Transitions: Lee County, FL; Escambia County, FL; Carlsbad, CA and more

Karen B. Hawes

Karen B. Hawes

Lee County, Florida (population 618,754): Lee County soon will be looking for a new county manager, according to the Captiva Current. Karen B. Hawes and the Lee County Commission came to an agreement on an exit strategy for Hawes, who was forced to step down Tuesday, the latest victim of the Medstar medical helicopter service shutdown in August. The Commission voted 4-1 to accept Hawes’ resignation, who said nothing as she quietly picked up her things and left shortly after the vote was rendered. The lone dissenting vote was from Brian Bigelow, who for months has championed for Hawes termination. Bigelow wanted her fired with cause on Tuesday, which would have meant Lee County would not be on the hook for one year’s pay at $170,000, full year’s health insurance, sick and holiday pay and vacation leave boosting the package to more than $250,000. All those items are stipulated on her contract, which she signed upon being named city manager in 2009. The resignation means she will get that contractual severance package under the condition, Commissioner John Manning said, there would be no lawsuit filed by Hawes unless the county disparages her. Manning, who has worked with Hawes since 1985, was sorry to see her go and wished the investigation process had been finished before these events. Hawes’ last day is Oct. 31. The commission will get together next week to determine an interim manager. Manning said they would look internally for that, then begin to look regionally for a full-time replacement. Hawes has been at the center of a controversy involving the Aug. 21 grounding Lee County’s MedStar emergency helicopter service, among other things. Hawes said that Public Safety Director John Wilson and Deputy Public Safety Director Kim Dickerson told her a shutdown of MedStar was necessary to seek a voluntary accreditation. An administrative review revealed the shutdown was necessary after it was found MedStar did not have the proper safety credentials and wrongfully billed patients and an insurer $3 million. In the fallout, Wilson and Dickerson resigned. Also, Hawes’ subordinates were involved in a situation where the Economic Development Office gave a $5 million grant to VR Labs, a health food manufacturer looking to create more than 200 jobs building a bottling plant, but with $4.7 million spent, the company has not fulfilled its duties, Commissioner Frank Mann said. Mann said VR Labs now is in a legal battle with the general contractor hired for its remodeling. Both parties have filed lawsuits over the issue. Mann announced on Oct. 9 that at the following Tuesday’s regular meeting, he was going to make a motion calling for the commissioners to terminate Hawes’ contact as county manager. On Monday, the day before the meeting, Hawes had approached Mann and explained that she might be able to craft an “exit strategy” that would enable her to resign instead.

Escambia County, Florida (population 297,619): The Escambia County Commission has voted to terminate the contract of County Administrator Randy Oliver, according to NorthEscambia.com. Commissioner Grover Robinson made a motion Thursday night, seconded by Marie Young, to retain Oliver for the year remaining on his three-year contract. That motion failed 3-2, effectively terminating Oliver’s contract. During a public evaluation of Oliver’s job performance over the past year, commissioners spoke  very little. Prior to Thursday night’s meeting, each county commissioner had already submitted their own personal written evaluation of Oliver’s job performance. He was given a generally good reviews by Young and Robinson, but numerous issues and shortcomings were raised by commissioners Kevin White, Wilson Robertson and Gene Valentino. Before his termination, Oliver made a presentation that lasted about 40 minutes applauding the accomplishments made by numerous county departments. Then he discussed his own performance and the projects he hoped to champion next year.

Carlsbad, California (population 105,328): Carlsbad City Manager Lisa Hildabrand plans to retire at the end of the year, the city announced late Tuesday, less than a week after Hildabrand began an abrupt leave, according to the North County Times. The announcement came after the night’s regular City Council meeting, where Mayor Matt Hall said Hildabrand’s performance evaluation was discussed earlier in the evening during the council’s closed session. The news release, distributed a few minutes later by the city communications director, said Hildabrand is retiring. It gave no information about what led to her decision. Hildabrand was absent from Tuesday’s meeting and reportedly has not been in her office at City Hall for several days. She started with the city as finance director in 1991 and was named assistant city manager in 2004. Hildabrand became interim city manager when former City Manager Ray Patchett retired in 2007, and was chosen from 55 applicants for the city manager’s job in 2008. Her last day will be Dec. 24, the release states, and the City Council will begin a search to fill the position. Her professional career began in San Diego with the accounting firm of KPMG, where she worked for eight years before coming to Carlsbad. Hildabrand received a 6 percent raise under her existing contract in December, boosting her pay by $13,000 to an annual base salary of $230,492. It was the first raise she had received since taking the job in 2008, and it did not require the City Council’s approval. A 2010 salary survey conducted by the North County Times showed that Hildabrand had one of the lowest salaries for a city manager in North County. Only Vista’s city manager was lower, with a total salary of $218,626. Also discussed in the council’s closed session Tuesday was the performance evaluation for City Attorney Ron Ball. A Carlsbad employee for 26 years, Ball has announced that he plans to retire at the end of this year. The city attorney’s annual base salary was increased in March to $252,992.

Highlands County, Florida (population 98,786): Former assistant county administrator June Fisher took over the job on a full-time basis Wednesday morning, according to the News-Sun. She was vaulted into the position following a vote Tuesday night, when a 4-1 majority of Highlands County commissioners ignored requests to scale back her contract offer in light of a pressing budget year. Commissioner Don Elwell supported the choice of Fisher, but raised a number of concerns ranging from terms of her severance package to her salary. Elwell first questioned a generous 20-week severance package noting it was more than previous administrator Rick Helms. When reminded that there would be one week deducted each year to a total of 10 weeks, Elwell responded that the previous two administrators didn’t last but two years after glowing recommendations for the job. Further, Elwell said his conversations with Fisher indicated that she wished to retire in five or six years. County Attorney Ross Macbeth then added that Fisher would not be entitled to the severance package unless she was terminated without cause as was the case with the two previous administrators. Elwell then suggested commissioners consider a 90-day severance package combined with a provision that the termination of the county administrator require a super-majority – at least four of the five votes on the commission. A consensus of commissioners then agreed they didn’t like Elwell’s suggestion. Fisher’s salary and benefit package was bumped to $116,000 just 18 months ago when she became the assistant county administrator. Elwell asked other commissioners if they might consider just a 10 percent raise. That would have started her at $128,000 annually versus the proposed $139,000 including $5,000 in deferred compensation. The suggestion came with an eye toward phasing in increases over the next few years based on performance. Commissioner Greg Harris was quick to agree with commissioner Ron Handley indicating he was “good with the way it was written.” Elwell’s final suggestion that the contract reference her performance of the duties detailed in the job description also was shot down, with Stewart laughing at the idea that the “CEO of the county,” as she put it, would even need a a job description. Before casting the lone negative vote to name Fisher as county administrator, Elwell emphasized his problem was not with her ability to do the job but in trying to find a balance between fairly compensating the administrator and protecting taxpayer dollars.

Lawton, Oklahoma (population 96,867): A stunning development Tuesday night from Lawton City Hall where the City Council voted to fire City Manager Larry Mitchell, according to KSWO. The vote followed a long debate behind closed doors during executive session, and when the council returned, Mayor Fred Fitch announced that no action was taken.  That’s when Doug Wells made a motion to terminate Mitchell’s contract, effective immediately. The vote was 5-4 to terminate, with Wells, Bill Shoemate, Michael Tenis, Richard Zarle and Rosemary Bellino-Hall voting in favor. After the vote, Mayor Fitch called it unfair.  Councilman George Moses angrily questioned Wells, and called it the most deceitful thing he’d seen the council do.  He also asked for an investigation into whether the other council members had discussed the action before the vote.  Mayor Fitch said he would take it up with the Attorney General Wednesday morning.

Portsmouth, Virginia (population 95,535): Portsmouth City Manager Ken Chandler has resigned in the wake of criticism for his handling of the employment of former Fire Chief Don Horton, according to WVEC. The City Council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation, while granting him one more month on the job and one year of severance pay totaling $192,000. Horton resigned this summer and was receiving a salary under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Then Chandler hired him as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management without notifying Council.  The $98,000-a-year position was not in the budget, council members said. Council heard from Chandler about the issue during Monday night’s work session meeting. After that meeting, Mayor Kenneth Wright said the work session was productive and that additional requested information would be reviewed in a closed session at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. After that, Wright said a decision would be made. Chandler was expected to offer his resignation Tuesday night, with the stipulations that he would continue working for 30 days and receive one year’s pay. Portsmouth resident James Brady was unhappy with the severance package. The assistant city manager is expected to step in while the city searches for a new city manager.

Montibello, California (population 62,500): After years of unstable leadership, officials hope that the selection of Montebello’s first woman city administrator will bring some stability to the city, according to the Whittier Daily News. The City Council on Wednesday selected Montebello’s finance director, Francesca Tucker-Schuyler, to take over as the city’s top executive full-time. Tucker-Schuyler was first appointed as the interim city administrator in May and has worked as the city’s finance director for almost two years. According to the draft contract agreement, Tucker-Schuyler will have an annual salary of $195,000. The council voted a rare 4-0 in support of the selection – bucking its usual trend of divided votes. Only Mayor Frank Gomez – who for months has been calling for the city to hire a permanent city administrator – abstained from the vote. He did not return calls for comment regarding why he abstained. Council members said they selected Tucker-Schuyler because of her extensive knowledge of the city’s finances and helping enhance the city’s cash flow. They credited her with successfully balancing the fiscal 2012-13 budget, navigating the city through four audits by the State Controller’s office and being instrumental in moving the city toward financial recovery. Councilman Art Barajas said Tucker-Schuyler has the qualifications and vision to help the city succeed. Tucker-Schuyler welcomed the new challenge. Montebello has had a revolving door of city managers since former City Administrator Richard Torres, who lead the city for nearly two decades, was fired in 2007. Torres was briefly replaced by interim Administrator Randy Narramore. But then Torres was rehired in January 2008. He then retired in December 2009 and was replaced with Interim City Administrator Nick Pacheco, who was quickly fired after just three weeks on the job. Narramore again played top executive before being fired in 2010. Peter Cosentini then took on the position for a mere seven months before resigning, citing his frustration with the City Council’s progress in addressing the city’s fiscal crisis. Larry Kosmont then served as Montebello’s top administrator for nine months before also resigning earlier this year. He was then followed by Interim Assistant City Administrator Keith Breskin, who resigned in May after coming to a head with council members over how to balance the city’s budget. In all, there have been seven temporary replacements in charge of managing the city in the past five years. The city did not recruit for the position, officials said. City officials said they plan to hire a full-time finance director in Tucker-Schuyler’s place.

Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): Grant Yates, a veteran municipal employee working for Temecula, will be Lake Elsinore’s next city manager, the City Council decided this week, according to the North County Times. The City Council selected Yates on Tuesday from among seven finalists for the position, which became available with the firing of Bob Brady on March 13. Yates said in an interview Wednesday that the job attracted him because of what he views as a dynamic future for the city as it emerges from the economic downturn. The executive search conducted by a city-hired consultant attracted more than 70 applicants, Mayor Brian Tisdale said. The decision to go with Yates came in an earlier meeting Tuesday closed to the public because it involved a personnel decision. The mayor said the decision was unanimous among the five council members. He said Yates’ knowledge of the region and the success he had in Temecula were among the reasons he was selected. Yates is expected to start the job Nov. 19 after the council finalizes terms of his contract in its Nov. 13 meeting, City Clerk Virginia Bloom said Wednesday. Details of the contract will not be released to the public until then, she said. Brady had been making $185,000 a year plus benefits when he was let go. Yates, 48, works for Temecula as its community relations director after having served as its deputy city manager. He was promoted to that position in 2006 after working as assistant to the city manager. He started with Temecula in 1991 in financial services, according to information provided by Lake Elsinore officials. Before coming to Temecula, Yates worked with the city of Carlsbad from 1987 to 1991 as its employment services manager. While those cities have their own set of attributes, Yates said Lake Elsinore, with its prized lake and reputation for extreme sports, has its unique attractions. The Lake Elsinore position opened up after the City Council voted 3-2 in March to oust Brady in a move that stirred up public unrest. While Brady was popular among many residents, council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted to get rid of him, saying the city had failed to progress as quickly as it should have during his seven-year tenure. Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee opposed the move, saying they believed Brady had done a good job of guiding the city through difficult economic circumstances. Following Brady’s departure, Lake, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy served as acting city manager until the council brought in former city of Riverside executive Tom Evans as interim city manager in late April.

Newburgh, New York (population 29,801): Four days after Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek was stopped in his car with a woman he said was a heroin addict, he has quit, according to the Mid-Hudson News. Herbek told Mayor Judy Kennedy on Sunday that he was resigning. After the traffic stop last Wednesday, Herbek told MidHudsonNews.com that he was helping her kick the drug habit and that he was offering her counseling.  The following day, Kennedy said Herbek would have decisions to make, but she did not elaborate. Herbek’s contract with the city was set to expire in January and there were mixed views by city council members as to if he should be re-upped.

Butts County, Georgia (population 23,655): After having served 10 months in the position on an interim basis, J. Michael Brewer was elevated to the role of county administrator on Monday, according to the Jackson Progress-Argus. Butts County commissioners made the appointment in a 4-1 vote during a special called meeting, with District 3 Commissioner Mike Patterson voting in opposition. The county administrator’s position had been vacant since the December 2011 departure of Alan E. White, who had held the job since 2009, simultaneously serving as director of the county’s development authority. He resigned both positions at the end of last year. Since White’s resignation, Brewer, who has been deputy county administrator since 2007, had been serving on an interim basis in the top job. The appointment Monday came after an hour of discussion among commissioners in a closed-door executive session, which Brewer was not a part of. In making the appointment, commissioners noted it was contingent on the county attorney’s review of Brewer’s proposed contract, a draft of which was not immediately made available Monday night. Brewer, 46, a Butts County native and a longtime county employee, noted before the Board of Commissioners retired for a second executive session that he had not yet agreed to the contract. Before making the motion to tap him for the top job, District 2 Commissioner Robert L. Henderson, Sr., said he’d been pleased with Brewer’s performance. After successfully blocking discussion of the county administrator’s position from being added to the commission’s agenda earlier this month, Patterson again on Monday attempted to block the appointment, offering a motion to table the discussion. The motion died for lack of a second. Patterson said he wanted 30 days to revisit the idea of a search committee to find candidates for the position, and to review Brewer’s proposed contract. He also openly questioned the existence of the proposed contract. Commission Chairman Roger McDaniel responded that the contract was a starting point for discussions. Contract negotiations had been a stumbling block with the county commission’s previous pick for county administrator. After naming a sole finalist for the job in January, officials ultimately were unable to reach a deal with the prospect. McDaniel said Monday that commissioners decided then to maintain the status quo for a while with Brewer as interim, in part to save money, but added that the workload “put us in a position we need to, sometime in the very near future, fill the position of administrator.” Commissioners also informally signaled approval of a plan McDaniel described to re-fill the vacant position of county controller, a position overseeing county finances and investments, rather than filling the position of deputy county administrator that Brewer would be vacating. District 4 Commissioner Keith Douglas, who seconded the motion to appoint Brewer, noted he’d also been happy with Brewer’s performance, and wished to move forward.

Morrisville, North Carolina (population 18,576): Town Manager John Whitson is leaving Morrisville after nine years at the helm of the town’s day-to-day operations, according to The Cary News. Whitson has accepted a job as city manager of Texarkana, Texas. While Whitson, 63, has received positive job-performance reviews and two pay raises in the past 12 months, Texas has a lure that Morrisville can’t offer: family and hometown roots. Whitson said he wants to be closer to his daughter, who lives in Oklahoma. And his new job is about 120 miles from his hometown of Soper, Okla. Since Whitson has more than 20 years of service in North Carolina, he is officially retiring from the state system. He started in the Forsyth County town of Lewisville in 1992 as the community’s first town manager. Whitson’s last day in Morrisville is Dec. 14. The council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the historic Christian Church to talk about the search for an interim manager. Since Whitson was hired in Morrisville in 2003, he has been credited with saving the town money through a water-sewer utility merger with Cary, and also expanding the town’s borders. Mayor Jackie Holcombe said Whitson’s leadership style has led to a culture of staff empowerment.

Washington, Illinois (population 15,134): Tim Gleason is Washington’s new city administrator, according to the Journal Star. City Council members Monday approved Gleason’s contract, which will pay him an annual salary of $98,000. His first day of employment will be Nov. 5. State law limits Gleason’s contract length to April 30, 2013, when Washington Mayor Gary Manier’s term expires. At that time, Gleason and the city can negotiate a contract renewal. Gleason replaces interim city administrator Bob Morris, who retired July 31. Morris retired as city administrator in June 2011 but returned to his former job on an interim basis in September 2011, one month after Richard Downey resigned following just seven weeks with the city. Downey would have been paid $100,000 annually. Gleason said he wasn’t concerned that he went into the city’s hiring process without city government experience. He has extensive experience in law enforcement. He was a member of the Pekin Police Department from 1989 to 2010, retiring as a lieutenant. Among his duties in Pekin were field training supervisor, firearms instructor, officer in charge of the Investigation Unit, and labor negotiator for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 105. He’s been working in management for the state since leaving Pekin, most recently as head of the human resources and management operations divisions of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development. Gleason earned a bachelor’s degree in management with a minor in labor from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 1995, and a master’s degree in public administration with a graduate certificate in collective bargaining from the university in 2007. He and his wife, Becky, live in Morton. They have five children, with daughters ages 8 and 17 still at home. While his new contract doesn’t require Gleason to move to Washington, he said he plans to do so.

Archuleta County, Colorado (population 12,084): Greg Schulte, Archuleta County administrator since 2008, has announced his resignation and move to a position in California, according to the Pagosa Springs Sun. Schulte said Nov. 16 will be his last day on the job for Archuleta County. He will take a position as assistant county administrator for San Luis Obispo County, in California. That county has 2,400 employees and a yearly budget just short of a half billion dollars. Schulte and his wife have a long relationship with San Luis Obispo, he said. Schulte attended high school and college in the area and he and his wife once resided there. Schulte said he believes he is leaving a county ready to face the future, on solid terms. Commission chair Clifford Lucero reacted to Schulte’s resignation, which the administrator delivered to the commissioners at a Tuesday meeting. Lucero said a process for selecting a replacement will be announced soon.

Reedsport, Oregon (population 4,154): Jonathan Wright, 39, started as city manager last week, a month after the City Council voted unanimously to offer him the job, according to News Right Today. He will receive an annual salary of $75,000, while working to turn around the economy of the 4,000-resident city. Wright has been a county administrative planner since 2005 and the county’s liaison to Reedsport since 2007. In addition to county government experience, Wright owns a construction business and served in the military.

Argyle, Texas (population 3,282): The Argyle Town Council named a town manager Tuesday and appointed Mayor Matt Smith to fulfill the town manager duties until that man starts next month, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The council named Charles West as town manager in a 3-2 vote. Smith said after negotiating a contract with West, the council is expected to finalize the hire Nov. 13. Smith said West will start in about 30 days. Despite pleas from council member Joey Hasty for unanimity, Bonny Haynes and Peggy Krueger voted against the appointment, saying a second applicant might have been a better fit for the town. During an executive session Tuesday, the council interviewed two applicants who were picked by a search firm as the most qualified for the position. Haynes said the second applicant, whose name was not released, had more experience as a town manager. Hasty made three motions for Haynes and Krueger to reconsider their votes in an attempt to produce a unanimous vote. Hasty said the council should be united in its decision to hire an official who will help make the town more efficient. Hasty said West is more than qualified, adding that the new manager will help get the town in order and that the town has lacked leadership since losing its town manager in the spring. During an Aug. 28 meeting, council members voted 3-2 to end the contract between the last interim town manager, Rod Hogan, before finding a replacement. Council members who voted for the termination said the interim town manager did not live up to the council’s expectations. Smith said Hogan’s termination was a sum of many issues he felt illustrated unsatisfactory leadership. Hogan was hired to replace former Town Manager Lyle Dresher, who resigned March 26 after five years on the job. After Hogan’s termination, Smith said he felt confident in town employees’ ability to manage their respective departments. However, since Dresher’s retirement and Hogan’s termination, council members have noted that town employees have been tasked with heavier loads. So, the council voted 3-2 to appoint Smith as interim town manager without pay. Council members Hasty, Joan Delashaw and David Wintermute voted for Smith’s appointment, while Haynes and Krueger voted against it. The council moved to open session to appoint Smith at about 5:20 p.m., despite the open session being scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Haynes described the appointment as a fox watching the hen house. Smith said the appointment was necessary because in the absence of a town manager he has been tasked with the responsibilities anyway. Town attorney Matthew Boyle said the appointment was appropriate because the mayor is the executive officer of the town and because he received a majority vote from the council. Boyle said the action did not give Smith the authority to act independently of the Town Council. A spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office cited several points of law, including one that forbids a town from appointing a council member to a position like town manager, but he would not say whether he believed the town’s action Tuesday violated that law. It was not clear whether that law applied to Smith since he will be unpaid.

Lincoln, Maine (population 2,884): The town manager in Lincoln is out after only a few months on the job, according to the Bangor Daily News. The town council voted 6-0 at a special meeting Thursday night to terminate the contract of Bill Reed, who was still on his six-month probationary period after being hired in June. Councilors did not give a reason for firing Reed, but council chairman Steve Clay said it was not related to the recent discovery of some $1.5 million in accounting errors in the last two town budgets. Clay told the Bangor Daily News that Reed just wasn’t a good fit. Police Chief William Lawrence was appointed to serve as interim town manager until a permanent replacement is hired.

Cologne, Minnesota (population 1,519): After several months of closed meetings, during which Cologne City Administrator John Douville was placed on leave three separate times, the city council voted 4-1 to fire Douville during a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10, according to the Waconia Patriot. As evidenced by councilor Matt Lein’s vote against the termination, however, the decision was not unanimous, and Douville himself said he felt the actions taken by the council were inappropriate. Lein agreed, at least in part. A summary statement from the council listed 17 reasons for the termination of Douville, who had been employed with the city since 2004. Among them were ineffective working relationships with certain co-workers, engaging in retaliatory conduct against certain employees who complained about his conduct, and engaging in conduct that threatened, intimidated, or coerced other employees and a council member. Also included were a repeated refusal or failure to follow the city’s directives, substantially disregarding the city’s interests in performing job duties on several occasions, destruction of city property without the council’s consent, “questionable activities” involving a city-issued laptop, and a failure to provide administrative supervision to the council’s satisfaction. Douville disputed those findings. The expenses for the city to obtain legal guidance through the process, which included no fewer than nine closed meetings in August through October, have added up rapidly. The city budgeted $3,500 for legal expenses for this year, but has already paid $33,000 to the Melchert, Hubert and Sjodin law firm. Douville, however, said those expenses could have been avoided, or at least reduced. Without an administrator in place, Mayor Bernie Shambour said that city administrative workers will be under close supervision from the city’s personnel committee, consisting of Shambour, and councilor Jill Skaaland. While the end of the year can be a critical time with budget setting and the election this fall, Shambour said the city is in relatively good shape as the personnel committee prepares to recruit and interview applicants. At the council meeting Monday evening, however, Shambour acknowledged that he was a little nervous about setting water and sewer rates for 2013, something he said Douville was very good at during his eight-year tenure. Council members will work with remaining city staff to set those fees while the administrator search is underway. The council plans to check with the League of Minnesota Cities for candidates, as well as advertise locally. Shambour said it would be preferable to find a local candidate with knowledge of the area and the local culture. The objective of the personnel committee is to hire a new city administrator by the end of December. Lein said one of his reasons for voting against Douville’s termination was the shuffle that would ensue to make sure all the city’s needs were covered. The strain will be exacerbated by the recent departure of the city’s public utilities supervisor, a position the council is still working to fill. To help bridge the gap until new employees can be hired, the council approved an extension in working hours to remaining public works and office staff during the Monday meeting. Other considerations now on the minds of city officials and remaining employees include assembling a crew for snow plowing this winter and getting the city’s fall newsletter completed and sent to the production in time for distribution.

Advertisements

Transitions: San Francisco, CA; Henderson, NV; El Cajon, CA and more

San Francisco, California (population 805,235): San Francisco’s first female black city administrator was sworn in at a ceremony at City Hall February 7, according to KRON. Naomi Kelly was nominated last month by Mayor Ed Lee, who swore her in to the post after the city’s Board of Supervisors confirmed the appointment by a unanimous vote this afternoon. Kelly is replacing Amy Brown, who left in January to become city manager in Campbell. Brown had herself replaced Lee, who served as city administrator before being appointed mayor in January 2011 and then being elected in November to stay in office. Lee called Kelly’s appointment “historic,” saying “it’s not lost on me” the significance of swearing in the first black woman to the position during February, which is Black History Month. He said Kelly is “extremely qualified” for the job, having served as deputy city administrator for the past year and as city purchaser and executive director of the city’s Taxicab Commission before that. Kelly said, “We have plenty of work ahead of us” and said she was “very grateful” for the appointment. Kelly, a San Francisco native, has two sons with her husband, Harlan Kelly Jr., who is the assistant general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Henderson, Nevada (population 257,729): Henderson City Manager Mark Calhoun will step down in May, three years after he was appointed to the top administrative position and nearly three decades after he went to work for the city, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Calhoun said the decision was a long time coming. Calhoun in his email said he would work with Mayor Andy Hafen and the City Council as he prepares to leave the position. In 1983 he was hired as the city’s engineer. From there he served as the public works director for 12 years during a time of intense growth. Calhoun was an assistant city manager from 2001 to 2009. In that position he managed the fire, police, public works and utility services departments, according to his biography on the city website. He also managed the city’s economic development and neighborhood services departments. According to the website Transparent Nevada, Calhoun received a base pay of $225,000 in 2010, the latest year figures are available. He replaced Mary Kay Peck, the city’s first and only female city manager. Peck challenged her termination, and the case went to arbitration. She prevailed, winning a settlement worth nearly $1.3 million on Feb. 15, 2011. The city has several options in seeking Calhoun’s replacement because the city manager is an appointed position, according to communications director Bud Cranor. The City Council could conduct a national or local search or hire from within, as was the case with both Calhoun and Peck. One potential candidate is Jacob Snow, general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. Cranor said Mayor Andy Hafen has had conversations with Snow regarding the job. Tracy Bower, a spokeswoman with the Regional Transportation Commission, confirmed Snow has been in discussions with Hafen about the job.

El Cajon, California (population 99,478): Douglas Williford, who worked for the city of Santee for 24 years and recently held jobs in Orange County, has been named El Cajon’s city manager, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Williford was chosen from more than 60 applicants nationwide, including acting city manager Rob Turner, El Cajon’s public works director who has been running the city since Kathi Henry’s retirement Aug. 26. Williford, who lives in San Gabriel and got his master’s degree in Urban & Environmental Geography at San Diego State, worked for the city of Santee from 1982 until 2006. He was that city’s deputy city manager and development services director. He will start in El Cajon March 22. In Orange County, he worked as the city of Irvine’s community development director and he currently serves as Deputy Executive Director for the Southern California Association of Governments. The El Cajon City Council voted unanimously to appoint Williford after a closed session Tuesday afternoon to discuss the appointment. City Attorney Morgan Foley said the employment contract for Williford will be similar to Henry’s, who worked in the City Manager’s Office for 30 years and retired with a salary of $240,572. Williford’s salary will be $219,500. He also will receive a maximum of $15,000 to cover moving costs, $120 per month for cellphone service, an automobile allowance of $550 per month, a maximum $2,500 biennially for laptop computers or other equipment, and benefits. Mayor Mark Lewis and the four El Cajon City Council members heaped praise on Turner for his dedication and work for the city over the last few months, including the recent tumult when city redevelopment agencies were axed statewide. El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick, who is from Santee, said Williford made great strides for that city. Santee Mayor Randy Voepel said Williford wrote a book about Santee’s history on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Reading, Pennsylvania (population 88,082): Carl E. Geffken, the city’s managing director credited with helping clear out numerous City Hall problems, on Tuesday afternoon resigned effective March 15 to take over Berks County operations, according to the Reading Eagle. Geffken, 47, has been named the county’s new chief operating officer, at an annual salary of $100,000. Commissioners Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach confirmed Tuesday night that he and the two other commissioners earlier in the day unanimously agreed to offer Geffken the post, which has been vacant since May, when interim chief Ken Borkey Jr. left. By the end of the workday, Geffken had met with Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer and submitted his resignation, news of which quickly got around City Hall. Leinbach said the county has dealt with Geffken on such issues as the Fire Training Center and the new radio towers that the county needs on city land. Geffken was hired as city finance director in April 2009, was named interim managing director in March 2010, and was approved to the permanent post early in 2011. He said he loved the managing director’s job, but what he called the interest and intrigue of the new post led him to apply. Spencer said Geffken’s resignation is a loss to the city. He credited Geffken with implementing the beginnings of the Act 47 financial recovery plan, and lauded him for numerous projects – among them cutting the cost of the planned new sewage treatment plant by hundreds of millions of dollars. Geffken said he was successful only because a number of decent people worked hard to make the city a success. City Council President Francis G. Acosta also said the move will be a loss for the city. Acosta said Geffken was holding city government together with his knowledge and expertise.

Roseville, Michigan (population 47,299): With a 7-0 vote, members of the Roseville City Council approved a one-year contract Tuesday evening with new city manager Scott Adkins,  according to the Detroit Free Press. Adkins has been superintendent of the City of St. Clair since 2006, and he was one of seven finalists — including the city manager of Grosse Pointe Shores and village manager of Beverly Hills — interviewed by Roseville officials about two weeks ago. Beverly Hills manager Chris Wilson was offered the job first but turned down the contract, Roseville Mayor John Chirkun said after Tuesday night’s meeting. Then Adkins accepted the post for $94,000 a year — $8,000 less than outgoing Roseville City Manager Steve Truman. Adkins is to start March 6, replacing Truman, who has been a city employee for 30 years, officials said.

Manassas, Virginia (population 37,821): The city of Manassas announced a new city manager this week, according to The Washington Post. After a nationwide search, weeks of interviews and dozens of candidates considered for the job, the City Council plans to hire state official John A. Budesky to succeed former longtime manager Lawrence D. Hughes. Budesky, 39, will take over the job March 5. Pat Weiler, who heads the city’s finance department, is serving as interim manager. Budesky is currently the executive director of the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, which administers and oversees the state’s compensation benefits. Budesky has been a local government administrator for 16 years in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. He is the former county administrator for New Kent County, Va., an assistant city administrator for Hagerstown, Md., and a department head in Washington County, Md. City council members said Budesky was chosen for his local government experience and his enthusiasm to be a part of Manassas. Budesky, who has two young children and plans to move to the city as soon as possible from Mechanicsville, said that he looks forward to getting to know and understand the city’s departments and personnel. He said immediate priorities are public safety and ensuring a good education for city children.

Montville Township, New Jersey (population 21,528): Belleville’s township manager has been selected as Montville Township’s next administrator, according to  the Belleville Patch. Victor Canning, a Montville Township resident, officially starts in the new position March 15, although Belleville Mayor Ray Kimble said late Wednesday morning it was “premature” to comment because Canning had not yet submitted a resignation letter. Canning told the Montville Patch he is looking forward to working in the town where he has lived for the past 10 years and is raising his family. Montville Mayor Tim Braden said Canning’s references were impeccable. Before moving to Montville, Canning lived in Belleville, where he served as a councilman and as mayor before becoming the township’s manager. The former Belleville Police Department officer has served in recent role for about seven years. The Montville Township Committee approved his appointment Tuesday night and welcomed him to the position. Committeeman Scott Gallopo said he fully supports Canning as township administrator, but cast the lone “no” vote on the resolution because he thought out of principle the search process should have been more thorough. Canning is a member of the Montville Township Planning Board, but won’t be able to serve in that capacity once he is in the town’s top management job. The township had 34 applicants and conducted five interviews after former administrator Frank Bastone retired in December, Committeewoman Deb Nielson said. The selection process was unanimously approved by the Township Committee, Braden said. Township management specialist Adam Brewer has taken on the township administrator’s responsibilities on an interim basis since Bastone’s retirement while the search was conducted.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 21,233): The new town administrator was officially sworn in Monday night at the town council meeting, taking his place as the third administrator in Portsmouth’s history, according to East Bay Newspapers. John C. Klimm, most recently town manager in Barnstable, Mass., was sworn in by Town Clerk Kathleen Viera Beaudoin after the council voted unanimously to ratify his appointment. He replaced interim administrator David Dolce, who has served in the position since late August. Mr. Klimm’s predecessor, Robert Driscoll, held the administrator job for 21 years. The town’s first administrator, John O. Thayer, served from 1973 to 1990. The council also voted unanimously to accept the employee agreement between the town and Mr. Klimm. Under the agreement, Mr. Klimm is contracted to the town for three years (with the option of either party terminating the agreement with 60 days notice) with a starting salary of $126,000 per year. In July the council set a $110,000 salary limit for the new administrator (when Mr. Driscoll left he was making $105,044 plus $10,504 longevity), but negotiations raised that amount while cutting spending in other contract aspects, said President Joseph Robicheau. Moving from Barnstable, Mr. Robicheau said that the salary increase had to do with “how he’ll maintain himself here.” Overall the new contract should be cheaper than that of Mr. Driscoll, he said. For one, no longevity will be paid to Mr. Klimm. He will also be in a defined contribution plan (such as a 401k) rather than a defined pension plan. He has been granted three weeks of vacation and 15 sick days per year, but vacation days are not allowed to accrue, and sick days can only carry over to the next year by 60 days. No time can be sold back to the town. This would equal a savings because under the previous administrator contract, a portion of his unused days could accrue year to year and at the end of his term be sold back to the town, said Finance Director David Faucher. When Mr. Driscoll retired, his 21 years of unused days equaled a payback of $41,714 ($25,047 for accrued sick leave and $16,667 for accrued vacation leave). During the evening, the council recognized Mr. Dolce, returning now to his position as tax assessor, for his service over the last six months. Mr. Dolce thanked the council and town hall staff for having patience and cooperation during his tenure, especially the tax staff who took on extra responsibility during that time.

Dixon, California (population 18,351): Months of searching ended Tuesday for the city of Dixon, which now has a city manager at the helm, according to The Reporter. The Dixon City Council voted unanimously in favor of hiring Jim Lindley, who will leave his current position as city manager in Dunsmuir to fill the post in Dixon on March 12. Councilman Dane Besneatte said a unanimous decision from the council is “significant” and hopefully an end to a “revolving door” at City Hall. Mayor Jack Batchelor said Lindley is an “outstanding person to come in and move this city forward.” Lindley admitted that while Dunsmuir is sad to see him go, this is the best step for him. Lindley said he was impressed with the thorough job by the council and the city in the recruitment process. It will cost Dixon $159,796 per year to have Lindley on board. The four-year contract allows Lindley a $126,000 base salary, a monthly $400 auto allowance, 104 hours of leave time that includes 80 hours of vacation, inclusion into the city’s furlough program, which will reduce his base salary by 4.6 percent, and a severance clause that gives him six months of pay and benefits should he be terminated without cause. The total compensation package, according to the city, is $169,911 per year. However, minus his state retirement contribution, that figure drops to $159,796. Lindley will fill the position left by Nancy Huston, who took a job as Solano County’s assistant county administrator in June. In the interim, Dixon Police Chief Jon Cox stepped up to temporarily serve as the city’s top administrator. Batchelor lauded Cox for his service as interim city manager. During the interim, the empty city manager position faced scrutiny from the community, staff and council. Everything was up for discussion, including the qualities the new leader should possess to salary and benefits. Additionally, a recruitment firm was hired, and then an 11-member citizens committee confirmed to interview finalists. After interviewing several candidates, Lindley, with his depth of experience, humor and candor, rose to the top. Lindley spent 20 years in the private sector, later served as a mayor and a city councilman in Hesperia and worked in various facets of government administration in San Bernardino County. For the last 20 months, he has been Dunsmuir’s city manager. He’s knowledgeable on water and wastewater issues, and the city’s proposed Sunshine Ordinance, a policy to make local government more transparent to the public.

El Segundo, California (population 16,654): A few months after he was hired as El Segundo’s city manager, Doug Willmore learned that his efforts to force Chevron, the town’s oldest employer, to pay higher taxes had made him some enemies, according to the Los Angeles Times. He found a note on his car reminding him this was a Chevron town. “Beat it,” the note concluded. Last week, a divided City Council took that advice and fired him, less than 10 months after appointing him to the job. Willmore said that the council gave no reason for his dismissal but that he felt the council had fired him “in retaliation about Chevron.” Willmore is entitled to half his annual salary of $218,000 as severance, if he signs an agreement not to sue. On Tuesday, his attorney, Bradley Gage, said he was about to file a claim against the city, the first step toward a lawsuit. Late last year, Mayor Eric Busch asked Willmore to examine the acreage tax Chevron paid on its refinery, the largest in the state. Willmore found that for decades Chevron had paid millions of dollars less in taxes than did other refineries in the state. After taking preliminary steps to place a measure on the ballot to increase Chevron’s tax, supporters didn’t have the four council votes they needed to send it to voters. Instead, the council and Chevron agreed to negotiate. Rod Spackman, Chevron’s manager of policy, government and public affairs for the L.A. Basin, denied that the oil company was involved in Willmore’s ouster. Councilman Carl Jacobson, one of three council members who voted to fire Willmore, said the city manager’s dismissal was not related to Chevron. Councilman Don Brann, who supported increased taxes on Chevron but voted to get rid of Willmore, said he had other reasons for wanting the administrator fired. Because of the potential lawsuit, he declined to go into details. The Chevron issue, he said, “may have been the final straw” for some of his colleagues. He gave Willmore credit for attracting businesses to town. Willmore’s relations with Chevron got off to a rocky start after he arrived in April from Utah, where he had been chief executive of Salt Lake County. Gage, Willmore’s attorney, said his client was covered under the state’s whistleblower law.

Red Bluff, California (population 14,076): City Manager Martin Nichols, whose last day will be Friday, is satisfied that he is leaving the city better than he found it, according to the Red Bluff Daily News. Helping the city through the recession is his biggest accomplishment, but it’s an accomplishment but in a negative sense, Nichols said. It’s hard to be proud of laying off people and reducing services. Mayor Forrest Flynn said he has worked with every city manager since the early ’80s, but none of them surpass Marty Nichols. Nichols said though he has done plenty it never feels quite done. He’s leaving behind a long list of projects for incoming City Manager Richard Crabtree. The list already contains more than 40 items, but on the top of the list is the acquisition of the Red Bluff Recreation Area for an off-highway vehicle park. Continuing to develop a relationship with the Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce is a priority. The city and chamber need to really define what the chamber is doing for the city when the city gives the chamber money, he said. The community has not always seen Nichols as the best leader, but those working closest to him say otherwise. Nichols said the bad public image is something that comes with being city manager. The city manager is the messenger of bad news, he said. Being the city manager is a lot of responsibility. Not only is he responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city but he has ethical decisions to make and has to deliver the good news and the bad news. In all of this, one lesson he’s learn is mistakes will be made, but you just have to own up to them. Not doing so could be chaos. Nichols will leave Red Bluff to become the chief administrative officer in Lassen County. It’s a position he is familiar with and is looking forward to returning. Nichols worked as the chief administrative officer in Butte County in the ’80s, and later held similar roles in Marin County. He was head of a private firm, Government Solutions, that held joint powers authorities in Marin before he came to Red Bluff. Brown said five years ago when the council was choosing a city manager, Nichols was not his first choice. He thought Nichols was too focused on regional issues, but Nichols being regionally minded has been to Red Bluff’s advantage as the city continues to grow. Nichols said in going back to county administration he hopes to work more closely with the Legislature in returning some of the policy making decisions back to local government. The state has been making a lot of changes, from prisoner realignment to social services, that will trickle down to counties and cities, he said. Nichols will have about 2 1/2 weeks off before he starts his new job, and he’ll be spending that time with his grandchildren as well as searching for a place to live. He plans to keep his home in Paradise but will live in Susanville during the week. He and wife Sharon have already started looking for a place. At 65, Nichols said he is not ready to retire from local government anytime soon. But when he does think about retirement he thinks he would like to serve on a city council or be on the other side of things.

Fairmont, Minnesota (population 10,666): Mike Humpal will be Fairmont’s next city administrator, according to the Fairmont Sentinel. On Monday, the City Council approved naming Humpal to replace Jim Zarling when he retires in May, but not without contention. Voting in favor of appointing the assistant city administrator to the position were Joe Kallemeyn and Wes Clerc, while Andy Lucas and Darin Rahm voted against. Harlan Gorath abstained, leaving Mayor Randy Quiring to cast the deciding vote. All council members previously said Humpal is likely the best person for the job. Lucas and Rahm, however, wanted to interview outside candidates if, for no other reason, Lucas said, than to reinforce that Humpal is the right person for the job. Rahm didn’t think promoting internally would be fair to other qualified individuals. Gorath was concerned about setting precedent, though the city has a policy of promoting internally when a qualified candidate is available for a position. Humpal was on the agenda for Monday’s meeting to interview for the job. The only ones who questioned him were Kallemeyn, Clerc and Quiring. Rahm said he felt bad about putting Humpal on the spot by asking him questions he might not be prepared to answer, and Gorath also felt Monday’s forum was not the appropriate arena to interview Humpal. He previously said he wanted a closed meeting to conduct interviews, something not legal under open meeting laws. The only citizen at the meeting who voiced a query was Amy Paradis, who asked if Humpal thought it was “fair not interviewing against anybody?” Humpal said if qualified people are working for the city, then it would be fair to interview and hire them if they could successfully perform the job. In this case, Humpal is the only person employed by the city who is qualified for the joint position of city administrator and economic development director. Though the two opposing sides were equally adamant and frustrated with each other at times, when the meeting adjourned, the council and management team ended the night in handshakes all around. Besides making a presentation Monday, Humpal submitted his resume, which shows he completed his master’s degree in public administration in 1990 through the University of Nebraska and is one of eight certified economic developers through the International Economic Development Council.

Selah, Washington (population 7,147): Selah’s top administrator and the police chief have agreed to leave their jobs under settlement agreements approved by the City Council Tuesday night, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic. Supervisor Frank Sweet will be paid about $134,000 — a year’s pay, plus about $30,000 to cover health insurance and other benefits. Chief Stacy Dwarshius will remain on administrative leave through July 31, which qualifies him for a somewhat higher pension. That six-month period works out to about $40,000. Mayor John Gawlik, who was elected to replace Bob Jones, sought to remove both men. He said he did not believe he could work with Sweet, who spent most of his tenure at Selah under Jones, whom Gawlik defeated in November. He has not disclosed his reasons for seeking the removal of Dwarshius. Under Selah’s form of government, Gawlik can hire and fire employees, though dismissals may have been open to a legal challenge under the personnel policy. The councilmen unanimously approved the separation agreements without comment. Gawlik said after the council meeting that the council wanted to move on. Sweet and Dwarshius both earlier said they wanted to keep working for the city. After Gawlik was elected, Sweet had proposed a four-year settlement agreement worth about $500,000 for himself and a six-month agreement for Dwarshius. The council never acted on those requests, though they and others thought Sweet’s request was extraordinary. Sweet said he made the proposal in the hope that Gawlik would give him time to see that they could work together. Gawlik said he hopes to select an interim supervisor while he considers how he wants to recruit for the permanent position. Sgt. Rick Hayes may continue as acting police chief, but Gawlik said Hayes has indicated he does not want the full-time job.

Groesbeck, Texas (population 7,057): A long time City Administrator announced her resignation Tuesday at a city council meeting in Groesbeck, according to Our Town Texas. Martha Stanton worked for the city for 38 years. City Council members in Groesbeck accepted Stanton’s resignation Tuesday night. Stanton’s last day working with the city will be March 31. The Groesbeck resident plans to stay in town, and find something to do to keep her busy.

Lake Alfred, Florida (population 5,015): Ryan Leavengood is the new city manager of Lake Alfred, according to The Ledger. The City Commission voted unanimously Monday at a special meeting to hire him. The final contract calls for a $75,000 annual salary with raises possible after an annual review process. Initially, Leavengood had wanted $78,000 and the commission started at $67,500. The commission initially wanted not to pay severance pay for the first year but negotiated to pay three months’ salary and benefits as a severance package through Oct. 1, 2013, and four months current pay and benefits for the following year. It will also include any accrued sick leave, vacation and other accrued benefits. If he is terminated by a majority vote of the commission after Oct. 1, 2014, he will receive five months current salary and benefits, the maximum amount allowed by state law. If he leaves voluntarily, he will receive no severance and must give 30 days notice. Leavengood wanted a $500 per month car allowance to use his own vehicle but the city had not budgeted for that. Former City Manager Larry Harbuck drove a city car. Leavengood agreed to take $100 per month car allowance until Oct. 1, when the $500 monthly car allowance will be included in the 2012-2013 budget. Commissioners also agreed to pay up to $3,000 in moving expenses. Leavengood has six months to move into the city limits of Lake Alfred, a requirement in the city’s charter. Leavengood, the current Auburndale assistant manager, will begin his new job March 5.

Eagar, Arizona (population 4,885): After 20 years as town manager, Bill Greenwood announced to the council at their Feb. 7 meeting that he would be retiring as of April 28 of this year, according to the White Mountain Independent. He read his retirement letter to the council after a non-public session that was held at the beginning of their meeting. Greenwood said he was retiring with mixed emotions and that there were many factors in his decision. He said he was worn out and out of step with today’s technology needs. He stated he would be willing to assist the new manager in any way he could at the council’s discretion. Mayor Kim Holaway moved that Greenwood be given $20,000, $1,000 for each year of service, as severance pay. The council approved the motion unanimously. Several members of the council expressed their appreciation of Greenwood’s service and the audience stood and applauded him.

Southport, North Carolina (population 3,004): Southport has selected a new city manager one year after the previous manager was ousted, according to the StarNews. Patrick Thomas, the current town manager of Swansboro (population 1,902), will start his new position April 16. The interim city manager, Regina Alexander, will resume her duties as town clerk when Thomas takes over. Alan Thornton, the previous city manager, was asked to resign in February 2011. Thomas has 27 years experience in local government and community management, including being manager in Farmville, Jacksonville, Surf City and Swansboro. He was previously editor and publisher of The Pender Post community newspaper in Pender County and has 11 years of experience in the private sector. Thomas previously served as a board member for the Cape Fear United Way and for the Cape Fear Community College Foundation, was named a Citizen Planner of the Year by the Cape Fear Council of Governments and was awarded the Razor Walker Award for contributions to young people by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Watson School of Education, according to the board. The new manager said he hopes to create an open dialogue with residents in order get to know the community quickly.

Flandreau, South Dakota (population 2,341): The Flandreau City Council has finally found a new City Administrator after Chuck Jones tendered his resignation last September, according to the Moody County Enterprise. The council voted to appoint Donald Whitman of Caney, Kan. as the new City Administrator for the City of Flandreau at a special session held on Jan. 30. Whitman is expected to start at the beginning of April and currently works as the City Administrator for Caney. The city administrator’s duties usually include overseeing the policies, departments and procedures of the city, amongst others, but details of the position are unknown as Deputy City Attorney Paul Lewis, authorized by the council, is drafting the terms and conditions of the position.

Greensburg, Kansas (population 777): Eddy Truelove is the newest Greensburg city administrator, according to the Kiowa County Signal. Truelove came to Greensburg a couple of weeks ago to tour the city, meet city officials and interview for what would ultimately become his new job. He says that he was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming his hosts were. The city has entered a period of growth as of late and has a number of high profile projects in the near future including the water treatment plant, the airport, street projects and a number of complex deals including the BTI sewer line. Though Truelove has a master’s degree in public administration, he has never served as a city administrator. When asked about his relative inexperience in the city admin’s seat, Truelove said he thinks he is well equipped for the challenges. Well aware of workload, Truelove said he has taken an interest in all of the city’s current projects, which he feels are all tied to community growth. Truelove will move his family to Greensburg, and has begun searching for a house in town. Truelove will be the fifth Greensburg city administrator in one year. Following the departure of Steve Hewitt in early 2011, the city hired Dennis McKinney as an interim administrator until May when the city hired Sheila Magee. Magee only lasted less than three months and was fired abruptly in July. Jay P. Newton has been interim city administrator while the city searched for a permanent replacement.