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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transitions: Bartow Co., GA; Cape May Co., NJ; Jefferson Co., WV and more

Peter Olson

Peter Olson

Bartow County, Georgia (population 100,157): Bartow County Commissioner-Elect Steve Taylor announced Thursday that Cartersville Attorney Peter Olson will serve as the next county administrator, according to The Daily Tribune News. As Taylor prepares to take office in January, Olson will fill the role of retiring County Administrator Steve Bradley. After 19 years in the role, Bradley will retire in January alongside Commissioner Clarence Brown. In his stead will be Peter Olson, an attorney of 18 years focusing in the areas of zoning and land law, local government law, real property and business litigation. Olson has worked regularly with the county in recent years and serves as city attorney for Kingston and Resaca. Taylor looked to name an administrator quickly after the election to afford the necessary time for transition. Olson has already begun conversations with Brown and Bradley and will be involved with budget preparations in the coming months, but many of the position’s responsibilities will coincide with tasks Olson has performed as outside counsel. Olson was born outside of Chicago and raised near Montgomery, Ala., before receiving his bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University in 1989 and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992. A summary of professional accomplishments was included in a statement released Thursday. Taylor interviewed local and outside candidates for the position, but said he kept returning to Olson for his skill and experience along with his knowledge of local government. Just as Olson has, Bradley too came from a background in law, serving as co-counsel for the county at a local firm before stepping into the role of county administrator. After 16 years in Cartersville, Olson stepped out on his own earlier this year to begin a new firm. Taking the role as administrator, he will now begin the process of closing his practice and helping clients through the transition. Olson and his wife, Ellyn, have two children: Grey, 7, and Eden, 4.

Cape May County, New Jersey (population 97,265): Edmund Grant Jr. will remain as director of operations for Cape May County indefinitely, said Freeholder director Gerald Thornton, according to The Middle Township Gazette. Grant replaced county administrator Stephen O’Connor, who left to become the interim executive director of the South Jersey Economic Development District. Grant came on board in May after retiring as the county’s treasurer earlier this year. In May, Thornton said putting Grant into the position would give freeholders time to decide what duties the county administrator position should have. As director of operations, Grant oversees the day-to-day workings of county government. He directs a staff of management, professional and administrative personnel and puts in place orders and policies of the Cape May County Board of Freeholders, strategic planning and policy oversight. Since Grant assumed administrator duties, some lingering issues in county government were discovered and taken care of, Thornton said. Thornton put it down to having a “new set of eyes” heading county government. One of the issues was having around the Cape May Airport in LowerTownship cleaned up. That work included cleaning around the Fare Free Transportation buses, he said. Grant also started a wellness program in an effort to reduce county government costs, Thornton said. Employees will learn about living healthier lifestyles, nutrition and more. Thornton did not know how much would be saved. He said county’s insurance company is on board with the idea. The program was expected to kick off Tuesday, Sept. 11. Middle management training will also be started, which will include some employees getting a review of managing and of budgets in a classroom setting, Thornton said. Grant was Cape May County’s chief financial officer for 17 years and county purchasing agent from 1986 until 1994. He also used to be a mayor in Wildwood and council president.

Jefferson County, West Virginia (population 53,498): Debbie Keyser, Jefferson County’s interim administrator since May, moved to permanent status Thursday following a unanimous vote by all five county commissioners, according to the Herald-Mail. Keyser was hired in April as the county’s first full-time human resources director. Less than a month later the commissioners named her interim administrator to replace Sandra Slusher McDonald in the temporary slot. McDonald was chosen in January to take over the duties after County Administrator Tim Boyde resigned. Keyser worked for more than 20 years in human resources administration for two private firms. According to McDonald, Keyser was one of 35 applicants for the Jefferson County job. Three were interviewed. Noland said Keyser’s human resource experience is a plus in her duties as county administrator. Keyser plans to move to Jefferson County after she sells her house in Berkeley County. She will be responsible for an annual county budget of $26 million and 1,870 county employees. Her salary as interim administrator, $97,750, won’t change with her new permanent status.

Fulton County, Illinois (population 37,069): Fulton County Administrator Mike Hays is out, according to the Journal Star. A last-minute attempt to extend his contract until Nov. 30 resulted in a 9-9 vote at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. That means the measure was defeated, and Hays’ last day is Thursday. The “challenging environment” was the topic of discussion more than once Tuesday night. Board member Del Parson had pointed questions for finance committee chairman Neil Williams about a request to hire a part-time administrative clerk. Williams said the hiring freeze means the board will “scrutinize” a vacant position and determine whether it is necessary. The money is in the budget for an administrative clerk, who will be even more necessary if Hays is gone. Nevertheless, that position was approved before the request to extend Hays’ contract was shot down. And the extension request itself raised similar concerns. Even the roll call was puzzling, since board member Roger Clark’s name was not called. He did, eventually, vote, and cast one of the votes in favor of Hays’ extension. The other yes votes were Conklin, Garry Hensley, Vicki Hoke, Ed Ketcham, who introduced the motion to extend the contract, Rod Malott, Doug Manock, Terry Pigg and Larry Taff. Voting against the extension were George Hall, Helle, Linda Hudson, Ed Huggins, Parson, Merl Pettet, Doreen Shaw, John Taylor and Williams. While it would appear Fulton County is in the somewhat unusual position of approving a position to be hired by a county administrator who no longer exists, Fulton County Clerk Jim Nelson said that is not a problem. He explained that those duties had been handled by elected officials before Fulton County hired its first county administrator in 2007. He anticipates the elected officials will redistribute the work again.

Hazleton, Pennsylvania (population 25,340): Hazleton City’s administrative department will soon have a new leader, according to the Standard Speaker. Mary Ellen Lieb notified the mayor of her intent to retire as acting director of administration, a position she has held for the past four years.

Swansea, Illinois (population 13,430): Village Administrator John Openlander has resigned to take a job as a city administrator in another state, according to the News-Democrat. Mayor Jim Rauckman said Openlander turned in his resignation letter Wednesday. In his resignation letter, Openlander said he has accepted a city administrator position in another state. Openlander’s contract with the village was set to expire in April at the end of Rauckman’s current mayoral term. The village administrator’s appointment runs concurrent with the mayor’s term. The contract requires Openlander give the village 60 days notice upon his resignation. His last day with the village will be Nov. 9. Rauckman said he and village trustees will discuss how the village should proceed with filling Openlander’s position. Swansea Village Board is likely to formally accept Openlander’s resignation during its board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Swansea Government Center.

Lampasas, Texas (population 6,681): Llano City Manager Finley deGraffenried will serve as the new Lampasas city manager, according to KWTX. DeGraffenried takes the place of Michael Stoldt, who was fired just over a year ago for “in-house reasons.” In June, the city selected David Vela as a finalist for the position but he turned it down after failing to come to terms with the city council on salary and other terms of employment. Interim City Manager Stacy Brack has been filling the position temporarily since last August. DeGraffenried will give the City of Llano about a month’s notice before working in Lampasas full-time October 15. The city says deGraffenried’s experience with various management projects and his social skills make him a good match for the city.

Bulverde, Texas (population 5,478): Bulverde City Councilmembers unexpectedly voted four to one Tuesday to terminate City Administrator John Hobson’s contract effective immediately, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Mayor Bill Krawietz said the action to fire Hobson, which came after an executive session, was a surprise to him after Councilman Kirk Harrison asked weeks ago to put a personnel matter on Tuesday’s agenda. Shane Reynolds was the only councilman to vote against the motion. However, Krawietz said, council members reviewed Hobson’s performance during Tuesday’s executive session and concluded they had to terminate his contract. Hobson was hired as the city administrator in June 2006. His current base salary is $88,155 plus a monthly $400 car allowance, according to City Finance Director Ginger Hofstetter. City Attorney Frank Garza said Hobson’s contract was for an indefinite term. Including sick leave and vacation pay, Hobson’s severance will amount to $78,000 before taxes. Harrison said the council did not make the decision lightly. Hobson said council’s action Tuesday was unexpected. Krawietz said Hofstetter will assume Hobson’s duties until the city hires a new administrator.

Scandia, Minnesota (population 3,936): Kristina Handt, former village administrator of Luck, Wisc., will be Scandia’s city administrator, according to the Forest Lake TimesHandt will start work on Monday, Sept. 17. At their Tuesday, Aug. 28 work session the council voted to hire Handt at a salary of $70,000 per year. Current Administrator Anne Hurlburt will retire the first week of October. Handt has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, training from the Minnesota Paralegal Institute, and a master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota. She held the Luck job from September 2008 to July 2012, supervising nine full-time and 33 part-time employees. At Luck, Handt said, there are only 11 miles of road to care for, compared to 90 miles in Scandia.  Funding for roads doubled while she was the village administrator, including grants. She has experience with city septic systems.  In Luck, she said, one system serves most of the village, but there are others around the lake, installed to improve lake quality. Before working in Luck, Handt was a legislative assistant for MN State Sen. Gary Kubly for four years. She had internships at the city of Minnestrista  in 2007 and Grassroots Solutions, a consulting firm, in 2006. In 2002 and 2003 she worked for Kohl’s Department Stores, as a personnel/operations area supervisor and then as a district auditor. In 1999 and 2000 she interned for U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and State Sen. Steve Murphy.

Goliad, Texas (population 1,908): The Goliad city administrator is resigning, pending acceptance of a city manager position in Guthrie, Okla, according to the Victoria Advocate. Goliad City Council is set to discuss the pending resignation Tuesday, but Sereniah Breland said it is not official until the Guthrie City Council votes to hire her, also on Tuesday. Mayor Jay Harvey said the Goliad City Council has plans to name an interim city administrator at Tuesday’s meeting. Breland has been with Goliad for almost two years. Harvey said she has many accomplishments, such as implementing code enforcement and building inspections in Goliad. He said Breland also tried to create a municipal court for Goliad. Her last day will be Oct. 9, according to her resignation letter. Guthrie, which has a population of about 10,000, is in central Oklahoma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transitions: Buena Park, CA; Coon Rapids, MN; Grundy County, IL and more

Jim Vanderpool

Buena Park, California (population 80,530): In mid-July, City Manager Rick Warsinski took an early retirement after more than 30 years of service at City Hall, according to The Orange County Register. As part of his separation agreement negotiated with the City Council, he didn’t walk away empty-handed; instead, he got a city check totaling nearly $500,000, a combination of separation pay, built-up vacation and accrued sick leave. The bulk of the payoff came from the last two items, especially the sick leave, which alone accounted for nearly half of the $496,014.91 total. In an interview during his last few days as city manager, Warsinski said the sick leave and vacation built up because he rarely took time off. Warsinski noted that there were years he didn’t take a vacation at all, such as when he served as both the city’s planning director and interim city manager. The heft of the check caused consternation from some City Council members when they voted to approve the payout earlier this summer, though they conceded Warsinski’s contract with the city entitled him to the money. Earlier this year, Warsinski had announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, a date, he said, he chose to give the City Council plenty of time to find a successor. Mayor Jim Dow and other council members negotiated an early retirement with Warsinski, avoiding what they termed a “lame duck” situation, and appointed then-Deputy City Manger Jim Vanderpool to take the top spot. Had the council fired Warsinski or laid him off, Dow said, they would have had to pay him an additional amount of about $100,000. That’s because of Warsinski’s contract with the city, which dictates a severance package of nine months’ salary; instead, he was paid five months of pay. Here’s how the payoff breaks down per item, according to Finance Department records: Warsinski negotiated about five months of “early retirement incentive” – the salary he would have earned if he had stayed and worked until his original retirement date of Dec. 31. That comes out to $106,114.66. He had 1,382.57 hours of vacation – 173 days’ work, about 8 months, based on an 8-hour workday – cashed out for $169,282.35. Finally, like many municipal employees, Warsinski was entitled to be paid for unused sick time. That came out to 1,801.85 hours – 225 days – for a cash amount of $220,617.90. At the time he left, Warsinski was the second-highest compensated city manager in Orange County. A 2011 grand jury report listed his salary at $239,954 in base pay, with another $105,035 in benefits. He was second only to Laguna Hills’ Bruce Channing, whose base pay was lower at $233,592, but earned nearly $145,000 in benefits to claim the top spot. Vanderpool now earns $209,460 in base salary. His contract stipulates that he will get yearly raises starting in 2014, topping out at $221,484 at the contract’s end date, 2015.

Coon Rapids, Minnesota (population 61,476): Former Coon Rapids City Manager Matt Fulton will get six months’ severance pay as part of the separation agreement between him and the Coon Rapids City Council, according to ABC Newspapers. The council requested and Fulton agreed to submit his resignation as city manager July 18 and the council formally approved both the resignation and separation agreement at a special meeting July 23. Fulton was being paid $135,116.80 a year at the time of his resignation and his six months of severance pay had been spelled out in the employment agreement signed by the council and Fulton when he was hired as city manager in April 2006. Under the terms of the separation agreement, Fulton can take the payment in one lump sum or in bi-weekly payments over a six-month period to minimize tax consequences. The severance payment period began effective with the date of Fulton’s resignation, according to City Attorney David Brodie, who negotiated the separation agreement with an attorney representing Fulton. As well as six months of severance pay, Fulton’s health insurance with the city will stay in place for six months, which was also part of the original employment agreement. In addition, Fulton will be paid 100 percent of his accrued vacation pay, less applicable withholding, with 50 percent of his accrued sick leave being contributed to his MSRS (Minnesota State Retirement System), which administers the city’s post employment health care saving plan and he will also be paid for one unused floating holiday minus tax withholding. Those vacation and sick leave provisions are typical for any employee leaving the city, Brodie said. As part of the agreement, the city waives any right to contest Fulton’s eligibility for this compensation, while at the same time, Fulton specifically releases the city from any claims for benefits, salary, severance payments or any other benefits to which he might otherwise be entitled under the original 2006 employment agreement. While the separation agreement does not preclude Fulton from filing a discrimination charge with the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), he does waive his right to any monetary damages. Under the terms of the agreement, the city will reimburse Fulton $750 for his attorney’s fee.

Grundy County, Illinois (population 50,063): Grundy County Administrator Shawn Hamilton has resigned to take a job with the city of Park Ridge, where he will make double his current salary, according to the Morris Daily Herald. Starting Wednesday, Aug. 1, Hamilton will be Park Ridge’s new interim city manager. Hamilton said he had to make his resignation effective immediately in order to start at Park Ridge and be trained by the current manager at Park Ridge. In September, Hamilton was hired as the Grundy County administrator with a one-year contract that paid him $70,000 a year. He will make $140,000 and has a nine-month contract at Park Ridge. Hamilton’s hiring was recommended by Mayor David Schmidt and was approved 5-2 by the Park Ridge Council Monday night. His contract is interim because it can only be as long as the mayor’s term, which has nine months remaining, Hamilton said. Since it’s an interim position, he does not have to move to Park Ridge as of right now. In May, Park Ridge fired City Manager Jim Hock, according to published reports. The council approved his termination unanimously, stating he fell short of expectations. Hock has been with Park Ridge since 2008. Deputy City Manager Juliana Maller took over for Hock, and Hamilton is taking over for her. Hamilton said Hock was making about $195,000 a year when he was manager. Despite some previous bad blood between Hamilton and Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson, Hamilton was not looking for a new job when he submitted his resume to Park Ridge. He said he has several former co-workers who live in the Park Ridge area. They told him about the job opening and encouraged him to apply for the position. Hamilton thanked both the chairman and the board for their support. Chairman Severson said Tuesday he wished Hamilton nothing but the best of luck. When Hamilton was hired in September, Severson would not sign his contract, but board member Dave Boggs did instead. In public and through the media, the two have had altercations regarding communication and responsibilities. Hamilton acknowledges in his letter he may need to reimburse the county for a portion of salary for breaking his contract. Severson still believes the county does not need a full-time administrator. When Hamilton was hired, Severson maintained the duties could continue to be filled by Land Use Director Heidi Miller and Board Secretary Sandy Pommier. “There are only 19 counties of 102 in Illinois with administrators,” Severson said Tuesday. He continued that he didn’t feel Grundy needed one. He feels something different could be done, such as an administrative assistant or a contractual person. Severson will be meet with the other 17 board members to get everyone’s opinion on what the county should do next as far as the now open administrator position. The county just finished its budget hearings with its departments and is in the process of setting next year’s budget. Without Hamilton, Severson said the county board committees will handle the remaining budget work.

Cleremont, Florida (population 29,368): The city council wants to have a replacement for longtime City Manager Wayne Saunders on board by Jan.1, 2013, according to The Daily Commercial. But on Monday night, Administrative Services Director Joe Van Zile said at a special city council meeting that he thinks that may be a bit optimistic, referring to the council’s timeframe as “aggressive.” Van Zile wants first to identify the executive search firm that will assist the city in choosing a new city leader. The board decided to advertise for a search firm for two weeks beginning today, followed by a “staff-based committee,” to consist of Van Zile, City Clerk Tracy Ackroyd and City Attorney Dan Mantzaris to review and rank the interested firms. As the process began, the Human Resources Manager was to have been part of the committee, but Councilman Rick Van Wagner wondered if someone on the job for just three months would be prepared to contribute effectively. Accordingly, Mantzaris was chosen to replace her. On Aug. 27, the council will receive the names of the top-ranked firms, along with their proposals. The need for a new city manager in Clermont comes after a “no confidence” vote from three of five council members who expressed concern that Saunders did not have the “vision” they required regarding the future of Clermont and worried about Saunders’ subsequent decision to retire. Saunders’ retirement also comes amid numerous accusations by six former police officers who not only claim they were wrongfully terminated in retaliation for complaining about Police Chief Graham years ago, but also swear there is ongoing corruption and wrongdoing within the department. Those officers and their supporters attended recent city council meetings with picket signs calling for the termination of Graham and police Capt. Jon Johnson. They also criticized Saunders for his lack of leadership. Approximately two weeks ago, Saunders voluntarily retired effective Jan. 1, 2013, but will stay on through Jan. 1, 2014 as a consultant to the new manager, earning his full salary of $141,000. Graham also announced his retirement last week, to become effective in October, on the same day that Saunders recommended an investigation of the Police Department. On Monday, the council also learned that the same firm ultimately chosen to search for a new city manager, will most likely be retained to choose the city’s new police chief.
Caledonia, Wisconsin (population 24,365): Mark Janiuk, the village’s new administrator, is getting acclimated with his new position after a week and a half on the job, according to the Caledonia Patch. Janiuk, who started working in Caledonia July 23, told Patch that “everything is going wonderfully,” during a brief phone interview Wednesday. Earlier this summer, Janiuk was hired as Caledonia’s Village Administrator after Tom Lebak decided to retire. Janiuk has been Sturtevant’s village administrator since 2006. Before that he spent 25 years in the Racine County Corporation Counsel, and when Caledonia was a town he worked as Caledonia’s zoning administrator. The staff working for the Village of Sturtevant has been reduced from 35 to 17 full-time positions and Janiuk works part-time in response to those cuts.  Janiuk has a two-year contract with the village. The terms include paying Janiuk $92,000 a year. He won’t be receiving health insurance or retirement benefits from the Village because he’s already receiving them as a retiree through Racine County.

Woodstock, Illinois (population 20,151): Longtime City Manager Tim Clifton will retire at the end of this fiscal year, according to the Northwest Herald. Clifton has been Woodstock’s city Manager for the past 20 years and will leave his post April 30, and has a lot of work to complete as he wraps up his final nine months on the job. Clifton earns $175,000 a year.

Claremore, Oklahoma (population 18,581): Having gone through several city managers in less than two years, the city would like its next one to stay a while, Mayor Mickey Perry said, according to the Tulsa World. In June, City Manager Daryl Golbek announced that he was resigning but would continue his longtime duties as public works director. Golbek took over for Tim Rundel, who spent less than two months as city manager before he left in the fall of 2010. He eventually landed a job as assistant city manager at Midwest City. Rundel’s predecessor, Troy Powell, lasted 4 1/2 years before he left for a similar position at The Colony, Texas. Numerous councilors resigned during the Rundel-to-Golbek transition. Perry said Claremore’s city government is much more stable now. The city employs 292 people and has an annual operating budget of about $100 million. It also operates its own water, sewer, sanitation and electric utilities. The city has received at least 20 applications for city manager and will continue taking them through Sept. 14. Ward 4 Councilor Mark Lepak is chairman of the screening committee. No hiring timetable exists, Perry said.

La Palma, California (population 15,568): City officials today announced the selection of Ellen Volmert as the next City Manager of La Palma, contingent on approval by the full City Council at their August 7, 2012, meeting, according to the Hews Media Group. Ms. Volmert will assume her duties on September 4. Ms. Volmert joins La Palma from Corvallis, Oregon where she has been the Assistant City Manager since 1994 and served as City Manager Pro Tem for four months in 2011 following the retirement of the long-time City Manager of that City. She comes to La Palma with broad experience in strategic planning, human resources and labor relations, community relations, capital project management, economic development, budgeting, team facilitation, diversity, technology, organizational development, and risk management. Prior to moving to Corvallis, Ms. Volmert worked for over 14 years in two Southern California Cities, Baldwin Park and West Covina. Ms. Volmert holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton; a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles; and is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager. Ms. Volmert’s selection completes a process that began on March 16, 2012, when Dominic Lazzaretto resigned after five years as La Palma’s City Manager. To help assist with the search for a new City Manager, the City retained Bobbi Peckham of the recruiting firm of Peckham and McKenney to undertake a nationwide job search. Of the 64 individuals that applied for the position, 12 were selected as finalists, with 7 being invited to interview with the City Council on June 27 and July 3. Based on those interviews, the top three candidates were identified and invited back for a second interview on July 20.

Covington, Georgia (population 13,118): The Covington City Council held a called meeting Monday evening to discuss how to proceed in the selection process of a new city manager, according to the Newton Citizen. City Manager Steve Horton is retiring, and recently announced that his last day on the job will be Dec. 21. Mayor Ronnie Johnston recommended that the council hire an outside professional firm to recruit and vet applicants, noting that “this is a critical position for the whole city” and recommending the council take a broad perspective, on the state and national level. He also acknowledged that there is also likely interest on the local level and using an outside firm would keep the process “the broadest and cleanest.” Two firms — The Mercer Group Inc. out of Atlanta and Slavin Management Consultants out of Norcross — have already submitted proposals related to the selection process. A third company that was solicited has not yet responded. The council agreed to interview representatives from the companies before making a decision, with a meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public. Johnston said the cost to hire consultants will likely be between $15,000 and $20,000 and said the entire process will take 90 to 120 days at best. Once candidates are narrowed by the firm, the council will then interview the top candidates, he said, adding that he expects the process “will take many hours of this council’s time.” The city manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the city and all its departments. There is not currently a set salary range for the position, but Horton currently earns an annual salary of $112,798, according to Human Resources Director Ronnie Cowan. Cowan said he believes that is low compared to other city managers doing comparable work, noting that Horton had not accepted salary increases of late. Cowan said he believes whatever consulting firm is hired by the council will likely make recommendations as to a salary and benefits package for the new city manager. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, public administration or a related field from an accredited college or university, with a master’s or other graduate degree preferred. Ten years experience in public administration with supervisory experience and a minimum of five years as manager and director of a municipal or county department is also required, along with knowledge of municipal budgeting procedures; record keeping; computers and software; city, county, state and federal laws and ordinances impacting city government; the city’s organizational structure and processes.

Coatesville, Pennsylvania (population 13,100): City Council approved a new manager on Wednesday, according to the Daily Local News. Kirby Hudson, who was the interim city manager and held the assistant manager position before that, was named as the full-time manager on a 5-2 vote. Council also passed a resolution to remove the requirement that the city manager live inside the city. That was also approved on a 5-2 vote. Council President Ed Simpson and Councilwoman Ingrid Jones voted against both measures. About 25 residents attended Wednesday’s meeting and many stood up in support of Hudson being appointed as the new manager. Hudson thanked the public for their outpouring of support. Former Weed and Seed Director Allen Smith announced that he had applied to be manager. Council said it never saw his application. Hudson has worked as assistant manager for six years and has served as interim manager on three separate occasions. Jones said she voted against Hudson, because in order to lift the residency requirement she felt there needed to be a referendum. Simpson said he wanted the residency requirement to remain in place. He also previously stated that he was in favor of a wide search. Hudson said he will focus on the police department as a main priority of his office. Hudson has had some controversy in the city. In 2007, he was arrested for a DUI while serving as assistant manager. There was also some concern over him reportedly not paying taxes on a lump sum he received for work with the Redevelopment Authority. Collins said Wednesday that he has been “exonerated of those charges” concerning the unpaid taxes.

Newmarket, New Hampshire (population 8,936): The Newmarket Town Council is pleased to announce that it has come to an agreement with Steve Fournier of Dover, NH to become the next Town Administrator of Newmarket, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat. The Town Council plans to formally vote to appoint Fournier at its August 15th, 2012 meeting. A native of Somersworth, Fournier holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire. He is currently the Town Administrator of North Hampton, New Hampshire where he has served since 2007.
Prior to North Hampton, he served as the Town Administrator of Epping and Northwood New Hampshire and as the Director of Administrative Services/Assistant Town Manager of Littleton, NH. Fournier is a member of the Board of Directors of New Hampshire Local Government Center; the current Chair of the New Hampshire Municipal Association’s Municipal Advocacy Committee; a past President of the Municipal Manager’s Association of New Hampshire and active in the International City/County Managers Association. In 2005, Mr. Fournier was named by the Union Leader/NH Business and Industry Association as one of forty New Hampshire’s upcoming leaders under the age of 40. He is involved in many civic activities, and served the City of Somersworth as a City Councilor from 1996 to 2001, two years as its Deputy Mayor.

East Hampton, Connecticut (population 2,691): Michael Maniscalco is the new East Hampton town manager, according to the Reminder News. Born and raised in Trumbull, Conn., Maniscalco looks at the position in East Hampton as something of a homecoming. Maniscalco, 30, attended the University of South Dakota, one of only two universities in the country to offer a degree in American Indian Studies, which was Maniscalco’s passion at the time. He stayed at USD for a graduate degree in public administration. Making his way east, Maniscalco took a position running the National Leadership Grant for the Illinois State Museum. While there, he helped develop a database that takes qualitative data, for example audio and/or video, and makes it quantitative, allowing for broad cross-referencing of various topics. Focused on Illinois agriculture, the database was made available on the Internet. From there, Maniscalco went on to become the senior manager of the Autism Program of Illinois, creating partnerships with other public and private entities across the state to deliver services to kids with disabilities. There, he worked on accessibility projects for kids with autism, and created resource rooms in Chicago for parents and teachers of kids with autism. Immediately before coming to East Hampton, Maniscalco worked as the economic development coordinator for Logan County in Illinois.  There, he was instrumental in preventing the closing of a prison. He also helped develop an aggregation program for electric utilities. A lot of people warned Maniscalco against taking both the Autism Program and the economic development coordinator positions. Maniscalco considered both positions challenges, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. The recent, well-documented town government controversies don’t dampen Maniscalco’s enthusiasm. n the job for only a few weeks, Maniscalco said he is not making any immediate changes, but is just observing for now. He wants to examine some of the bigger projects, like a town water system and improvements in town facilities that have languished for some time, and decide what can be done to help move them forward.

Iron River, Wisconsin (population 761): Iron River Mayor Terry Tarsi welcomed new City Manager Perry Franzoi to his first regular meeting of the City Council July 18, according to the Iron County Reporter. Franzoi replaces retired City Manager John Archocosky. The former Breitung Township supervisor officially began July 2. Tarsi said Archocosky, who served as city manager for nine years, will stay on as a consultant until Aug. 30, helping Franzoi become acquainted with several ongoing city projects, including water, sewer and the U.S. 2 reconstruction.

Transitions: Fayettville, NC; Port St. Lucie, FL; Vallejo, CA and more

Fayettville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s City Manager Dale Iman announced Friday he is resigning April 1, ending his five-year tenure under pressure from a majority of City Council members, according to . Because of unused vacation time, next week will likely be his last on the job, Mayor Tony Chavonne said. Council members discussed Iman during a closed session Monday and decided they wanted him to step down amid criticism of his handling of the police consent search issue. He was told of the decision Tuesday. Statistics show about two-thirds of all consent searches during police traffic stops involve blacks, which has stirred allegations of racial profiling. Iman and Police Chief Tom Bergamine have denied the accusations and defended consent searches, which are used when officers don’t have probable cause. The council in January ordered an outside review and imposed a moratorium on consent searches, which a judge halted last week. A court hearing Monday will consider a preliminary injunction against the city. Iman and Bergamine opposed the probe and moratorium. The council’s growing frustration with both men – and in particular with Iman’s recent responses to the issue – appeared to reach a tipping point this week. Councilman Keith Bates was one of Iman’s supporters. One was Iman’s surprise announcement March 1 that police would begin using newly drafted driver consent forms starting March 5. Bates said the council voted down the idea in October. Another irksome decision came Feb. 29 when Iman announced by email that Bergamine would sit on an advisory panel assisting in the search for a new chief. Bergamine, 58, plans to retire effective July 1. Iman has refused to speak with a reporter this week. Councilwoman Val Applewhite said Iman had a difficult job trying to keep nine council members and the mayor happy. Chavonne said Iman has written his resignation letter, but it wasn’t included in an email to the council announcing his decision. A reporter was unable to obtain a copy of the letter Friday. Chavonne said the city would honor any obligations in Iman’s contract. According to a copy of the contract obtained Thursday, Iman would get a year’s salary if he were fired. If he resigned “following a suggestion either formal or informal” by the council, he could deem that a termination. He earns $176,693 a year. The city also must cover Iman’s health benefits for a year or until a new employer provides that coverage. Iman, 57, took over in fall 2006. Under his direction, the council adopted a five-year capital-improvement plan and began more consistently budgeting money to repave streets, demolish blighted buildings and replace aging vehicles and computers. The council adopted a program to improve rental housing and rewrote zoning and development codes. Last August, Iman received a 4 percent pay raise in what Chavonne described at the time as Iman’s best evaluation. Highlights of the review included the city’s response to the April tornadoes and last summer’s opening of N.C. Veterans Park. His tenure included tumultuous times, such as the 2007 “ticketgate” incident in which a traffic citation given to a friend of the mayor’s was improperly voided by police. In July 2010, council members were shocked to discover about $500,000 in transit money meant for bus shelters and other improvements wasn’t going to be spent under Iman’s direction. The racial disparities in police consent searches publicly surfaced in late 2010. The issue later divided the council and spurred concerns by civil rights groups and activists. The city hired the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to conduct an outside review. The consultants will report their findings Monday. Iman told the council in a Feb. 29 email that the “allegations will be laid to rest” by the report. Chavonne said the council was forced to adopt the moratorium to have an outside review done. Chavonne acknowledged that Iman’s departure comes at a critical time during budget preparations. An assistant manager position is vacant, too. The council, he said, will likely name an acting city manager next week. He expects the city to begin a national search for a permanent replacement.

Port St. Lucie, Florida (population 164,603): City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Linda Bartz voting no, to fire City Manager Jerry Bentrott, according to WPTV. Assistant City Manager Greg Oravec was appointed acting city manager. A motion to fire City Attorney Roger Orr failed. Councilwoman Michelle Berger had motioned for City Manager Jerry Bentrott to be terminated. Councilwoman Shannon Martin seconded the motion. Both Berger and Martin had expressed their disappointment in how Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr handled department leadership and staff during the fall out a drinking and driving incident involving former Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor. The motion comes in the wake of Taylor’s termination Thursday morning. Mayor JoAnn Faiella had requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager. The emergency meeting was paused so Council could return and make a formal motion. Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated. Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant during the earlier discussion in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions. He said it would be “ridiculous” to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he’s already lost all credibility. Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file. Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks. Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. on Feb. 18 after Officer N. Lovechio witnessed Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.

Vallejo, California (population 115,942): By the end of his first week at Vallejo City Hall, Dan Keen said the city had not yet managed to surprise him, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. But the city’s first full-time city manager since June 2009, chocks that up to 28 years of municipal experience. But there has been a little bit of paddling upstream for the new full-time city manager, he said. Keen, 52, comes to Vallejo from managing the city of Concord for the past three years. He said he has worked toward that goal of setting priorities through a series of meetings with the City Council and key staff members. He named obvious looming issues like overseeing the construction of the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget within the next three and a half months, potential employee contract negotiations — and his first Council meeting next Tuesday. Keen commended efforts by the city’s most recent interim city manager, Phil Batchelor — branded a “turnaround specialist — to fill most of the city’s looming top executive staff vacancies. With Batchelor’s legwork in the past 14 months, Keen said his new role was a little easier to fit into. He praised the city’s executive team as “outstanding” with “a lot of energy, great attitudes, good outlook on taking the city to a different place.” But plenty of work remains, said Keen, who has managed four other cities in the past 16 years.

Longmont, Colorado (population 86,270): A reception honoring departing city manager Gordon Pedrow will be held March 20, according to the Longmont Times-Call. Pedrow came to Longmont in 1993 from Glendale, Ariz. In the time since, Longmont grew from 52,000 people to about 87,000. He and his wife, Pam, plan to remain active in the community. On Thursday, the Longmont Police Department dedicated its new shooting range to Pedrow. The new city manager, Harold Dominguez, starts work April 2.

Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): After seven years on the job, Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady’s tenure ended Tuesday when three of five City Council members voted to fire him, despite protests by dozens of residents and the threat of a recall campaign, according to the North County Times. Council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted in favor of Brady’s dismissal, while Mayor Brian Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee cast the dissenting votes. The action before the public in the council’s regular meeting echoed a decision the council had reached earlier during its performance review of Brady in a session closed to the public because it involved personnel matters. Leading up to the final vote, each of the three council members supporting Brady’s dismissal stated their rationales. Weber cited several areas where he felt Brady was lacking, including communications with some council members, the business community and the media. Hickman criticized Brady as allowing city government to be unfriendly toward business. Magee defended Brady’s integrity and performance, while Tisdale lamented the impending action. Melendez said her main objection was over the city manager’s contract, which various councils voted to increase from an annual base salary of $135,000 in 2005 to $185,000 to 2008, a contract extended last year to 2015. Also, Melendez said Brady was able to accrue administrative, sick and vacation leave for which the city is liable. In open session, she offered a compromise in which Brady would have agreed to revert to a $135,000 base salary with only annual extensions and no accrued leave beyond a two-week yearly vacation. No other council members, however, responded to the offer, and the vote on Brady’s termination went forward. As a result of guarantees written into his contract, Brady, a 14-year-city employee, will receive a year’s worth of salary and benefits as well as reimbursement for leave. In total, he will receive about $400,000 in severance pay, said James Riley, the city’s finance director. After the council’s decision, Brady was given a chance to speak. He thanked the public and staff, while defending his record. He acknowledged the outpouring of support for him. Subsequently, the council appointed Aquatic Resources, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy to serve as interim city manager. Prior to the meeting, more than 60 residents organized by a newly formed group called A Better Lake Elsinore led by local businessman Harvey Ryan and other civic leaders rallied in support of Brady and to protest against the three council members poised to remove him. After the council convened, 11 people spoke against Brady’s termination, one email was read into the record in support of keeping Brady, and one person supported release. Longtime activist Chris Hyland announced she is launching a recall campaign aimed at Hickman and served him with a notice to that effect. She alleged Hickman has failed to file accurate campaign financial disclosures and made racist remarks, among other allegations. Hickman called the allegations “bogus.”

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): City Manager Gary Adams is resigning due to personal reasons after less than a year in the position, according to the Dayton Daily News. City Council is expected to accept Adams’ resignation at Monday night’s meeting, and appoint Public Safety Director Jim Borland as the new city manager. Adams’ resignation is effective March 16, and he will move back to Illinois, where he has been offered a position of project manager/associate pastor for adult ministries at Harvest Baptist Church in Oswego. Adams’ wife — who had surgery about a year ago — and two daughters reside in Illinois, and the Adamses haven’t been able to sell their home. Adams, 64, started at the end of May 2011, and has 36 years of experience in city and county government. His annual salary was $135,000. Adams will remain as a consultant on a one-year agreement with the city at $50 an hour, not to exceed $10,000. Borland’s salary will be $130,000; he was previously making $103,000. The public safety director position is not expected to be filled, Mayor Ron Fisher said, and Borland will still be responsible for public safety. Adams came to Huber Heights with the reputation of fostering economic expansion and new development, and city officials believe the city will continue to build on what Adams has established. Borland, who served as interim city manager prior to Adams’ hiring, did not return messages seeking comment.

Botetourt County, Virginia (population 33,148): He’s gotten well-wishes from friends, colleagues – even Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, according to WDBJ. Botetourt County Administrator Jerry Burgess is ending his nearly 20-year career with the county. Burgess came to Botetourt County in 1992 after working in Florida. He was tasked with building the county’s tax base, but says he’s most proud of the team he’s managed to bring together. While Burgess is excited about his future, he knows the county is facing a challenge as the Commonwealth works to nail down a budget. The county hopes to name a new administrator by the end of the month. As for Burgess’ tie to Coach K – the two were classmates at West Point together.

McHenry, Illinois (population 26,992): Administrative shake-ups for the cities of McHenry and Woodstock will be taking place next month, according to the Northwest Herald. Personnel changes come after McHenry City Administrator Chris Black accepted a job offer earlier this week to be finance director for the city of Rockford. The McHenry City Council on Thursday approved Mayor Sue Low’s recommendation to hire Derik Morefield as the next city administrator. Morefield, 43, is the deputy city manager for Woodstock. Earlier this week, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey announced Black as his pick to be finance director. Rockford, the third-largest largest city in Illinois, had been searching for a finance director since fall. Black, a Rockford native and resident, was contacted by the city’s search committee about a month ago and went through interviews with committee members. With the Rockford City Council’s approval, Black is expected to begin his new job in May. Black worked in Rockford’s finance department as a financial analyst beginning in 1998. He was promoted to central services manager in 1999 and held that position until 2006, when he became McHenry’s finance director. In August 2010, he was named city administrator. He lives in Rockford with his family. Black, 45, said the decision was a difficult one. Low said she was “saddened” when she learned over the weekend that McHenry may be losing an “exceptional employee.” Black will stay on to help the city complete its budget cycle. Morefield, Black’s successor, was interviewed this week by each of the McHenry City Council aldermen. On Thursday, the council discussed Morefield’s candidacy in a closed session and afterward authorized the mayor to offer the job to Morefield. The attorney for the city of McHenry is preparing Morefield’s contract. The City Council is expected to vote on contract approval at its next regular meeting, March 19. Meanwhile, Woodstock officials plan to review the deputy city manager’s position and make any needed updates before starting its hiring process, City Manager Tim Clifton said. Morefield’s move to McHenry will serve both communities well, Clifton said. Morefield has 14 years of experience in municipal affairs. He’s been Woodstock’s deputy city manager since 2007. Before that, he served as Woodstock’s director of business development and assistant city manager. Morefield also has led economic development and downtown revitalization initiatives for the city.

Windsor, California (population 26,801): Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan, who helped guide Sonoma County’s youngest city since its incorporation, announced his retirement Monday, according to the Press Democrat. Mullan, 60, informed the Town Council of his decision last week during his annual performance evaluation conducted in closed session. The Town Council agreed to hire a recruiting firm to find a successor for Mullan, who earns more than $185,000 annually. He will stay on the job until the end of the year. Mullan has worked in Windsor since 1989, beginning as assistant general manager of the Windsor Water District. When Windsor incorporated in 1992, he became assistant town manager and in 2005 was appointed town manager. Mullan’s guidance helped Windsor become one of the most financially stable cities in Sonoma County, Fudge said. His expertise with water systems was especially helpful when Windsor transitioned to a full-fledged town. Fudge credited him with innovative methods for handling Windsor’s treated wastewater, including recycling it into yard irrigation for more than 580 homes in the Vintage Greens subdivision. He also helped finalize a deal to hook-up to Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline, sending wastewater to the geothermal field for a steam-to-electricity conversion. While his predecessor, Paul Berlant, played a pivotal role in creating the Town Green, Mullan recalls negotiating the purchase of the land “when it was just a dirt pile,” before it was transformed into a plaza with shops and townhomes that became a model for smart growth. Mullan said there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm when Windsor residents decided two decades ago to incorporate. Mullan, who grew up in San Francisco, began his government career in 1977, working in Daly City in the utility department, billing and supervising meter reading. He went on to work for Citizens Utilities as a district manager for the private water company, including in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Larkfield. Prior to working in Windsor, he worked as a water conservation administrator for the City of San Francisco. Mullan said that among other things he wants to spend more time with his first grandchild, seven months old, who lives near Sacramento. He also said he may do some consulting as well as part-time teaching in public administration at San Francisco State or the University of San Francisco.

Hamtramck, Michigan (population 22,423): Former Hamtramck City Manager Bill Cooper said Friday that he does not agree with the assertion that he willfully neglected his job and said he likely plans to seek more than $200,000 in severance under his contract, according to the Detroit Free Press. Cooper, 62, had been the city manager for more than three years when the City Council voted 4-3 during a special meeting Wednesday to fire him. Under his contract, Cooper earned $104,000 a year and is entitled to a severance of 18 months of salary and one year of both health care coverage and life insurance. Some City Council members disagree with Cooper’s firing. Cooper said he believes he has the support of the council members who voted against his firing. Councilman Tom Jankowski told the Free Press on Thursday that Cooper failed to have a plan to deal with city’s budget shortfall this year and the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Jankowski voted with two other council members and the mayor to fire Cooper. Councilwoman Cathie Gordon, who voted against firing Cooper, told the Free Press that it would have been fiscally responsible to give Cooper notice that his contract would not be renewed, instead of firing him. Cooper’s contract was to expire Oct. 1.
Carrboro, North Carolina (population 19,231): David Andrews, newly appointed Carrboro town manager, has been walking a lot during the past week, visiting local businesses and taking in the small-town feel of Carrboro, according to The Daily Tarheel. Andrews was sworn in at a Tuesday night Board of Aldermen meeting. Andrews, who has worked in local government for more than 20 years, applied for the position and was selected by the board and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton. The town hired Springsted Inc., a consulting firm based in Richmond, Va., to conduct a national search, involving more than 50 applicants, four of whom were chosen to be interviewed. Chilton announced the selection at a board meeting Feb. 7.Chilton said Andrews understood Carrboro and its values. Andrews comes to Carrboro from the Town of Paradise Valley, Ariz., where he was assistant town manager and budget director. Paradise Valley Mayor Scott LeMarr said he is happy for Andrews. Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell agrees. Chilton said the most immediate challenge Andrews will face is the town budget. LeMarr said Andrews managed the town’s budget well during tough financial times. Andrews said he has already started working on the 2012-2013 town budget and will use his background in economic development and finance. Andrews said many Carrboro priorities interest him, including environmental preservation and economic development.

Newton, Iowa (population 15,254): Newton’s new City Administrator Bob Knabel knows how big an impact Maytag can have on a community, according to the Newton Daily News. He saw it firsthand during his time in Galesburg, Ill., a community that lost a Maytag production facility and jobs in 2004, three years before Maytag shut down Plant 2 in Newton. Knabel served as city manager in Galesburg between 1987 and 1997 and owned a restaurant in that community for part of that time as well. Knabel started last week in his role as Newton’s new city administrator. He brings a wide range of experience to the position coming most recently from Collinsville, Ill. near St. Louis has served over the years in city government in other communities throughout Illinois and even in New York. Bouncing from community to community is not uncommon among city managers and is something Knabel sees as coming with the territory. As councils change, so does the direction a particular city is heading. “Stability is five, six years, seven years — that’s the average tenure of a city administrator,” Knabel said, noting that over several election cycles, council members change and those who hire a particular administrator leave. New council members want to accomplish something different.

Hope Mills, North Carolina (population 15,176): The new town manager’s contract says it would take a simple majority vote by the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners to fire him, but a 4-1 vote to deny him severance, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Questions have arisen among some residents about the wording in John Ellis’ contract, which made it sound to some as if it would take a 4-1 vote to fire him. Town attorney Neil Yarborough said Tuesday that’s not true. The contract, approved March 5 by the board, lists reasons the manager’s employment could be terminated. They include his death, or termination “with cause” or “without cause.” Among the reasons for firing with cause include “such gross misconduct or neglect of duty as to be inimical to the interests of good government in the Town of Hope Mills as determined by at least a four-fifths vote of the Town Board.” Some residents took that to mean a 4-1 vote was needed to fire Ellis, instead of a simple majority of three members. Yarborough, who drew up the contract, said it would take a 4-1 vote only to deny the manager his severance package in the event of his firing. Yarborough said the manager would have had to engaged in “outrageous conduct” for him to be fired with cause. If fired without cause, the contract says Ellis would get six months of pay, payment for accrued annual leave and payment of health insurance for six months. Ellis is the former town finance director. He was appointed interim town manager when Randy Beeman was fired by a 3-2 vote in January. Commissioners cited several reasons for Beeman’s firing. He came under fire after recordings of him criticizing town officials were anonymously delivered to then-Mayor Eddie Dees. The 4-1 vote requirement to deny a severance package in certain instances was not included in Beeman’s contract, Yarborough said. Ellis was named town manager after a closed session March 5. The vote to hire him was 3-2, with Mike Mitchell, Pat Edwards and Bob Gorman voting for him and Tonzie Collins and Jerry Legge voting no. Collins and Legge said they wanted a more thorough search for a permanent manager. Ellis’ salary is $100,000 and will increase to $105,000 after six months. Beeman was paid about $84,000. Mayor Jackie Warner said the higher pay is in line with a recommendation from the N.C. League of Municipalities. Warner said Ellis did not negotiate the contract, except to request that he be given six months to relocate to Hope Mills instead of four months. The town agreed to pay him up to $2,500 in moving expenses. Ellis and his family live in Fuquay-Varina, where he used to serve as town manager. Ellis said he is satisfied with the contract as written. He is scheduled to be sworn in as town manager at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania (population 14,959): Joseph S. Czajkowski, who will be Lower Salford’s new township manager, starts the job April 10, according to the Montgomery News. With current manager J. Delton Plank set to retire the end of April, Czajkowski’s hiring was approved at the March 7 Lower Salford Township Board of Supervisors meeting. board Chairman Douglas Gifford said. Czajkowski is currently the manager in Newtown Township, Bucks County. His previous positions include with Lower Gwynedd Township and Comcast. He was chosen from almost 50 people who applied, Gifford said. The incoming Lower Salford manager was accompanied to the March 7 meeting by his wife and three children. His salary in the new position is $115,000, and is similar to what Plank was paid. Plank, whose previous positions include ones in Souderton Borough and Franconia Township, has been Lower Salford’s manager for 11 years. Sheila Freed, Lower Salford’s finance director, will also be retiring this year. Her retirement will be at the end of June, Gifford said as the board approved beginning advertising for a replacement. Freed, who has been in the Lower Salford position for about 10 years, previously worked for Franconia Township, Plank said following the meeting.

Hanover, Massachusetts (population 13,879): Troy Clarkson says he couldn’t resist placing his name into consideration to be Hanover’s new town manager, even though he had renewed his commitment to his town manager’s job in Bridgewater last fall, according to The Boston Globe. At the time, Clarkson had bowed out of the running for a similar position in Kingston. But then the Hanover job came along. Clarkson was chosen by Hanover selectmen Monday over 49 other candidates for the post. The job will pay about $130,000 annually. Clarkson, a Falmouth resident and former Plymouth County administrator, will succeed Steve Rollins, who retires in June after 25 years as Hanover’s top administrator. Once he takes the reins, Clarkson said his primary goals will be to promote continuing economic development in the Route 53 corridor and also pick up on the remediation efforts at the National Fireworks Co. site, which are in negotiations. The sprawling 240-acre property located off King and Winter streets borders Hanson and Pembroke. Waterways that flow through the parcel are contaminated with heavy metals and solvents from generations of manufacturing explosives and munitions at the site, and town and state officials are working to determine who would be responsible for the cleanup. If they cannot make that determination and have a plan in place by June, the state will bring in the federal government by having the property put on a national priority list for Superfund cleanup. Hanover has sought to avoid this in order to retain local control. Clarkson did not offer specifics on his economic growth ideas but said he had laid out some possibilities for selectmen. Susan Setterland, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, praised the five-member screening committee that narrowed the field of candidates to the finalists: Clarkson, interim Ipswich town administrator Thomas Younger, and Bourne Town Administrator Thomas Guerino. But Clarkson’s abilities, skills, and focus on communication really stood out, she said, and he took it upon himself to get to know what was going on in Hanover both fiscally and socially. While an offer has been made, and contract negotiations are expected to wrap up this week, Setterland said Clarkson is still subject to a background check as well as both a physical and psychological exam. If all goes well, Clarkson is bound to give 30-days’ notice to Bridgewater and then will begin work in Hanover to learn the ropes alongside Rollins until he leaves. Clarkson said going to work in Hanover will benefit him personally and professionally but he’ll also miss many of his colleagues in Bridgewater, including his department heads. What he won’t miss is his rancorous power struggles with the nine-member Bridgewater Town Council that blew up last year with a court battle over who had the authority to hire and fire. It ended with Clarkson being reprimanded for seeking the legal opinion. He also survived an attempt to have him removed from his post last July, because of the challenge. Still, despite the turmoil, Clarkson said he was grateful for his time in Bridgewater. He said he took on the Bridgewater job as it was in the midst of converting from a Town Meeting and Board of Selectmen form of government to that of a town manager and Town Council. Such a drastic transition could be hard on anybody, he said. At least one member of the Town Council feels the same way. Bill Callahan said that Clarkson did an excellent job in Bridgewater and that Hanover is lucky to have him. Calls and e-mails to seven other members of the council, including the president and vice president, were not returned. Council member Mike Demos said he had no comment. Hanover has undergone a similar governmental change over the past two years, after residents adopted the Town Manager Act, which involved increasing the number of selectmen in the town from three to five and streamlining town departments into a centralized operation with six departments. That transition has gone smoothly as Rollins, who had previously served as the longtime town administrator, agreed to shepherd the changes until his contract runs out in June. Setterland said everyone is looking forward to Clarkson coming on board. She praised Rollins and his longtime commitment to the town, acknowledging that he will be missed for his many day-to-day contributions.

Swampscott, Massachusetts (population 13,787): The Swampscott Board of Selectmen on Wednesday picked Thomas Younger as the new town administrator, according to the Boston Globe. The board voted 3-2 in favor of Younger, the interim town manager in Ipswich, over Swampscott resident Gerard Perry, director of accounts at the state Department of Revenue. Christopher Senior of Port Washington, N.Y., was a third finalist, culled from a group of about 50 candidates. After Board of Selectmen chairman Matthew Strauss cast the deciding vote, the board voted a second time to make it unanimous, as a show of support. Strauss said that he expected to conduct negotiations within a few days of the decision. The job was advertised with a salary range of $113,000 to $130,000. Pending a successful negotiation, Younger will replace Andrew Maylor, who was town administrator for nine years until December 2011, when he left to become town manager in North Andover. Dave Castellarin, Swampscott’s assistant town administrator, has been serving as interim town administrator since Maylor’s departure. Younger, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University, has a long history in town and state government, most recently serving as town administrator in North Reading for 10 years and his hometown of Belmont for 6 1/2 years before taking the interim job in Ipswich in January. Previously, he worked for nine years as property transactions manager for the state Division of Capital Planning and Operations, and he has also held municipal jobs in Oak Bluffs and Norton. He is president of the Massachusetts Municipal Managers Association. In recent months, he has been a finalist for town manager or administrator jobs in Hanover, Winchester, Marblehead and – ironically – North Andover, where he lost out to Maylor. Maylor, too, was a finalist in several town manager/administrator searches before landing in North Andover. In addition to his position with the state Department of Revenue, Perry is a longtime Town Meeting member who has served on several volunteer committees. Selectmen David Van Dam and Richard Malagrifa cast votes for Perry, while Jill Sullivan, Barry Greenfield, and Strauss supported Younger. Younger’s biggest challenge, Malagrifa said, might be to live up to the standards set by his predecessor.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): As the clock winds down on the rocky relationship between the Bridgewater Town Council and soon-to-be departing town manager, the post mortems are as divided as ever as to what went wrong and who’s to blame, according to the Bridgewater Independent. Town Manager Troy Clarkson’s apparently imminent exit for the same position in Hanover gives town government a chance for a “fresh start,” said Councilor Peter Colombotos. On that point Clarkson’s supporters and critics seem to agree: the relationship between the majority of councilors and the town manager was anything but a harmonious union. It was marked by an ongoing power struggle that brought councilors to the brink of firing Clarkson last summer, landed the parties in court and inspired an ongoing recall effort to remove two councilors. But Colombotos by no means lays all the blame at Clarkson’s feet for the stormy relationship and impending divorce. Colombotos said Clarkson, who took over as town administrator in 2010 shortly before voters adopted a charter that made sweeping changes to town government, including converting his position to town manager and establishing the first-ever Town Council, has many strengths and faced many challenges. But Colombotos said, Clarkson’s lack of previous experience as a town manager was a handicap. But Councilor Kristy Colon said she doesn’t think Clarkson’s lack of experience as a town manager was his only shortcoming in the job. Mel Shea of Citizens Forum, the group that organized the recall effort currently underway, said he’s happy for Clarkson, who’ll be getting a lot more money in Hanover and likely will be faced with fewer headaches. But Shea is deeply disappointed “a talented manager” was pushed out the door, he said. And Shea said Clarkson’s departure doesn’t end the debate over the meaning of the charter as it relates to the respective powers of the legislative and executive branches of government.  Council President Scott Pitta said he wasn’t surprised by Clarkson’s job hunt. But there was no guarantee he could reach that magic number for reappointment by the nine-member body, depending on the outcome of the upcoming election, Pitta said. Pitta said he agrees with Colombotos there is enough blame to go around for the failures of the past, but he’s more interested in looking forward.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,297): James Smith, who has served as Brewer’s assistant city manager since 2007, will be the next city manager of Rockland, according to the Bangor Daily News. Mayor Brian Harden announced the hiring Monday afternoon after he briefed city department heads. The City Council met last week and agreed on Smith, but an announcement was withheld while terms of his employment agreement were being formalized. Smith will be paid $80,000 a year, the mayor said. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith and sign his employment agreement was scheduled for Monday, March 5. He will begin work in Rockland on Monday, April 2. In a press release issued Monday evening, Brewer City Manager Steve Bost congratulated Smith, who gave his 30-day notice that day, and wished him well as he transitions into his new position in Rockland. Smith is a Maine native. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps, including several overseas posts. He then attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He served one year as town manager of the Aroostook County town of Oakfield before getting the Brewer post. A resident of Greenbush, Smith is married with four children and will move to Rockland after the end of the school year. Smith was active in committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a volunteer in his town, Harden said. The mayor also praised the work of Finance Director Tom Luttrell, who has served as interim city manager since Rosemary Kulow left Oct. 6 to become town manager of Poland. Brewer has a population of 9,482 residents, according to the 2010 Census. The overall budget for municipal and school costs is $32.5 million. Rockland’s population is 7,297 and its municipal budget is $10.1 million. Rockland’s local share of RSU 13’s $26 million budget is $7.2 million.

Kimberly, Wisconsin (population 6,468): Kimberly leaders say they will offer the village’s top administrative post to Adam Hammatt, a former administrator of the Brown County village of Suamico, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. Hammatt was one of three candidates who took part in a two-day, open interview process this weekend with village staff, residents and elected officials. Kuen said Hammatt emitted the village’s core values, those of family and integrity. Hammatt will receive a contract offer on Monday. Hammatt will replace Village Administrator Rick Hermus, who plans to retire at the end of April. Hermus has worked for the village for almost 30 years. Hermus became Kimberly’s first administrator when the position was created in May 1987.

Madison, Florida (population 3,006): After six days on the job, brand-new Madison City Manager Tim Bennett spoke with the Rotary Club members at their Feb. 24 meeting, to tell them a little about himself and why the City of Madison holds such a special place in his heart…and what he hopes to bring to Madison in return, according to Greene Publishing. Born in New Orleans, Bennett’s family moved to Graceville, near Marianna in Jackson County, in the mid-1950s. Somewhat smaller than Madison, Graceville was a little Florida Panhandle town “known for peanuts, preachers and good fried shrimp,” said Bennett. His father, a Baptist preacher, preached in Baptist churches up and down Highway 90 in the days before I-10 became a fact of life. Bennett and his wife were high school sweethearts, but they went their separate ways after graduation, only to find each other again 25 years later. Bennett attended Chipola Junior College and Florida State University; in his early 20s, he covered high school sports, first for the Tallahassee Democrat, and then for the Pensacola News Journal, traveling up and down the panhandle to dozens of little communities. Then one day, while transcribing a tape from an interview, he realized he wanted to do something different – so he joined the Marines. He described a scene where he walked into the USMC recruiting office, a bearded figure in a blue paisley shirt, much to the surprise of the recruiting officer. He wanted to be a marine, he told the surprised officer. He saw their ad in Reader’s Digest and liked it. Furthermore, he wanted the hardest job they could give him – that of infantryman, where he served for the next four years, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. For the following 16 years after that, he was transferred into the public affairs office, becoming the Marine Corps liaison with dozens of local communities. At one point during those 16 years, he was responsible for providing American radio and television fare for U.S. military families stationed in Japan. After 20 years in the Marines, he transitioned back into civilian life, and began to work directly with local communities, in varying capacities. He worked for a year putting welfare clients into jobs. He worked as a public information officer for Beaufort County, S.C., and then as the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce for Hilton Island. In the nearby town of Bluffton, he worked first as an assistant town manager, and then as the deputy town manager. While he was there, he saw that town, historically tagged with the adage “One Square Mile,” suddenly take off in late ‘90s, rapidly growing to 55 square miles within the next few years. His next position was in Allendale County, S.C., a small, rural, poverty-stricken area with a 25 percent unemployment rate and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancies. In such an environment, it took an outlook that was not just positive, but “aggressively positive…at every level. We got things done.” The guiding philosophy was “we may be a small, poor county, but we don’t take a back seat to anybody.” As the new City Manager for Madison, he brings to his new position that same outlook. The County and City of Madison have a lot in common with Allendale County, being small, poor and primarily agricultural, with a high teen pregnancy rate and a significant percentage of families living below the poverty line. The City of Madison has small businesses that struggle in tough economic times, and the city’s budget is tight, as is the county’s. These are the kind of challenges Bennett is familiar with. In his first six days as City Manager, Bennett has met with all the department heads to establish a rapport and start building dialogue. He has also had meetings with all the City Commissioners except one. He has attended county commission meetings and chamber of commerce meetings to get a sense of things, and would like to meet with the prison warden, the president of NFCC, the CEO of the hospital and several other officials. His first few days will be “Look, listen, feel…get a sense of what is going on.” He will be working with many departments and city services, but does not want to change anything unless such changes are warranted. Acknowledging the challenges ahead, he thanked the City Commissioners and the citizens of Madison for the opportunity to come back and serve in an area he loves. The City of Madison may be small and poor, he told everyone, but it will not take a back seat to anybody.

Ocean View, Delaware (population 1,882): The search for Ocean View’s new town manager is over, according to DelMarVaNow. The municipality will name current Fruitland City Manager Rick Konrad in the role following the November termination of Conway Gregory. Gregory was let go after he announced he would not seek an extention of his employment agreement with the town once it expired March 1. Konrad, who has worked for Fruitland since 2010, is expected to start at Ocean View on approximately April 15.

Transitions: Luzerne County, PA; Port Orange, FL; Decatur County, GA and more

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (population 320,918): After a six-day, 2,800-mile drive from California, Robert Lawton is settling into a Kingston rental and preparing for his high-profile position as Luzerne County government’s first professional manager under home rule, according to The Times Leader. Lawton said he has been monitoring county developments from afar, but won’t take positions on any pending issues until he gathers and discusses information that will be available after he starts the $110,000 position. Under home rule, the manager oversees daily operations and many duties previously handled by three elected commissioners. Employees should expect a lot of interaction with the new chief. He praised Interim Manager Tom Pribula, who accepted the temporary leadership post when home rule was officially enacted Jan. 2. Daily monitoring of the county budget is necessary, and Lawton said he will ensure the council and public are regularly updated on spending and revenue – both current and projected through the rest of the year. He also will report on steps taken to control costs. Lawton plans regular meetings with department heads and senior management to explain his own directives and hear their ideas. He said he’s open to all feasible suggestions to make county government more efficient. Lawton also wants to develop an open dialogue with union workers to discuss county finances and “what lies ahead.”

Port Orange, Florida (population 45,823): Ken Parker, one of the state’s longest tenured city managers, has announced he will retire at this time next year, leaving the position he’s held in Port Orange since 1984, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He said he thought about other options for his life, including travel with his wife, volunteer work and spending more time with his grandchildren. Recently, Parker, acting as the city’s hearing officer, fired Warren Pike, the city’s longtime public works director, after he acknowledged giving his teenage son the access code to the yard, where thousands of dollars of merchandise was later determined to have been stolen.

Decatur County, Georgia (population 27,842): County Administrator Tom Patton resigned by telephone Tuesday night, during a two-hour executive session that followed the regular meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, according to The Post-Searchlight. Patton was not present for either the 5:30 p.m. work session, or the 7 p.m. meeting. The executive session lasted from 8:10 p.m. until 10:10 p.m., when the board came back into open session and announced that they had accepted Patton’s resignation. County Chairman Dr. C.T. Stafford said it was a “negotiated resignation” that the board immediately accepted. Stafford also said Patton would receive a $29,400 lump-sum payment in the coming days, which includes accumulated unused personal and sick time. Stafford said that this decision was best for the overall welfare of the county. Patton’s resignation is a result of the controversy surrounding his alleged failure to report a sewage spill at the Decatur County wastewater treatment plant in February 2011. Earlier Tuesday night, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners publicly addressed the spill, which some commissioners alleged had been “covered up” by County Administrator Tom Patton and County Finance Director Carl Rowland. The spill has been the source of controversy for the county in recent weeks. According to commissioners, there was a spill at the wastewater treatment plant in February 2011, although the exact magnitude of that spill is uncertain.  However, it was reportedly severe enough that Board Chairman C.T. Stafford, County Attorney Brown Moseley and wastewater treatment facility engineer Stacy Watkins took a trip to Atlanta last Friday to meet with officials at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Stafford said Tuesday that the county would be cited for the spill, but no major fines would be levied. Stafford said he was first notified of the spill in February 2011, shortly after it occurred. However, several commissioners expressed their concern that they were not told about the spill until many months after its occurrence. Commissioner Oliver Sellers said he was not told about the February 2011 spill until one year later. In April 2011, the EPD ordered the county to address the issue of raw sewage allegedly finding its way into the Flint River as a result of problems at the county’s wastewater treatment plant. Decatur County Commissioners agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and take steps to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant, which is about 30 years old. Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely, who served as the board chairman in 2011, said he did not know about the spill until December 2011. He also noted that Watkins had told him that the upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant were not proceeding in a timely matter. Mosely said there was a “cover-up” to keep the news of the spill under wraps. He also stated that both the county’s wastewater treatment permits, as well as the EPD consent order, require that all spills must be reported, regardless of severity. Commissioner Frank Loeffler said the county was lucky to avoid harsh penalties. Commissioner Russell Smith said he did not feel there was a “cover-up,” but did admit there could have been better communication.

Ontario, Oregon (population 11,366): The city of Ontario will be looking for a new administrator as City Manager Henry Lawrence announced Wednesday he has accepted a city manager position with the city of Eagle Point, located northeast of Medford in Jackson County, according to The Argus Observer. With a population of nearly 8,500, Eagle Point is smaller than Ontario. Lawrence said the new position offered a good career opportunity. He was one of four people interviewed for the position, according to the Medford Mail Tribune. Lawrence said he is proud of all that has been accomplished with the City Council and other officials and staff during his tenure, mentioning particularly the city’s stronger financial position. Department directors and managers will be working closely with the mayor and City Council to determine how the council wishes to handle this interim transition period between city managers, Lawrence said.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,609): Rockland City Council has offered the job of City Manager to James Smith of Greenbush, Maine, and Smith has accepted the position, according to The Free Press. Mayor Brian Harden made the announcement on Monday afternoon. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith, along with the signing of an employment agreement, has been scheduled for a special City Council meeting next Monday, March 5. Smith is a Maine native who has been serving as Assistant City Manager in Brewer since 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Maine Orono with a BA in public administration. Prior to attending college, Smith served 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. While working in Brewer, Smith was active on committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a local community volunteer. He is married with four children and will move with his family to Rockland after the end of the current school year. Harden said that Smith is very enthusiastic about coming to Rockland and is planning to begin the new job on Monday, April 2.

Santa Clara, Utah (population 6,003): Santa Clara will welcome a new city manager next week to fill the vacancy left after former City Manager Wally Ritchie took a pitching coach job with Brigham Young University’s baseball team last fall, according to The Spectrum. Edward Dickie, a former Ivins city employee and the current North Ogden city manager, will step into the role Monday, taking over from Interim City Manager Brock Jacobson, who will fill the administrative services director position that has been vacant since Barbara Salmon retired last summer. Mayor Rick Rosenberg said the city received 39 applications for the job, which were narrowed down to a “short list” of seven people for final interviews. Rosenberg said Santa Clara notified Dickie of its decision in January but gave him time to give North Ogden his notice and work through the management transition. As city manager, Dickie will supervise the day-to-day operations of the city’s departments and their directors. Rosenberg said Dickie’s experience in North Ogden for the past four years was a selling point during the selection process. Dickie said he was Ivins’ administrative services director and assistant to the city manager before moving north, but he kept his Ivins home and rented it to his parents. After using a few days of vacation time from his North Ogden job to start work in Santa Clara, he’ll return to northern Utah to officially finish his job there on March 9, then his wife and four children will move back to Southern Utah with him, he said. Although he will live in Ivins, Dickie acknowledged that Santa Clara officials would like him to move into their city limits once the dust settles.

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (population 4,467): City Administrator Jim Ferneau is leaving in April to be the City Manager of Burlington, Iowa, according to KTIV.  Burlington’s population is six times the size of Sergeant Bluff. Originally from Marshalltown, Ferneau has held the City Administrator’s job for four years. He’s proudest of the projects the city has undertaken during that time.

Minonk, Illinois (population 2,168): The same Minonk City Council that cast a vote of no confidence in Doug Elder accepted his resignation as city administrator, according to the Journal Star. Elder resigned Monday night during a special council meeting. Elder had come under criticism recently from council members who alleged he had communication problems with them and with the public. When contacted Tuesday, Elder had little comment. The terms of his resignation included a mutual non-disparagement clause. According to his resignation agreement, Elder will be paid and receive benefits through July 7. Elder’s resignation culminates a tumultuous month that included the City Council’s 4-2 no-confidence vote last week during its regular meeting. Many of the city responsibilities Elder held will fall to Koos, whose mayoral job is part time. Elder’s former position is full time. Other city employees will fill breaches, according to Koos. Elder’s departure comes at a particularly inopportune time organizationally, with budget planning under way. The current fiscal year ends April 30. Before Elder’s hiring, Minonk had not had a city administrator for about two years. Koos said he has no timetable for finding Elder’s replacement.

Wayzata, Minnesota (population 1,998): Heidi Nelson will become the next city manager in Wayzata, according to the Star Tribune. Nelson is deputy city administrator and community development director in the city of Ramsey, in Anoka County. She also serves as executive director of Ramsey’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Nelson will take over from Al Orsen, who will retire in April after 36 years in Wayzata, first as city engineer and as city manager since 1985. Several panels of city staff members, City Council members and citizens at large evaluated the candidates from an initial pool of 77 applicants. Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox called Nelson “a high energy, enthusiastic and community-engaged leader” who will bring fresh perspective and experience in economic development to the west metro community in Hennepin County.

Troutman, North Carolina (population 1,592): Troutman Town Manager David Saleeby announced his retirement at a special meeting of the town’s Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. Saleeby, 58, has been with the town since 2006, three years after he retired from Duke Energy. Saleeby said he has lived in Troutman all of his adult life and that his wife, Janie, is a native. Saleeby added that he would stay involved in the town. That involvement includes helping current Town Finance Director Steve Shealy transition to his new duties as interim town manager. Saleeby said the Board of Aldermen would start a search for a new manager soon. Saleeby said the town is in “excellent shape” and that it has “one of the best police departments” in Iredell County. He credited the town staff and the Board of Aldermen for maintaining a tightly run and efficient government.