Transitions: Tacoma, WA; Moore County, NC; Arlington, MA and more

Tacoma, Washington (population 198,397): He has yet to find a permanent address, gets lost driving around town and hasn’t quite adjusted to the time change. But T.C. Broadnax – Tacoma’s new city manager, arriving via Texas amid a municipal budget crisis – isn’t worried about getting used to his new ZIP code, according to The Bellingham Herald. All of that will come in time, he said. What he’s focused on now is getting up to speed – on the budget, with the City Council and key staff, with the community and its concerns.Broadnax, 43, a married father of six, started work on Feb. 13. Chosen by the council following a national search, the former assistant in San Antonio and Pompano Beach, Fla., said he’s excited to take on his first top administrator’s job.

Moore County, North Carolina (population 88,247): Moore County Manager Cary McSwain announced Friday that he will retire this fall, according to The Fayetteville Observer. McSwain, 72, said he plans to step down Nov. 30. He became the interim county manager in October 2006 and was hired to the position permanently in June 2007. McSwain said one of the projects that factored into his decision was the public safety center. Construction on the $32 million center on McNeill Street, which includes a 192-bed detention center, sheriff’s administrative offices and a 911 center, began last year. The jail is expected to be finished this year and the sheriff’s office late this year or early next year. Commissioner Tim Lea credited McSwain with bringing stability to county offices at a rocky time. McSwain broke down barriers between county departments by establishing monthly employee luncheons and by forming an awareness team to help employees build relationships. The awareness team organized team building and educational events. The team established government 101 classes to teach residents about the inner workings of county government. The classes furthered McSwain’s philosophy that government should be open and accessible to residents. McSwain is a former county administrator from Richland County in South Carolina, where he worked from 1994 until he retired in November 2005. Before that, he served as assistant county manager of Gaston County in North Carolina. He is originally from Albemarle. Lea said the commissioners will begin looking for McSwain’s replacement.

Arlington, Massachusetts (population 42,844): Adam Chapdelaine, a Fall River native and former city administrator, has been  promoted to the top job in Arlington as its town manager, according to The Herald News. He was sworn in February 23 and replaces the eight-year manager Brian Sullivan, who retired. Chapdelaine, 32, who left Fall River nearly two years ago after being  appointed Arlington’s deputy town manager, bested about 40 applicants in the  Boston suburb of Arlington, which has 42,000 residents. Chapdelaine, who was city administrator of Fall River for 1½ years and whom former Mayor Robert Correia appointed to head the elections division before Chapdelaine was  promoted. His family lives in Fall River, and Chapdelaine received his education in  Dartmouth at Bishop Stang High School and the University of Massachusetts  Dartmouth for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Chapdelaine left Fall River in the spring of 2010, a few months after Mayor Will Flanagan took office. A month later, he hired Shawn Cadime as the replacement for  city administrator. Chapdelaine said there are differences and similarities between the two  jobs. It’s not only that Arlington is half the size and has about half the budget at about $124 million. While Fall River has a “strong mayor” and City Council form of government,  in which legislation can be enacted on a bi-weekly basis, Arlington uses a Board  of Selectmen and representative Town Meeting. The Town Meeting to enact business is held each spring. Chapdelaine’s role as deputy town manager and now town manager falls under the Board of Selectmen, who voted Jan. 30 to put him in the new role. His salary remains to be negotiated with the board, he said. A common denominator with both jobs is “a lot of people are active and  involved with local government,” he said. Chapdelaine and his wife, Rita, moved to Arlington from Fall River about six months after he was hired. Before he left the city, and on his last day as city administrator on April 16, 2010, Chapdelaine accepted another challenge: He agreed to join Greg Sullivan for the Herald News sportswriter’s “Ten from the Line” contest.

Los Altos, California (population 28,976): Los Altos wants longtime Town of Danville employee and current assistant town manager Marcia Somers for its next City Manager, according to the Danville Patch. Somers started with the town of Danville in 1993 as Community Service  Director. Since 2006 she has been assistant town manger working under  longtime town manager Joe Calabrigo. Prior to working in Danville, Somers worked in Sunnyvale for eight years. The five-month search process began in September in Los Altos with 60 applications, which was narrowed to eight finalists, then narrowed to four, then narrowed to two, then narrowed to Somers. If Somers accepts the position, her first day as Los Altos City Manager would be April 2. Her base salary would be $196,000, according to the City of Los Altos’ staff report.

Kenmore, Washington (population 20,460): The Kenmore City Council has appointed Robert G. Karlinsey to the position of City Manager, following a nationwide recruitment process, according to the Shoreline Area News.  Mr. Karlinsey succeeds Frederick Stouder, who will retire in April after serving as the City Manager since 2008. Kenmore, a King County city with a population of approximately 21,000, is located on the north end of Lake Washington and is the home to Bastyr University, Kenmore Air and other notable businesses. The City incorporated in 1998, but the community of Kenmore was founded in the early 1900s.  Kenmore City Hall was completed in 2010 and is a LEED Gold Certified building, joining Bastyr’s Student Village project as the Kenmore’s first LEED Certified projects. The City has also spearheaded over $50M in improvements to the State Route 522 Corridor within the City limits to improve pedestrian safety and provide more efficient transit and auto travel.  The City’s 2011-2012 combined General Fund Operating and Capital budget is $28.8M. Robert Karlinsey is currently the City Administrator of Gig Harbor, Washington, where he has served since January 2007. He has over 17 years of local government experience.  Mr. Karlinsey is a Western Washington native and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Brigham Young University.  Mr. Karlinsey will assume the duties on April 23, and will earn an annual salary of $141,500.

Brownsburg, Indiana (population 14,520): Brownsburg is looking for a new town manager after Dale Cheatham resigned at the Feb. 23 town council meeting, according to the Indianapolis Star. He had taken the Indiana job in January 2010 after living in Texas for 18 years — and that’s where he and his family are returning. The town council tapped assistant town manager Grant Kleinhenz to be the acting town manager. Kleinhenz, a native Hoosier,  joined Brownsburg’s administration in April 2011 after being city manager of Centralia, Ill. He also was city administrator in Humboldt, Iowa, 2003-04 and was assistant town manager of Fishers 1999-2003. Cheatham will become city manager of Burleson, near Dallas-Fort Worth. The council chose Cheatham as Brownsburg’s first professional, credentialed manager after a nationwide search that drew 250 applications. Among the achievements credited to Cheatham in a news release from the town:
  • State approval for the expansion of Brownsburg’s tax-increment-financing (TIF) district, allowing more flexibility for TIF funding of community improvement projects;
  • Annexation of the Ronald Reagan/I-74 corridor and Lucas Oil Raceway, expanding the size of the town by about one-third.
  • Agreement with Avon on annexations and development of a plan for orderly and harmonious growth.
  • Replacing aging utility lines near SR 267; replacing utilities and reconstructing roadway on North Grant Street and in the Murphy Meadows subdivision; and replacing the old water treatment plant in Arbuckle Acres Park.

Franklin, Virginia (population 8,582): New City Manager Randy Martin hopes to open dialog with nearby localities about sharing more services as a possible way to save tax dollars, according to The Tidewater News. Martin, in his first week on the job after succeeding June Fleming, said he had already talked to Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson and had played “phone tag” with Isle of Wight County Administrator Douglas Caskey. Martin called the prospect of more shared services among adjacent localities a priority but said any such move would take some time. He added that sharing services doesn’t necessarily mean consolidation of services. Martin, the 57-year-old former manager of Morehead City, N.C., said he has seen success elsewhere with localities sharing services such as utilities and emergency response. The city and Southampton County already share the commonwealth’s attorney and an economic development agency. The city also has a revenue-sharing agreement with Isle of Wight County related to the International Paper mill campus along the Blackwater River. The city owns its own electrical utility but gets power from Dominion Virginia Power at a wholesale rate. To add to an already busy first week, Martin met with every department head and attempted to meet with every City Hall employee since starting work Tuesday. He plans to sit down with every City Council member early in his tenure to find out what’s important to them. He is also very interested in meeting with citizens and business owners early on. Martin said economic development will be an early priority, as he wants the city to do everything in its power to keep small businesses viable. Martin, a Stokes County, N.C. native, has been impressed with the reception he has received in his short time in Franklin. He attended the city’s 50th anniversary gala at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center last weekend. Martin will be paid $110,000 in the first year of a three-year contract as city manager. The salary will increase to $115,000 in the second year and $121,275 on July 1, 2014.

Oak Island, North Carolina (population 6,783): Oak Island Interim Town Manager Chad Hicks submitted his resignation Saturday afternoon, according to WECT. Mayor Betty Wallace said he will continue to work for the town for a few more weeks. Hicks reportedly plans to take over as town administrator of Caswell Beach. The resignation comes after Hicks replaced former Town Manager Jerry Walters, who was recently terminated. Mayor Wallace said an opportunity came up for Hicks in Caswell Beach and this is a positive move for him. Town council will soon begin the search for an interim town manager, as well as begin accepting applications for the manager’s position. Hicks became town manager December 13, 2011, and previously was the assistant town manager and planning director.

St. Clair, Michigan (population 5,485): With no fan fare, the St. Clair City council unanimously accepted, with regret, the resignation of City Superintendent Scott Adkins on February 20, according to The Voice. The action took place at the shortest regular meeting of the city council in more than a year, not even 15 minutes. The council appointed City Accountant Mike Booth as the interim city superintendent and City Clerk Janice Winn as interim assistant city superintendent, the same roles the pair held during the transition from City Superintendent Patrick Sullivan to Adkins in 2006. Adkins’ resignation is effective Thursday, March 1. Winn acted as the interim superintendent, with assistance from John Jesionowski, who was then the city accountant, during the transition from City Superintendent Patrick Sullivan to Adkins in 2006. A week later, Adkins will begin his new job as city manager of Roseville, population 47,000, more than eight times larger than St. Clair. Adkins will earn $94,000 per year in Roseville, about 14 percent more than he made in St. Clair. In appointing Booth and Winn, council ignored a list of three candidates for interim city superintendent provided by the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Local Government Management Association: Amy Planck of Imlay City, Mark Wollenweber of Burtchville Township and Karl Tomion of Port Huron, who is wrapping up a two-year tenure as Algonac’s city manager. The nonprofit MML in Ann Arbor offered its executive search services to the city, which can include developing a profile of the desired candidates, a profile of the city, targeted outreach and recruitment, resume screening, field narrowing, preliminary reference review and background investigation, interviewing and contract negotiation. The MML typically charges 10 percent of the manager’s annual salary plus expenses, which includes advertising costs, background check costs and travel.