. Thompson pulled out of the running, but Spaulding remained until the commission seemed ready to offer the job to Paul White of Riviera Beach, Fla. But in January, the commission decided to offer the post to Weeks instead. Among the biggest is the strong likelihood of a court battle with the County Commission over division of 1 cent sales tax proceeds.

Washington, Illinois (population 15,134): Bob Morris is retiring again as city administrator, according to the Journal Star. He says this time it’s for good. Morris, 60, initially retired June 22, 2011, after nine years with the city and was replaced by Richard Downey, who lasted only seven weeks. Downey resigned Aug. 15. He was given a severance package by Washington worth more than $60,000 in exchange for a promise not to sue the city or talk about his time as city administrator. He was placed on administrative leave before his resignation “to pursue pressing personal and family matters,” according to the five-sentence news release issued after a City Council meeting. City officials asked Morris to return on an interim basis and he’s served in the capacity since Sept. 12. He’s retiring July 31 because he’s approaching the 1,000-hours-per-year employment limit imposed on those who draw a pension from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and work again in government. The City Council accepted Morris’ retirement request last week and initiated a search for a full-time city administrator. Mayor Gary Manier said the council will be more actively involved in the vetting and hiring process this time. The deadline to apply is Aug. 17. If the candidate offered the job can’t begin immediately because the school year has started, Manier said, it’s possible another interim city administrator could be hired. Morris said his workload began to pick up early this year as the 2012-2013 budget and summer projects started needing attention. He was supposed to work 20 hours per week at $50 per hour. Downey was selected for the Washington job among 69 candidates. He was being paid an annual salary of $100,000, a tripling of the $33,000 salary he was making as the Rock Falls city administrator, a job he’d held since 2003. He was a finalist for several openings after he left Washington and was hired as village administrator in Kronewetter, Wis., on Feb. 6. He’s making an annual salary of $82,500.

Ontario, Oregon (population 11,366): Ontario city officials anticipate receiving a signed contract today for the person offered the city manager’s position, according to The Argus Observer. The Ontario City Council decided to offer the position to Jay Henry, the former city manager of Talent, Ore., council President Norm Crume said Monday. Crume was speaking for Mayor Joe Dominick, who is out of town. He said, as of Monday, the city had not received a signed agreement from Henry, but, if everything goes according to plan, Henry, Central Point, will start working for the city Monday. He replaces former City Manager Henry Lawrence. The City Council hired Prothman Company, a consulting firm, to conduct the city manager’s search. Out of 33 applications, Prothman brought 10 names to the council, with five considered strong candidates. Two of those five dropped out and the city’s hiring committee interviewed three final candidates for the position: Henry, Jeff Fiegenschuh, Princeton, Ill., and Jim Payne, Rio Rancho, N.M. Crume said the council initially began discussions with Fiegenschuh, but he was no longer interested in the position. Crume said it was the City Council’s unanimous consensus to offer the position to Henry. Crume said Henry’s wife, an internal medicine physician, is also moving to Ontario, and he believes she has been hired at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario. Crume said Henry is ideal because he is familiar with Ontario, having attended Treasure Valley Community College, he knows Oregon and has been a city manager in Oregon. Before becoming a city manager, Henry worked in public works and community development for Klamath County and attended Marylhurst University to obtain his masters of business administration and also attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2007, Henry was hired as the first city manager of Polson, Mont., but he and his wife, Evelyn, moved back to Oregon after their 19-year-old son died. Henry was the city manager for Talent from 2008 to 2011, but his contract was not renewed under tense circumstances. According to June 4 article in the Ashland Daily Tidings, Henry was accused by a council member of violating his contract, and an elections complaint and a civil rights complaint were filed against Henry. Henry and city officials, however, worked out their differences. According to an article published on the Portland Tribune website in January of this year, Henry, however, was named in a $1.9 million lawsuit in which former city employee Cheryl Nicolay who claimed Henry fired her “after their working relationship bogged down following a contentious labor negotiation.” Crume said, during the interview process, Henry explained the circumstances behind his departure from Talent. He said, according to Henry, when he was hired in Talent, he dismissed a long-time city employee whom he felt was not doing her job properly, and that employee had ties with community members who were later elected to the City Council and then chose to not renew his contract. Crume said he was satisfied with Henry’s explanation. He said Henry will be paid $95,000 a year base salary, which is similar to Lawrence’s starting salary as city manager. Ontario City Councilman David Sullivan said he was pleased Henry was selected as city manager, adding Henry interviewed well, he understands budgeting and personnel issues very well and he also has a network with other city managers in Oregon, which Sullivan said is important.

Shawano, Wisconsin (population 9,305): Michael Hall is no longer administrator for the city of Shawano, according to The Shawano Leader. There had been a closed session of the Shawano Common Council on Tuesday on a personnel matter, but it had not listed anything specific regarding Hall. Hall was chosen from five finalists and hired unanimously in May 2011 by the Common Council to replace Jim Stadler, who was retiring. Hall’s first day with Shawano was June 27, 2011. Prior to taking the administrator post, Hall was the financial and technology manager in West Jordan, Utah. He also worked as a fleet manager, public works analyst and finance management analyst. Hall has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University and an associate degree in computer science from Ricks College in Idaho. At the time Hall was hired, Mayor Lorna Marquardt said she contacted a number of people in West Jordan to find out some background on him and received only positive comments. Hall said the night the council approved his employment that he was interested in being Shawano’s administrator because of the city’s good fiscal status. When the state cut about $270,000 from Shawano’s shared revenues, Hall’s ideas to fill that hole included controversial proposals such as eliminating the city taxicab service and creating a stormwater utility. Ultimately, the taxi service survived and the Common Council opted to assess a $100 annual fee for the city’s trash service. Hall also was working to reduce the amount of paper generated by City Hall. For example, he purchased 12 iPads for the mayor, aldermen and department heads to reduce the monthly packets of information for council members. Hall is the second major city figure in Shawano to resign in less than a year. Marlene Brath left in November after 20 years as the city clerk for, according to Marquardt, health reasons.

Morehead City, North Carolina (population 8,661): A new manager with 35 years experience in local government is headed to Morehead City, according to The Daily News. The town announced Wednesday that David S. Whitlow, who currently serves as county administrator for Essex County in northern neck of Virginia, has been selected as the town’s next manager. He will begin work Sept. 4. There were 91 candidates for the position and Whitlow was one of three finalists. Whitlow will follow former Manager Randy Martin, who retired earlier this year after 16 years with the town. Martin took a job as city manager in Franklin, Va. after closing out a 30-year career in local government in North Carolina. Now, Whitlow will bring his experience from Virginia to North Carolina. According to the town, Whitlow has 35 years experience in local government management and has worked in private sector planning positions. During the selection process, 91 applicants were narrowed to six finalists who spent considerable time in Morehead City being interviewed by the mayor and council. The initial set of interviews narrowed the finalists to three. Whitlow will be paid an annual salary of $95,000.

Thief River Falls, Minnesota (population 8,573): The Thief River Falls City Council accepted the resignation of City Administrator Jodie Torkelson at its meeting Tuesday, July 17, according to The Times. Torkelson submitted her resignation after it was learned 69 out of 73 employees had no confidence in her continuing service as city administrator. Torkelson had been employed as the city administrator since October 2003. Her last day will be Friday, Sept. 28. Four city employees appeared before the council at its July 3 meeting to present a resolution regarding the vote of no confidence. They were cut off by Mayor Steve “Beaver” Nordhagen, who noted the matter should be discussed in committee. Personnel matters are typically discussed in committee before being considered by the full council. The Times and Thief River Falls Radio obtained copies of the employees’ resolution. The resolution indicated that the employees were forced to have a vote of no confidence in Torkelson due to their low morale, the ongoing conflict and adversarial climate existing in city government, and the fallout of having to cope with disputes caused by Torkelson’s management and leadership style. The letter also indicated her leadership style has cost the city “considerable amounts of wasted money, time and resources, including, but not necessarily limited to, attorney’s fees and related expenses, wasted staff time and wasted City Council time, in dealing with and addressing unnecessary and petty issues and conflicts which have been caused by the city administrator’s abrasive, dictatorial, disrespectful, corrosive, vindictive, intimidating, adversarial, difficult and overly micromanaging leadership and management style.”

Georgetown, Ohio (population 4,331): The city administrator of Wells may have resigned for a personal matter, but he also has a job waiting for him back in Ohio, according to the Faribault County Register.. According to The News Democrat newspaper in Georgetown, Ohio, the council voted June 28 to hire Jeremy Germann as the town’s new administrator. Kelly Jones, who is retiring as the city administrator on Aug. 1 after serving 11 years, says he was among those who interviewed Germann on June 25. Georgetown is located 35 miles east of Cincinnati and has a population of nearly 4,500. Germann will be paid $64,000 a year, plus benefits. In all, 22 people applied for the position and the field was narrowed to seven finalists. Germann reportedly signed a contract to be presented for approval at the July 5 Georgetown council meeting. On July 9, Germann submitted his letter of resignation to the Wells City Council. He made no mention of employment in Ohio. Mayor Ron Gaines says he was not aware Germann had applied or had accepted another job prior to resigning. Germann was in the last year of a three-year contract and was being paid an annual salary of $71,000, plus benefits. The agreement called for Germann to give the city a 30-day advance notice. “We didn’t enforce it, because of his personal matter,” Gaines says. Due to four resignations, only two councilman unanimously voted to hire Germann. One council member stepped down to run for county commissioner and the other three applied for the city administrator’s position. Two council members who did not get the job have been re-appointed to their seats.

Grand Saline, Texas (population 3,136): Grand Saline resident Rex White begins work as the new city manager July 18, according to The Grand Saline Sun. He accepted the position recently vacated by Stephen Ashley who resigned and moved to a position in Spring Valley, Texas. White said he applied for the City Manager position becaus he realized that for the city council to retain the services of a search firm would have entailed a substantial fee in addition to the time it would take the search firm to find a qualified candidate. Budget planning time needs to begin immediately for the next fiscal year. White recognized that his salary would save the city a significant amount each year and further work that needs to be done here. White served as the Main Street program manager and community development coordinator for the town from January 2008 until July 2009. He volunteered in earlier years as a director of the Grand Saline Economic Development Corporation, a director of the Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Salt Museum, member and president of the GSISD Board of Trustees. He retired from a 28-year career with several divisions of Morton Salt International. When he retired in December 2007 he was the national accounts sales manager for the entire nation and Puerto Rico. In that position he planned and administered an operating budget of more than $20 million and managed sales totaling $163.7 million. He began his career with Morton Salt in Grand Saline in 1984 as an account executive. He is a 1962 graduate of Grand Saline High School. He was recently elected to a second term of service on the City Council. He now vacates that position, and the Council has decided to not fill it in the immediate future.

Myrtle Point, Oregon (population 2,514): After three years behind the wheel, city manager John Walsh is departing to take the helm of a slightly larger vessel, according to The World. Walsh will take over as city manager of St. Helens, Ore., at the end of this month, a move spurred by his desire to be closer to family in Portland. But Walsh, Myrtle Point’s city manager since 2009, said it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Walsh listed his proudest achievement as the consummation of a deal that paid for the majority of a $12.2 million wastewater upgrade the city must implement to meet environmental regulations. To pay for the project, household sewer bills were expected to skyrocket to an average of $150 per month. Thanks to grants and loans that Walsh secured, households are paying about $55 per month. Walsh said he expected to face new challenges at the city of St. Helens. The town, nestled on the Columbia River, has a population of 12,380 — about 10,000 more than Myrtle Point. St. Helens council does not have any major infrastructure projects on its plate, so Walsh expects he will focus largely on community building and improving efficiency. Myrtle Point already has advertised a vacancy for a new city manager. The council plans to finalize a short list of candidates in a meeting on Monday night. Walsh will work for Myrtle Point part-time in August to smooth the transition between city managers. The new manager is likely to begin in August.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,343): Jeremy Germann has resigned as city administrator of Wells, effective July 27, according to The Free Press. The City Council has hired former Shorewood City Administrator Brian Heck as interim administrator. Germann is in the final year of a three-year contract paying an annual salary of $71,000. Germann, who has been involved in the transition process with Heck, told city officials he’s stepping down for personal reasons.

Miniok, Illinios (population 2,078): The City Council approved a one-year contract for a new city administrator with a starting salary of $65,000, according to pantagraph.com. Gary Brennan was scheduled to start work July 16.

Dewey Beach, Delaware (population 341): After a search that lasted more than six months to get a town manager in Dewey Beach in place in time for the summer, the town council’s top pick didn’t survive it, according to DelMarVaNOW. Town manager Bob Stickels submitted his resignation letter to the Dewey Beach town council late Wednesday afternoon, July 25. Stickels started as Dewey Beach town manager April 9, after signing an 18-month contract with the town that included a mutual option for an additional year. His salary was $85,000. Stickels replaced Diana Smith, who resigned in September 2011. Between Smith and Stickels, police chief Sam Mackert, finance director Bill Brown and property owner Jim Dedes had stints as acting town manager. Stickels came to Dewey Beach from the office of U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Del., where he was the coordinator for Kent and Sussex counties. He previously spent 18 years as the administrator of Sussex County — from 1988 to 2006 — and six years as Georgetown’s town manager.