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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

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: 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.