Transitions: Santa Ana, CA; Clayton County, GA; Yavapai County, AZ and more

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

Santa Ana, California (population 324,528): Santa Ana’s City Council fired City Manager Paul Walters by a 6-1 vote, according to the Voice of OC. It was unclear what Walters’ payout would be or the full terms of his exit. Council members did not discuss such issues publicly. Councilwoman Michele Martinez said that consultant Management Partners will be holding strategic planning meetings with council members and the community in the coming months. Along with a new city manager, the plan is to formulate a citywide vision, she said. Many Latino activists are demanding a national city manager search.

Clayton County, Georgia (population 261,532): Sixteen months into his tenure as Clayton County’s county manager, Wade Starr’s contact with the county has been terminated and the county manager position eliminated, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. At last Wednesday’s initial meeting of the commission under the guidance of new commission chairman Jeff Turner. the board voted 3-2, with Turner casting the deciding vote, to oust Starr and eliminate the county manager post. However, Starr’s contact will be bought out by the county. Commissioners Shana Rooks and Michael Edmondson supported the resolution while Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick were opposed. According to Turner, anytime there is a change in leadership, there are going to be changes in staff. Edmondson, who opposed the creation of the county manager position as did then Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell when it was originally passed in Sept. 2011, said, historically, Clayton County has always had a strong commission chairman form of government  Singleton said that the possible creation of a chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Clayton, two resolutions which had their first readings before the commission last week, would end up costing Clayton County hundreds of thousands of dollars. Singleton added this resolution and another passed by the commission last week to authorize an audit of some county finances, represents a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Yavapai County, Arizona (population 211,888): Yavapai County has a new permanent Administrator, and it’s someone who is familiar with the position, according to the Prescott eNews.  Following a closed Executive Session yesterday morning, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of Phil Bourdon to that position.  Bourdon had been serving in the interim since last June, when former Administrator Juli Ayers announced her resignation.  Even though he’s only been on the job a few weeks, Supervisor Jack Smith says bourdon has been a big help. Smith says Bourdon has an extensive county background. Bourdon has been with the County since 1996.

Tempe, Arizona (population 164,268): The Tempe City Council members who voted to terminate City Manager Charlie Meyer’s employment contract Monday cited criticisms ranging from his perceived lack of communication skills to an inability to focus on meaningful policy, according to The Arizona Republic. The vote was 5-2 to terminate Meyer’s employment contract. Mayor Mark Mitchell and council members Corey Woods, Shana Ellis, Robin Arredondo-Savage and Joel Navarro voted to end the contract, while council members Onnie Shekerjian and Kolby Granville voted to retain Meyer. The council did not immediately address its plans for the city-manager position. Councilman Corey Woods, who supported Meyer in 2009 when his contract was narrowly renewed, cited Meyer’s absence at the meeting and his e-mail blast to every city employee Friday about his expectation of being fired as reasons for his vote Monday not to support Meyer. To the detriment of the city and its residents, Woods said, Meyer has been “too focused on process, not policy.” Woods said he put himself in Meyer’s shoes, imagining what his employer would say if he dealt with a personnel issues in a similar fashion. Meyer, 60, sent the memo titled “Do Good Anyway,” Friday from his work e-mail account, making it a public record, and included a scathing quotation that appeared to be directed toward the council. In his memo, Meyer thanked Tempe employees but not the council. Meyer’s memo cited a quote often mistakenly attributed to Mother Teresa: “‘People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.’” As an “at-will employee” the council controls the employment of the city manager and may terminate him without cause. The council appointed Meyer in 2007, when Hugh Hallman was mayor. Less than two years later, the council narrowly approved Meyer’s employment contract on a 4-3 vote at a September 2009 meeting. At the time, Meyer drew high praise as well as criticism that included claims that he ignored workers’ complaints of discrimination at the hands of department chiefs. Council members Mitchell, Navarro and Ben Arredondo voted against approving Meyer’s contract. Hallman, Ellis, Shekerjian and Woods voted in favor of it. In the years since, Meyer has received praise for his handling of the budget and managing cutbacks. However, Tempe has dealt with several high-profile problems in recent years, including a scandal that led to the resignation of the city’s fire chief. Residents were critical of Meyer’s decision to ban televising the public-comments period of City Council meetings. The decision sparked criticism over the public’s free-speech rights. Mario Martinez was the only Tempe resident to criticize Meyer at Monday’s meeting. Martinez took issue with Meyer’s handling of complaints over campaign signs, adding that Tempe deserves a better city manager. However, several Tempe residents who attended the public meeting applauded Meyer’s performance as city manager, saying that although the City Council was not required to explain its vote, the community deserves an explanation. Councilman Granville, who praised Meyer for his work ethic, echoed residents’ requests. Shekerjian said Meyer had brought “order back to this organization when it was chaos.” The change in city manager may cost Tempe a significant payout, as at least one resident noted. The financial impact of terminating Meyer’s contract was outlined in Monday’s public record of the agenda item. It said that if Meyer, with an annual salary of $189,989, were “terminated involuntarily,” he would be entitled to severance pay equal to six months of his base salary and 100 percent of his accrued sick and vacation leave. The severance would not apply if Meyer were terminated for willful misconduct, fraud, corruption or moral turpitude.

Mesa County, Colorado (population 147,083): Mesa County Administrator Chantal Unfug resigned Jan. 21, a surprise announcement that current commissioners declined to discuss in detail but one that caught a former commissioner off-guard, according to The Daily Sentinel. Commissioners issued a two-sentence statement late on the afternoon of Jan. 22 indicating they and Unfug had reached a “mutual agreement” on her resignation. They thanked her for “her leadership and wish her well in future endeavors.” Unfug couldn’t be reached for comment. Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said Unfug’s resignation was effectively immediately. Both he and Commissioner Rose Pugliese declined to comment on the reasons for Unfug’s resignation, saying it was a personnel manner. Acquafresca did say the factors that led up to Unfug’s resignation were a “recent development.” Internal Services Director Tom Fisher will serve as the interim county administrator. Acquafresca said he expects the county to search for and hire a permanent administrator. Unfug’s resignation comes a little more than a week after new commissioners John Justman and Pugliese were sworn in. They replaced term-limited commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland. Meis said he’s surprised Unfug is out of a job, especially given how new the board is. But he said the job is a challenging one. Meis responded “not really” when asked if, as far as he knew, Unfug seemed dissatisfied in her job or was interested in another position. Unfug was hired in July 2011. She previously served as the manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. Unfug’s original employment contract stipulated that she would receive six months’ severance pay should commissioners terminate her employment without providing her six months’ written notice. She, however, would not receive severance pay if she voluntarily resigned her position or if the board terminated her employment because of “some act or omission … which renders her, in the Board’s sole opinion, unable to continue to perform under this agreement.”

Columbia, South Carolina (population 130,531): Columbia City Council has offered Teresa Wilson the new City Manager position, according to WLTX. By a vote of 5-2, Columbia City Council moved to promote Assistant City Manager Teresa Wilson, to City Manager after Steve Gantt steps down. Teresa Wilson is currently one of three assistant City Managers. News19 asked for the job description and qualifications from the City of Columbia. The position requires: “A Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred, in public administration, business administration, or closely related field with a minimum of eight (8) years of work experience in a City or County leadership position, including but not limited to City Manager, Assistant City Manager, County Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Administrative Services, etc.” However, some say Wilson’s experience doesn’t meet the City’s requirements. News19 was emailed a copy of Wilson’s resume. It includes serving as Assistant City Manager of community programs, economic development, and government services in July of 2011. She started working with the City in 2007 as Director of Government Affairs and Community Relations. Before coming to the City – she worked in the USC President’s office in government and community relations. Wilson also worked in Richland One and Two as a teacher from 2000 to 2005. City leaders say Wilson’s time with the city – and her time spent working at USC as a liaison to state and federal government – qualified her. After going into a brief executive session Thursday morning, City Council made their decision. But not everyone on council gave their full support. Councilwoman Leona Plaugh says that while Wilson is a ‘bright, gifted, and talented candidate,’ she is not the most qualified person the council interviewed. Moe Baddourah was the second Councilman to vote no against offering the job to Wilson. Wilson points to her time overseeing the City’s economic development, grants administrations, and governmental affairs as reasons the council chose her over other candidates. News19 also heard concerns from people saying Wilson’s friendship with Mayor Steve Benjamin likely played a role in her getting the job. The mayor’s office says Benjamin has known Wilson for nearly 20 years but says their friendship did not play a role in his vote or the other council members vote. Wilson says her perspective on the city’s needs likely set her apart from the rest of the candidates. Wilson tells News19 her first duty will be to re-assess the city staff that is currently in place. Wilson will take over once current city manager, Steve Gantt, steps down in 2013.

Fayette County, Georgia (population 107,784): Peachtree City resident and former city councilman Steve Rapson was unanimously selected as the new county manager for Fayette County on January 2, according to The Citizen. Rapson most recently served as Union City manager for the past three and a half years, and was previously the assistant city manager in Sandy Springs for more than four years. Rapson also worked for five years as budget director for Fulton County, also serving as the chairman’s chief of staff. Rapson also served with new commission chairman Steve Brown in the Peachtree City Council when Brown was mayor from 2002-2005. Rapson is replacing former County Manager Jack Krakeel, who retired in the summer but came back to work temporarily until his successor could be named. Rapson is highly regarded for his budget acumen, which will come in handy as the county continues to face declining budget revenues due to shrinking property values. Last year the county implemented an early retirement program to shrink its workforce on top of a general hiring freeze for all positions except for public safety. Rapson said he wants to work on improving the county’s relationships with its cities. While there is much work ahead on a myriad of matters, Rapson said he is confident he has some good department heads to help him carry the load.

Champaign, Illinois (population 81,055): With the unanimous support of the city council on Dec. 18 — but not a unanimous vote — officials approved Assistant City Manager Dorothy David’s contract to become Champaign’s next chief administrator, according to The News-Gazette. The 8-1 vote made David’s appointment official, and she will replace City Manager Steve Carter when he retires on March 29. Council members said it was clear she was the best choice for the job even though city officials never sought applications from non-city employees. Council member Tom Bruno said David gives him “a very high degree of comfort level” that no outsider could replicate. David thanked the city council and said she was humbled to get its support. She said Champaign has been her home, and she understands that everything the city council not only affects her job, but it also affects her personal life. The lone dissenting vote came from Deborah Frank Feinen, who said David is “the perfect choice” for the job. But Feinen has a philosophical problem with David’s contract. That problem, Feinen said, is contained in Section 4, which provides that David would continue to receive up to 52 weeks of pay and benefits if she were terminated “without cause.” But Feinen, a former Champaign County Board member, said she was there when the board had to fire a county official. That official was under a similar contract to David’s, and taxpayers paid nearly a full year’s salary to that person after being terminated. But that does not affect her enthusiasm for David’s hiring, she said. David will make a base salary of $173,000, which is about $5,000 less than Carter’s current base salary. Carter will be retiring after 28 years as Champaign city manager. David was chosen for the job after city officials opened the application process only to city employees for one week. They had planned to accept external applications, but left themselves the option of closing their search if they were satisfied with the internal applications. David was the lone internal applicant, and the city council ended its search. City council members also chose to forgo hiring a potentially expensive search firm to recruit job candidates. Mayor Don Gerard said that was the right choice.

Eagan, Minnesota (population 67,765): City Administrator Dave Osberg has been offered a job as the city administrator in the City of Eagan, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. Osberg applied to the position after a recruiter hired by the City of Eagan approached him and asked if he would be interested in submitting his resume. Earlier this month, Osberg was selected as one of four finalists. Last Thursday and Friday, he interviewed with Eagan’s department heads, a citizen panel and the city council. Late Friday afternoon, Osberg got a call from the city. On Tuesday, Osberg said he expected the terms to be buttoned up by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday. Once the agreement is settled, it would go to the Eagan City Council for approval at their next meeting, Feb. 5. If the agreement is approved, Osberg would start working in Eagan sometime in late March.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 67,019): Flower Mound will pay approximately $442,000 in severance costs to fire former Town Manager Harlan Jefferson, according to The Dallas Morning News. That’s the amount listed in a settlement agreement reached in December between Jefferson and the town. Jefferson will receive severance payments equal to his base salary for 22 months. They will be paid biweekly for 12 months, beginning in late October, according to the agreement obtained by The Dallas Morning News through a freedom of information request. Over the next year, the town will be paying a $199,500 salary to Jimmy Stathatos, the former Roanoke town manager, who replaced Jefferson on Jan. 14. Jefferson was fired in October in a dispute with the Town Council. He started a new job, as town manager in Prosper, on Jan. 21. Jefferson’s new employment status will change the severance package slightly because Flower Mound will no longer be responsible for his insurance and other benefits. Flower Mound agreed to pay these costs until he found a new job, according to the settlement agreement. Finance officials didn’t provide any estimate of how much that would alter the settlement, but Mayor Tom Hayden indicated that it would not be a significant amount. He said the $442,000 listed in the settlement agreement was “very close” to the amount that will be paid to Jefferson. However, that figure doesn’t include legal fees for a Dallas attorney hired by the town to handle the termination. Flower Mound officials say they have no documents related to these fees. At the time Jefferson was fired, Hayden said the move would not have a negative financial impact on the town. He reiterated that assertion last week, saying that the town is under contract to sell a 5-acre parcel for $1 million and that Flower Mound is beginning to attract renewed interest from the development community. Jefferson lost the job he had held since 2006 after Flower Mound was criticized in a survey of developers for being a difficult place to do business.

Walton County, Florida (population 55,300): After 8 months, the Walton County Board of Commissioners has finally chosen a new County Administrator, according to WMBB. The interim administrator, Gerry Demers has filled the role since Greg Kisela’s departure last May. His name is Robert Halfhill and he is the current Public Works Director for Charlotte County, Florida. Halfhill’s resume boasts 21 years of government administrative experience to the board. After an extensive vote that included each Commissioner ranking their top three candidates, Halfhill was selected as the top candidate, with Jackson County’s Administrator, Ted Lakey, in 2nd place, and former Walton County Commissioner, Larry Jones, in 3rd place. The county will now move into contract negotiations with Halfhill.

Doral, Florida (population 48,789): In a move that sent shockwaves through political corridors, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria’s nomination of former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo as the new city manager January 9 was unanimously accepted by the five-member council, with brief discussion, according to The Miami Herald. Carollo, a political lightening rod who has not held office since a failed reelection bid in 2001, replaces Merrett Stierheim, who resigned abruptly only a few hours before the announcement. Stierheim was hired as the city’s interim manager last month after Yvonne Soler-McKinley resigned. Stierheim’s mission: To lead the search for a full-time manager, and help in the transition. In his resignation letter, Stierheim said he “played no role whatsoever” in the selection process, “nor was I aware of it.” Reached later he called the appointment of the quick-tempered and often bombastic former public servant “a terrible decision.” Boria’s announcing of Carollo’s nomination came shortly after the 6 p.m. city council meeting began. A brief discussion ensued in which Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz questioned the wisdom of hiring a new manager without a search, but in the end the five-member council voted together for the Carollo appointment. Carollo, who is expected to sign a contract and begin work Thursday will earn $144,000 a year in salary, plus benefits. He will oversee a staff of 277 workers. A short while after his successful nomination, Boria presided over a hastily-called press conference in a small room outside the City Hall chamber. Carollo was absent. The mayor read off the highlights of Carollo’s resumé, but refused to answer any questions posited by the media about his new city manager’s past. Reached at home after the announcement, Carollo said he will gladly fill the position, and will not accept any type of severance in his contract. He wouldn’t go into specifics about what his plans are for the city. The new manager said he has been doing government consulting work, but refused to say for whom. Asked if he will move to Doral, Carollo said selling his Miami home would be difficult, and besides he said, “the city manager’s job is probably the most unstable in the whole country.” Carollo was offered the same position when Soler-McKinley resigned in December, but declined. It was not until early January that rumors began to circulate of Carollo’s possible nomination – a move that would have him back serving the public after an 11-year absence. In recent weeks Carollo was seen visiting the Boria home for lunch. The family has the tradition of eating together every day. Carollo has also sat in on Boria’s media interviews and keeps track of his schedule, reminding Boria of upcoming appointments. The two also share a spiritual bond: They go to the Alpha and Omega Christian church in southwest Miami-Dade. Carollo was instrumental in Stierheim’s interim appointment last month, visiting the Stierheim home with Boria to entice the former county manager to oversee the city during what was expected to be a difficult transition. He was mostly absent from public view until early 2010, reemerging in time to bash old political foe Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s fundraising tactics, and later taking his concerns to the airwaves. Last year Carollo publicly supported Rod Vereen’s failed attempt to oust Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, mostly bashing the state attorney for ignoring perceived wrongdoings by Regalado, Carollo’s long-time political foe. Carollo is responsible for one of the greatest coup attempts in Miami political history: In 1983 as a Miami commissioner he denounced mayoral candidate Maurice Ferré in a press conference – that Ferré called to publicize Carollo’s endorsement. Ferré still won the election. Carollo rocketed to prominence in the early 1980s as a Miami commissioner, finally winning the mayor’s seat he had so coveted in a 1997 race. He actually lost the vote to popular incumbent Xavier Suarez, but was able to move into City Hall after a successfully arguing the election was tainted by ballot fraud. His four years in the mayor’s office were rocky. Fights were constant with Regalado and former Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele Jr. At one point Teele and Carollo got into a physical confrontation in a corridor of City Hall as a meeting was taking place. As mayor of Miami during the Elian Gonzalez affair, Carollo fired his police chief for not informing him of the federal raid at the family’s Little Havana home ahead of time. Carollo was arrested shortly before leaving office in 2001 for throwing a cardboard tea canister that hit his wife Mari in the head. The charges were later dropped, and the two divorced. Despite all the fiascos, Carollo has never been implicated in political wrongdoing. He earned credit in helping Miami become solvent after the city’s finances were handed to a state oversight board when it was discovered it had been operating in a $68 million hole. Carollo also managed to stay unscathed during one of Miami’s darkest scandals, Operation Greenpalm. Off to prison for bribery and other charges in an undercover police sting in 1996 were the city manager, a commissioner, and a top financial manager.

Campbell, California (population 39,968): Campbell city manager Amy Brown has informed city staff today that she is resigning from her position, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Brown has been with the city for a little more than a year. Brown has accepted the job of director of agriculture and environmental management with Santa Clara County. Before being hired in December 2011, she had been with the city of San Francisco for 12 years, serving as deputy city attorney, director of real estate and acting city administrator. Brown is expected to stay with Campbell through late February.

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): David Studebaker will be the newest leader of Huber Heights, according to the Dayton Business Journal. The city council Monday night voted unanimously to approve Studebaker to be its city manager. He replaces James Borland, who steps down from the role on March 15. Studebaker worked as interim city manager for Huber Heights for six months in 2008 while the city was searching for a permanent city manager. He retired from Trimble Navigation Ltd. in 2008. In a letter to council, the Huber Heights/Wayne Township native said he was eager to return to the challenges of city government and wanted to give back to the community. Borland has been planning to retire once the city found a replacement.

Pacifica, California (population 37,691): At the helm of the city for the last six years, City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced in December he will retire at the end of July, according to the Mercury News. That date coincides with the end of his contract with the city. Rhodes provided six months notice so City Council will hopefully have time to recruit a new city manager before he leaves. Before working in Pacifica, Rhodes worked in local government in both Oregon and California. He will have served 37 years in his career at the time of his retirement.

Winter Haven, Florida (population 34,291): Dale Smith, Winter Haven city manager, is preparing to step down from his post on Thursday, according to the News Chief. Smith, a Winter Haven native, has been city manager for three years. Smith was born and raised in Winter Haven. He grew up on Lake Howard, within a green Schwinn three-speed bike-ride of a bustling downtown he loved as a kid. It broke his heart when he came back to Winter Haven, degree in hand, to boarded downtown windows. The usually calm, reserved man, perks up now when he talks about the downtown revitalization he played a part in. As the city’s first engineer, Smith designed a large part of the city’s infrastructure. Want to know what’s in the ground and where? Smith is a more reliable source than city records. Luckily for city staff, he isn’t going far — he’s going to find a garage in Winter Haven to work on his classic cars.

Morgantown, West Virginia (population 30,293): It’s a little more than 600 miles between Morgantown and College Park, Georgia, according to WDTV. That’s how far the current Morgantown City Manager will have to move for his new job. Terrence Moore announced Monday afternoon he’s leaving his current job for the same position in the suburb of Atlanta. Moore has been the City Manager in Morgantown for a little more than two years. Earlier this month he was the finalist for a job in Corpus Christi, Texas, but he turned that down. Moore’s last day in office will be Friday, but he’ll be around until the end of February. Moore told 5 News when he signed on to be the city manager in the University City he planned to take the job for about 5 years. There were some rumors that Moore was being forced out due to a feud with other city council members. Moore denied those reports during the press conference Monday. City council members will start looking for a new city manager starting at a council meeting Tuesday night.

Algonquin, Illinois (population 30,145): Algonquin officials hired a new village manager, one they hope will be around for at least as long as their current village manager, who is retiring after 21 years, according to the Daily Herald. By a unanimous vote, the village board tapped Timothy Schloneger, the city administrator in Lockport, to lead Algonquin into the future. Schloneger’s first day in Algonquin will be Feb. 18. He will replace Bill Ganek, who was hired as village administrator in 1992 and later became village manager. Ganek announced his retirement in July. Schloneger did not attend the meeting but said in a statement that he said he’s excited to get to work. The village board met in a nine-minute closed session Tuesday to finalize Schloneger’s employment agreement. The Lockport resident will make $165,000 a year, receive four weeks vacation, a car to use for village business and a $400 annual car allowance. While in Lockport, where he’s been for six years, Schloneger worked closely with the city’s financial management and economic development operations. He’s credited with improving the city’s bond rating, developing financing for its capital improvement program and negotiating development agreements. He also has municipal experience in Lemont and Romeoville. Schloneger was among 75 people who applied for the position of village manager in Algonquin. Village officials hired Voorhees Associates of Deerfield to advertise the job and to conduct the search for applicants. Officials interviewed 11 candidates and winnowed that down to seven or eight finalists, Ganek said. Schmitt was most impressed with Schloneger’s attention to detail and his understanding of the job, which involves juggling trustee and resident demands, managing staff members and fitting everyone’s needs within the confines of a budget. Ganek makes about $200,000 a year and will continue to work for the Algonquin during Schloneger’s transition. He’ll stay on for as long as he’s needed, he said Tuesday.

Wentzville, Missouri (population 29,070): T. Michael McDowell, the city manager of Olivette since 2004, has been tapped as Wentzville’s new city administrator, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. McDowell was chosen by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Nick Guccione from the latest round of five finalists in the city’s long-running search. The position has been vacant since Aug. 2011, when Dianna Wright abruptly departed because of what the city called “irreconcilable differences.” Aldermen were unable to agree on a permanent replacement until now. A proposed contract, announced Friday by the city, calls for McDowell to be paid $122,400 annually plus use of a city-owned car. McDowell’s career of nearly 40 years in city management also includes a stint as Creve Coeur city administrator. Wentzville officials on Friday also announced that Petree Powell, the former city administrator in Crestwood, has begun work as interim finance director. Powell was hired through a company that provides fill-ins for such posts while cities seek permanent replacements. That post opened up when the longtime finance director, Dennis Walsh, retired. Since September, the Wentzville administrator post has been filled on an interim basis through the same company by George Kolb, a former Wichita, Kan., city manager.

Big Spring, Texas (population 27,364): A longtime West Texas city manager is calling it quits, according to PermianBasin360.com. The Big Spring Herald is reporting that Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua will retire at the end of 2013. Fuqua has worked for the City of Big Spring for 38 years. Fuqua has also recently overseen the development of several long-term projects in Big Spring. Assistant city manager Todd Darden will replace Fuqua as Big Spring’s city manager next year.

Florence, Arizona (population 25,536): A new Florence town manager is expected to start work next week, according to the Casa Grande Dispatch. Charles A. Montoya, most recently director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, Colo., is to begin work Monday.In an interview with the Florence Reminder, Montoya said he was with Castle Rock, a town of 50,000 people, for 41⁄2 years. Prior to that he was chief financial officer for Centennial, Colo., a newly incorporated city of 100,000. Montoya, 43, said he was drawn to the job in Florence for the climate, but especially the comfort and security of a small community. He is married and the father of six children. His contract provides an annual base salary of $113,000 plus $325 per month vehicle allowance. Montoya worked as chief financial officer for Jefferson County, Colo., and before that worked for a private company, National Mentor Inc., in New Mexico. He also worked seven years for the governor’s office and other state agencies in New Mexico. As director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, he managed and supervised all financial, accounting, payroll, budgeting, and analysis of organization expenditures and revenues. He also assisted in the analysis and management of economic development, long-term water planning, fire management and planning and development, according to his resume. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management economics with a minor in math from New Mexico State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from University of New Mexico. He served about 10 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of lieutenant.

Mercer Island, Washington (population 23,154): Mercer Island City Manager Rich Conrad, a 35-year employee of the City of Mercer Island, announced his plans to retire at the end of this year, according to the Mercer Island Reporter. Conrad told the City Council about his decision at their annual planning retreat held over the weekend at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. In a letter sent to city employees today, Conrad said that he started out at the city in 1979, just as “another one of the gang that needed a job.” Over time things changed, he continued. He said he is leaving on his own terms. Conrad expects to be involved professionally on a part-time basis after he retires. He will live part-time in Arizona where he and his wife April, have a second home.

Dawson County, Georgia (population 22,459): A Dawson County native has been selected as the county’s next chief operating officer, according to the Dawson News. Cindy Gilleland Campbell was named county manager Dec. 20 following a unanimous vote by the Dawson County commission. She will replace Kevin Tanner, who is leaving the post he has held since 2008 in January for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he will represent District 9. Campbell currently serves as the county’s chief financial officer, a position she has held for four years. She also served as the county’s interim manager earlier this year when Tanner took a leave of absence to run for state office. The first woman to hold the position, Campbell, 40, said she looks forward to 2013 and beginning her new role. Hired in 2008 as assistant finance director, Campbell was promoted to chief financial officer in December of that year. In her current position, she manages and oversees all aspects of the county’s finances, supervising the finance, purchasing and human resources staff. Commission Chair Mike Berg said Campbell represents the caliber of employee required for the county’s top non-elected position. A 1990 Dawson County High School graduate, Campbell earned a bachelor of business administration degree at North Georgia College & State University and received her certified public accountant license in 2000. Prior to her work with the county, Campbell’s career included nearly 14 years in corporate finance and accounting in the private sector. She was selected from a slate of five internal candidates vying for the manager’s job. They included: David Headley, director of public works and community development; David McKee, planning and development director; Billy Thurmond, emergency services director; and Bob Ivey, director of administration. Berg said the decision was one of the most difficult the county commission has faced. Berg and Campbell were set to meet late last week to discuss and finalize her new contract.

Leesburg, Florida (population 20,179): Jay Evans submitted a letter of resignation, saying his last day on the job would be Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, according to News 13. Evans has served the city of Leesburg since 2004.

Camas, Washington (population 19,355): Camas selected Nina Regor as the city’s top administrator at its 4:30 p.m. worksession Dec. 17. After a nearly yearlong search for a new city administrator, the city landed on Regor, who currently serves as the city manager of Cloverdale, Calif., a small community of 8,500 people. Regor will receive a gross salary of $127,812. From 1991 to 2003, Regor worked for the Gresham, Ore., where she was promoted from budget analyst to assistant city manager. She previously served as the deputy city manager of Spokane Valley from 2003 to 2007. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s in public management and policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Regor is already familiar with Camas. She grew up in the Clark County area, and her mother was raised in Camas. She will replace long-serving City Administrator Lloyd Halverson, who will be retiring at the beginning of the year after serving in his position for 23 years.

Culpeper, Virginia (population 16,379): The Culpeper Town Council fired Town Manager Kim Alexander, according to Fredericksburg.com. The vote, at a special council meeting, was 5–2. Councilmen Ben Phillips, Frank Reaves, Jim Risner, Bobby Ryan and Billy Yowell voted for Alexander’s termination while Vice Mayor Mike Olinger and Dave Lochridge voted against. Mayor Chip Coleman was out having surgery while Dan Boring is away on a cruise. Alexander’s downfall began Sept. 13 when she placed town police Capt. Chris Settle on paid administrative leave and began her own internal investigation of allegations against him. Subsequent investigations by the Virginia State Police and a private investigator hired by the Town Council—which cost a reported $70,000—found only three minor infractions against Settle, according to a published report. The confidential results of that investigation were then leaked to the Culpeper Star–Exponent, which prompted the special meeting. According to a source close to the situation, Alexander, who was appointed town manager in August 2011, was given the option to resign, but would not. Alexander had survived a vote to terminate her Jan. 3. That vote was 5–4. Chris Hively, who was named assistant town manager earlier this month, will take over the town manager’s job.

Traverse City, Michigan (population 14,894): City Manager Ben Bifoss announced his retirement today, effective June 28, in a brief letter emailed to city commissioners this afternoon, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Bifoss did not give a reason for his impending departure but will make a formal announcement when he meets with the board today at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center. Bifoss replaced Richard Lewis as city manager and started with the city in November 2008.

Waukee, Iowa (population 14,484): After an extensive national search for a new city administrator, Waukee council members have hired a man with more than two decades of experience developing cities in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. Tim Moerman, who has been assistant city manager in Ankeny, will assume the job of Waukee city administrator on Feb. 18. All five members of the Waukee City Council approved Moerman’s contract during a special session on Thursday. He will be paid a prorated annual salary of $132,000 through the end of June, and then $134,000 for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Waukee Mayor Bill Peard welcomed Moerman to the city on Thursday and invited him to address the council. Brad Deets, Waukee’s development services director, has served as interim city administrator since Jeff Kooistra resigned in May. Moerman was hired by Ankeny in 2005 as director of community development. Building strong, trusting relationships with people helped him succeed there, he said. Those skills will help him in Waukee, specifically with the Alice’s Road project, he added. The multimillion-dollar road project would be a dominant issue during his first few months on the job, Moerman said. Waukee has expanded its staff in recent years to complete the project, and forging good relationships with staff and the community will be important, he said. Peard said Moerman’s ability to work with people and his can-do attitude were some of the qualities that made him a good fit for Waukee, which has increased in population by more than 8,600 people since 2000. The new chief executive said he was eager to get to work, and that he had already thought through a lot of the issues that he would confront during his first 60 days. Moerman’s resume also includes experience as assistant city manager in Dubuque from 1995 to 2001. He served as city administrator in Mason City from 2001 to 2005. Spurring development along the Dubuque waterfront and redeveloping Mason City are among his accomplishments, according to a press release from the city of Waukee. Moerman received his undergraduate business degree from Dordt College in Sioux Center and then a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University. The council-approved contract will also compensate Moerman for moving expenses so he and his family can relocate to Waukee. Councilman Shane Blanchard said Moerman’s background and experience would serve Waukee residents well. After the 10-minute meeting concluded, Moerman stayed in the council chambers to address members of the parks board. Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson said he has known Moerman for decades, and that Waukee officials made a good decision.

Lincoln, Illinios (population 14,419): After a two-year search, the city of Lincoln has hired its first city administrator, according to the Pantagraph. Sue McLaughlin, the former city administrator for Mattoon, has been hired through GovTempsUSA on a temporary basis, through April 30. The hire is temporary because contracts cannot extend past a current mayor’s term. Keith Snyder’s term will expire April 30, but he is running for re-election. The temporary contract, which has a provision for a six-month extension, will give the city a good trial period, Snyder said. “We will have options because we can evaluate it and the council can make a decision whether or not to make it permanent or go another direction,” Snyder said. The Mattoon City Council terminated McLaughlin’s contract in June 2012 “without cause” after she was on the job for 2½ years. McLaughlin faced criticism from the council because of a proposal to sell 4.7 acres at Lake Mattoon to her fiancé for about $41,000. Officials say the figure was far less than the market value of the property. Snyder said he talked with McLaughlin at length about the situation. McLaughlin has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Illinois State University in Normal and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She held previous administrator positions in North Aurora and Byron. Because of the temporary nature of the contract, McLaughlin will not be required to move to Lincoln until the position becomes permanent. McLaughlin will begin Feb. 1 with a salary equivalent to $62,400 annually.

Gates County, North Carolina (population 12,197): Neither rain, nor wind, nor the threat of snow could keep Gates County citizens from meeting their new local government administrator here last week, according to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Inside the cozy confines of the meeting room at the Merchants Millpond State Park Visitors Center, Jon Mendenhall took center stage. The newly hired County Manager shook hands and chatted with local residents during a two-hour welcoming reception held in his honor. While the event was staged primarily to welcome Mendenhall, it also served another purpose….that of saying thanks and farewell to interim County Manager Kenneth Windley. He was hired by the commissioners in early November following the departure of former County Manager Toby Chappell who left to accept a similar job in Greenwood County, SC. Henry Jordan, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, stated that Windley was able to come in and keep the county’s current projects running without skipping a beat. Mendenhall said that although his time spent with Windley was short, he learned a lot from the veteran administrator. A native of High Point, Mendenhall has spent the past 20 months as the Deputy County Administrator in Southampton County, VA. Prior to that, Mendenhall has served as Director of Engineering Services for Albemarle, NC; Planning Director for Tift County, GA, and County Planner for Stanly County, NC. He is an undergraduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and a graduate of East Carolina University with a Masters in Technology Systems. Additional studies in Project Management have been completed at NC State University. His first day on the job in Gates County was Jan. 14.

Crestwood, Missouri (population 11,909): A retired U.S. Air Force colonel has been selected to serve as Crestwood’s new city administrator, according to the Call. Mayor Jeff Schlink recommended Mark Sime’s appointment to the position at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting and aldermen voted 7-0 to approve the appointment. Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan was absent from the Jan. 8 meeting. Sime, who served in the Air Force for 26 years, is a city resident. Sime said he wants to make sure he does a good job for his family and himself, but also for residents and established businesses. Schlink noted the city administrator position is a “more public position” than Sime has had in his past military experience. However, Sime said he has had “visibility” in some of his positions, such as when he served as a squadron commander on Guam. Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild, who chaired the City Administrator Candidate Search Committee, said the city had “quite a number of really qualified people” apply for the position. Schlink said the purpose of the search committee, which also included of Duncan and Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen, was not to tell the mayor who “they felt was the best person.” Though Sime’s appointment was approved by the Board of Aldermen, details of Sime’s employment still need to be finalized. Former Fire Chief Karl Kestler had served as acting city administrator since March, at which time then-City Administrator Petree Eastman left the city. Eastman earned $98,000 annually.

Mebane, North Carolina (population 11,562): David Cheek is Mebane’s new city manager, taking over for Robert Wilson, who is retiring after 25 years of service, according to the Times-NewsCheek moved from his role as assistant city manager to manager after the first of the new year. Cheek, 52, is a graduate of N.C. State University, where he majored in accounting. He is a CPA. Cheek and his wife, Tammy, have three children — Lauren Parrish, 26; DJ, 24; and Anna, 15. Tammy works at Burlington Christian Academy. Cheek has a wealth of experience in local municipal and county government. He worked as manager of Alamance County for eight years before leaving to take a job as vice president of administrative and fiscal services for Alamance Community College. From there Cheek moved three years ago to the position of assistant city manager of Mebane. Chris Rollins, Graham’s former city manager, has moved to Mebane as assistant city manager. Cheek, who graduated from Graham High School in 1978, had an interesting work history before landing a job with Alamance County. After graduating from N.C. State, he worked four years for the state auditor’s office and followed that with four years with the state controller’s office. Cheek said he and his wife were ready to settle down and start a family and sought to return to Alamance County. Former Graham City Manager Bruce Turney was a family friend, Cheek said, and called former Alamance County Manager Robert Smith on his behalf. Cheek eventually landed a job as assistant county manager and moved to the position of manager when Smith retired. Cheek noted that Mebane continues to grow at a brisk pace.

Lewisburg, Tennessee (population 11,185): Lewisburg’s City Manager Tommy Engram hand delivered a resignation letter to Mayor Barbara Woods at her home Friday afternoon, according to the Marshall County Tribune. Woods said staff at City Hall knew some of the councilmen had been in to see Engram in the days before his resignation, but did not know what had been discussed. When reached by telephone, Engram had no comment as to why he resigned. Engram will be back in Lewisburg this week to clean out his desk and move the rest of his belongings from the city-owned house in Lone Oak Cemetery where he lived. He also plans to come back later this month, when Woods has returned from vacation, to brief her on programs that are in progress. These include revitalization of the square, WiFi on the square, grants, Jones Park, and “a whole list of items like that, that we’ve been doing to make the town more attractive to industry and make it more fun for the people who live there,” Engram said. Councilman Steve Thomas ran into Engram in Lewisburg Friday and heard about the resignation then, so he was the first councilman to know. In Thomas’s view, Engram was leading the city in a positive direction, but he acknowleged there were personality conflicts, though he was surprised by the resignation. Woods informed other councilmen by telephone over the weekend. Councilman Ronald McRady agreed Engram’s resignation was a surprise. McRady has spoken up and voted against some of Engram’s proposals, but said, “It wasn’t anything personal. It was what I felt was in the best interest of the city.” Councilman Robin Minor also heard about the resignation over the weekend, and said he was surprised “to a certain degree.” The mayor was regretful, as she prepared to resume the role of acting city manager. Minor said he thought the mayor would call a council meeting when she got back to town, to start the process of finding a new city manager. In his opinion, however, the final choice should be left until after the May election, so that the new councilmen can choose the man – or woman – they will be working with. Meanwhile, Engram is back home in Cedartown, Ga., writing an article for American Town & City. [Editor’s note: If anyone has a link to this publication, please let me know.] He plans to do “something in the same field,” but declined to be more specific. “I’m not at liberty to say anything at this time,” Engram said, citing professional standards. He started as Lewisburg City Manager on July 1, 2012. Engram was interim city manager in Cedartown about three years ago and after that he was director of the downtown development authority there until he got the job in Lewisburg.

Leicester, Massachusetts (population 10,970): Town Administrator Robert Reed said Monday night he intends to retire, effective July 31, after nine years in the post, according to the Telegram. Mr. Reed, who came to Leicester from a similar post in Sherborn, said he has enjoyed his years in Leicester and has made no specific plans about what he will do next. He said the town has a great deal of work scheduled for the next few months and he didn’t want selectmen to have to deal with that, while at the same time trying to find a new town administrator, so he put off his retirement day until July.

Grand Rapids, Minnesota (population 10,862): Sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right time, according to the Grand Rapids Herald-Review. For Grand Rapids City Administrator Shawn Gillen, that right opportunity was the chance to become the city manager in Doraville, Ga. Gillen will be leaving his post with the City of Grand Rapids on April 16 and starting his new job on April 17. Doraville, which Gillen said has a population of around 10,000, is a suburb of Atlanta and he estimated the daytime population of Doraville expands to 30-40,000 people. The decision to leave wasn’t an easy one, he said. Gillen came to Grand Rapids in 2007 and in his nearly six years as city administrator, the biggest challenge he faced, and the thing he is “most proud of getting through” was the financial crisis. During that time, Local Government Aid (LGA) was slashed and Grand Rapids saw a reduction in its industrial and commercial tax base. To address the crisis, Grand Rapids implemented many measures to reduce the budget while keeping the same level of city services. Gillen said several measures were taken, including investing in technologies ranging from computer systems to a new plow truck able to do the work of two trucks; an early retirement program which allowed a staff reduction of 10 percent; and collaborations with other communities. Those measures, coupled with the city’s revenue stabilization plan, allowed the city to make a permanent budget reduction of $1 million with virtually no loss of services and no skyrocketing of city property taxes. Gillen gave credit to the city council, department heads and staff for making it through the financial crunch. Gillen also stressed the importance of the collaborations in which the city has taken part. These were communities which in the past had not spoken with one another, but now are talking and working together. While he’s excited to move on to his new position, there are some things he’ll miss. The YMCA project is going to be so cool, Gillen said. Plans are currently underway to put a senior center in the YMCA.. Gillen was recently named president of the Visit Grand Rapids board and had also been elected to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce board, and he expressed some sadness in leaving those positions behind. On a personal note, his time in Minnesota has allowed Gillen to mark an item off his bucket list. Until last Friday, the Illinois native had never driven on a frozen lake. He went out to Pokegama Lake to see the hockey rink built for Hockey Day Minnesota and took his vehicle onto the ice. The Grand Rapids City Council has dedicated its Monday work session at 4 p.m. at City Hall to discussion of replacing the city administrator. Gillen, who will still be serving as city administrator until April, said he will assist in making a smooth transition for whomever is hired. The idea is that person gets to walk into a “turn-key situation,” Gillen said.

Hillsbourough, California (population 10,825): Randy Schwartz has been named the new city manager for the town of Hillsborough, replacing current City Manager Tony Constantouros, who retired after 18 years with the town, according to The Daily Journal. Schwartz has worked as San Bruno’s Community Service director for the past four years and before that, worked for the city of Burlingame for 23 years, where he last served as Parks and Recreation director. Schwartz will begin work in January 2013. A fourth generation San Franciscan, Randy Schwartz attended Lowell High School and San Francisco State University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Schwartz and his wife, Stephanie, met in high school, were married in 1981 and have lived in Burlingame for the past 12 years.  Their children, Jeff (age 29) and Laura (age 26), graduated from Burlingame High School, are both married and live in San Mateo. Schwartz is a member of several professional organizations for municipal managers and has conducted dozens of staff development events for municipal management professionals.  He has taught at the College of Notre Dame and Skyline College and serves on a community advisory board for San Francisco State University.

Canandaigua, New York (population 10,604): The city of Canandaigua announced Jan. 25 that Norristown, Pa. municipal administrator David Forrest will be the new city manager, following the retirement of Kay James in March, according to MPNnow.com. City council will pass a resolution during a Feb. 7 meeting at City Hall regarding the manager change. Forrest will be sworn in during the March 7 council meeting, and the appointment will be effective March 8 — which will also be James’ last day in office. Forrest has 18 years of experience in local government management. He’s held the position in Norristown since May 2007. Previously he served as the Borough Manager for Landsdowne Borough Pa. and as the assistant Borough Manager in Pottstown Borough, Pa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and received his master of public administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Forrest will be the eighth city manager since the city of Canandaigua adopted a council/manager form of government through a 1968 charter change. James announced her retirement last summer. She has worked with the city since December 1984. James was appointed acting city manager in August 2007 when then-manager Cole was disabled by a stroke, and was officially named to the position in December 2008. In July, Council hired advisor Nick Mazza, of the Pittsford-based Bonadio Group, to help select James’ successor.

Prosper, Texas (population 9,889): As Harlan Jefferson prepares for his new job as Prosper’s town manager, he sees a chance to lead a unique town, according to the Star Local News. Jefferson was named the town manager at the Jan. 8 council meeting, ending a search that lasted several months. Jefferson started his job Jan. 21. Jefferson spent 12 years in Flower Mound, serving as town manager, deputy town manager, chief financial officer, director of finance and treasurer. The Flower Mound Town Council terminated his contract Oct. 8. Mayor Tom Hayden cited differences in economic development philosophies. Jefferson now has a chance to lead another municipality, and he sees Prosper’s future growth as an exciting challenge. Prosper, 15,000-resident community located north of Hwy. 380 in Collin County, is likely to see major growth in the coming years. Helping fuel that growth is the possible extension of the tollway. That, along with the EDC, will be new to Jefferson. The Prosper EDC is a 4A corporation authorized by the Texas state legislature to attract businesses to a community utilizing a portion of the sales tax in that community.

Kittery, Maine (population 9,490): Former Town Manager Robert Markel, in a farewell interview, took issue with a Town Council that at times overreached its legal limitations, took aim at council Chairman George Dow, and took umbrage with some town employees who have provided insufficient “customer service” to residents, according to the SeacoastOnline. He also let loose several revelations. Among them, a town employee was fired over the summer, he said, for running an eBay business from her desk. An unfounded rumor that his office was bugged prompted interim Town Manager James Ashe to talk with Markel at a restaurant when he first arrived. And as for officers’ vote of no confidence in former Police Chief Paul Callaghan, Markel said he felt the impetus was that Callaghan “came in with proposals at the bargaining table that they didn’t like.” Markel’s final day in office was Thursday and he sat down with the Portsmouth Herald on Friday afternoon. He resigned in December after serving as manager for a year. Markel said he was concerned that no strong candidates for town manager are going to want to come to Kittery until the Town Council stops telling the manager how to do his job. He said during his tenure, some councilors demanded he take certain actions regarding specific town employees. This was particularly true when it came to Callaghan. He singled out Dow in particular. Dow has said many times that he understands the demarcation between the council and the manager and he did not intervene to end Callaghan’s employment. Markel said, with steel in his voice, Friday that Dow did, in fact, interfere. He also spoke of a need for town employees to start providing better customer service. He said he found out that some employees were simply not returning phone calls or checking e-mails from the end of day Thursday until Monday morning, when Town Hall opened again. He said that since then, he required many department heads to be available to answer phone calls and e-mail on Friday, when Town Hall is closed. He said one of his hallmarks as manager was hiring good employees. This includes the town finance director, who is now “fully prepared to put together the budget with or without a town manager. That’s what you want. Good employees who do their job.” Meanwhile, he fired one employee and suspended another for running an eBay operation while on duty, after following up on another Town Hall rumor. As a result, there is now a blocker system on all computers so that certain sites, including commercial and pornography sites, can’t be accessed. Markel said he hopes to stay in the southern Maine area, and has several options he’s pursuing. He said Kittery “has a bright future. I’m ultimately optimistic,” particularly because a citizens watchdog group has recently formed and is “engaged” in the public process.

Groveland, Florida (popluation 8,846): Groveland officials may soon be in the market for a new city manager and a finance director, since Dolly Miller, who holds both positions, quit, according to The Daily Commercial. City Attorney Anita Geraci said Monday she has instructed Groveland officials and city employees not to talk about Miller’s resignation until a formal meeting is held to discuss it. In her letter, Miller gave no reason for why she was quitting, although she thanked the city for the opportunity to have been appointed as manager in January 2010, following a brief stint as interim manager after the death of then manager Ralph Hester in October 2009. Miller, a native of Florida, has worked for the city since April 2001, when she was hired as a human resources clerk. Nearly one year later, in January 2002, she was promoted to finance director, a position she held throughout her tenure, along with the city manager title bestowed upon her eight years later. According to former Mayor Mike Radzik who served on the Groveland City Council as mayor from November 2010 to November 2012, Miller’s appointment to the city manager’s post was not seen by some as ideal. Radzik said some of the members of the current council, who also have served on previous councils, had other ideas regarding who should have held the top spot to begin with. That, Radzik said, has continued to plaque Miller since her appointment. Miller, who graduated from Lake-Sumter Community College and the University of Central Florida, worked in retail for 10 years and earned a real estate license before joining the city. She currently makes $117,220 a year. As Groveland’s finance director, Miller earned the city a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the government Finance Officers Association for three years in a row; the last in June 2012.

Cloverdale, California (population 8,618): Nina Regor, Cloverdale’s city manager for the past five years, is leaving to take a job as top administrator of a city in Washington state, according to the Press Democrat. Regor announced she has accepted the job as the city administrator in Camas, Wash. Regor, 51, will be paid about $128,000 in her new position, less than the $154,000 she makes in Cloverdale. But she said it will allow her to be nearer to family, including an aunt and an uncle that live in Washington. She also grew up in the area. Camas, a city of 20,000 inhabitants, is just east of Vancouver, Wash., It has more than twice the population of Cloverdale. With 179 employees it also has more than four times as many city workers. Before she came to Cloverdale, Regor was a deputy city manager in Spokane Valley, Wash. Since she arrived in Cloverdale in late 2007, the recession along with the accompanying decline in property and sales tax revenues contributed to the city’s general fund dwindling from $11 million annually to about $5 million. Despite the financial constraints, Regor said the city completed a number of significant projects, including the Cloverdale Fire Protection District headquarters, the History Center and the Performing Arts Center. Although those projects were team efforts involving collaboration with non-profit groups and others, Mayor Palla said, the city manager was a “key player. She had a big part in facilitating the process.” Palla said Regor has been very helpful in guiding the City Council during steady down-sizing of operations. City Councilwoman Carol Russell said Regor has been a calming influence. The budgetary problems and reduced number of employees also left Regor with little if any administrative support. The number of city employees went from 50 to 39 during her tenure. Regor said there are financial challenges Cloverdale needs to work through. Some, she said, have been inflicted by the state, such as the elimination of redevelopment programs that helped finance improvements and were being counted on for future projects. Palla said the city may seek to have an interim city manager for up to six months while a search is conducted for a full-time replacement. The interim manager would be drawn from the ranks of retired city managers available through the League of California Cities. Regor stayed on the job until Jan. 23 and reported for work in Camas on Jan. 25.

Doraville, Georgia (population 8,429): The Doraville City Council approved a contract for its first city manager Tuesday, according to the DeKalb Neighbor. The move comes on the heels of a nation-wide search that began in October. After culling a field of 92 candidates, the city’s leadership tapped Shawn Gillen, a veteran public administrator of 16 years. Gillen, who has served in the same capacity for Grand Rapids, Minn. since 2007, assumes his new role April 17. Before taking the Grand Rapids post, Gillen served as assistant professor of public finance at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to that, he served for three years as chief of staff for the city council of the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky Urban County Government. Gillen also served a term as mayor of Monmouth, Ill. in the late 90s. Gillen holds a masters of public administration and a doctorate in public finance from the University of Kentucky. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa where he played for the Hawkeye football program. Gillen and his wife Katie have three daughters, Georgia, Lilla and Scarlett. A town of about 10,000, Gillen led the northern Minnesota hamlet of Grand Rapids through a tough financial crisis. That experience will come in handy. He will face similar challenges in Doraville, a community still reeling from General Motor’s departure in 2008. His public financing chops will also be well served as the city prepares for the plant’s eventual redevelopment. With the appointment, Doraville will shed the full-time mayor form of government, which has held sway since a 1981 referendum.  Mayor Donna Pittman will transition to the role as part-time mayor, a move she welcomes.

Aransas Pass, Texas (population 8,202): Aransas Pass’s new city manager, Sylvia Carrillo, is not at all abashed that one of her first actions was to cancel a city council meeting, according to The Aransas Pass Progress. Preparation is one of Carrillo’s strong points, she said. Though this is Carrillo’s first job as a city manager, she comes to Aransas Pass with managing experience. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from Del Mar College there before going to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for a degree in business administration. She’d have been working toward a master’s degree in business administration while an intern with the City of Corpus Christi if then-City Manager George “Skip” Noe hadn’t persuaded her to switch to public administration, she said. As a graduate student and later as an employee, Carrillo worked under the city manager in budgeting, parks and recreation, development services and mapping, among other departments, before applying for the Aransas Pass job. She started work here on Friday, Jan. 4, after being selected by city council members from a total of 44 applicants, later narrowed to seven. In Corpus Christi, she supervised a staff of 70 and a budget of $6.5 million, Castillo said. While she’s a rookie city manager, she considers her background in the area an advantage. Because of that, she knows about what she calls the “dramatic changes” at Conn Brown Harbor, with the city removing derelict boat hulks and cleaning up the harbor for future development. Her vision for Aransas Pass includes some hard work, because Carrillo believes the city is “on the cusp of some astonishing growth.” She pointed to a new pipe plant being built near Gregory as an example of industrial growth in the area. Otherwise, he said, the city will be caught unprepared.

Pismo Beach, California (population 7,655): By the time Atascadero resident Jim Lewis graduated from high school, he knew he wanted to become a city manager someday in his future, according to the Times Press Recorder. He will finally get the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong career goal. Lewis, who has served as assistant city manager in Atascadero for the past eight years, will succeed Kevin M. Rice as Pismo Beach city manager, starting Feb. 20. Rice has served as Pismo Beach city manager for the past nine years and will retire at the end of February, handing the reigns over to Lewis, who said he looks forward to helping Pismo become an even more vibrant and financially stable city. Lewis will be paid a base salary of $156,885 a year in Pismo Beach, where he competed against 80 other individuals for the job.
Currently, Lewis oversees economic development, human resources, labor relations, technology and special projects for the city of Atascadero. He said he is passionate about public service and committed to building quality and sustainable organizations that serve the public to their best and most efficient ability. That’s not to say, however, that Lewis doesn’t have ideas for helping the city create a more dynamic downtown area using both private and public resources, such as the city of Atascadero has done. He said he looks forward to assisting the city in developing more shopping and dining areas downtown, while building on the businesses already established in the area. In his role as Atascadero’s assistant city manager, Lewis has transformed the city’s downtown core by helping facilitate the construction of a new 10-screen movie theater and several new shops and restaurants and building pride among business owners. Lewis said during his time with Atascadero, and prior to that with the city of Claremont, he helped build a supportive, dedicated and entrepreneurial staff culture focused on offering high customer service to the community, something he plans to continue in Pismo Beach. He also wants to build on the city’s reputation of providing efficient and cost-effective customer service to its residents and business owners. Lewis said he also hopes to strengthen relationships with agencies such as the Coastal Commission. He said he is the type of person where “what you see is what you get,” and that he takes public service very seriously. Lewis served as president of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California in 2001 and currently serves on the Emerging Leaders Task Force for the International City and County Management Association and the ICMA Press Editorial Advisory Board. Additionally, Lewis is one of three ICMA credentialed managers in San Luis Obispo County and serves on the California-ICMA’s Committee on Ethics. He graduated with honors and received a bachelor’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern California. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the top-ranked school of government in the nation, the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. The California native and his wife, Debi, have a 4-year-old daughter, Gracie. They plan to relocate to Pismo Beach after Lewis makes the transition into the role of city manager. In his spare time, Lewis enjoys reading, hiking, biking, winemaking and cooking.

Fairfax, California (population 7,441): Fairfax’s new town manager, Garrett Toy, will start in his new position on Feb. 4, according to the SanAnselmo-Fairfax Patch. The Fairfax Town Council approved a contract for Toy at its Jan. 10 meeting. He will make an annual salary of $120,000. Mayor John Reed briefly introduced Toy at the Thursday night meeting after the council approved the contract. The council and more than 15 audience members applauded after Toy’s new position was announced. Toy, who lives in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters, is currently the administrative services manager in the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency. For more than 13 years, Toy was part of the senior management team in Morgan Hill, a town south of San Jose with a population of more than 38,000. He served as the director of business assistance and housing services, overseeing Morgan Hill’s redevelopment, economic development and affordable housing activities. He has also served as the deputy director of housing and redevelopment for the city of Stockton and worked for Fairfield’s Department of Planning and Development. He has more than 23 years of experience in municipal government managing projects and programs from creation to completion, according to Fairfax town staff. Michael Rock, who was the Fairfax town manager for four and a half years, left the town in June 2012 for a position with the city of Lomita, a city with a population of over 20,000 in Southern California. Judy Anderson, the town clerk, has served as the interim town manager since Rock left.

Skiatook, Oklahoma (population 7,389): Owasso Police Chief Dan Yancey has been hired as the new city manager of Skiatook, according to the Tulsa World. The Skiatook City Council approved the move at a special meeting, Mayor Josh Brown said. Yancey, 49, who served as Skiatook police chief for 2½ years in the early 2000s, has been Owasso’s chief since January 2003. Yancey, who will start at Skiatook on Feb. 11, will move into a position formerly held by ex-town coordinator Martin Tucker, who left this summer after the municipality declined to renew his contract. Skiatook voters in November OK’d a proposition to switch from a town form of government to council-city manager template. Although he never has been a city manager, Yancey has more than 28 years in law enforcement, including stints at the Pawhuska Police Department and the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Brown said he worked with Yancey in the sheriff’s office. Yancey will receive a two-year contract with an annual base salary of $70,000, plus benefits, Brown said. Yancey said years ago he had planned on retiring from law enforcement when he turned 50, which is less than a month away. Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray said the municipality expects to name Deputy Police Chief Scott Chambless as interim police chief.

Guadalupe, California (population 7,132): The city of Guadalupe is getting a new City Administrator at the expense of the San Luis Obispo City Council, according to KCOY.  Andrew Carter is stepping down to take the full time job of City Administrator for Guadalupe. According to SLO City, Carter has served on the City Council since 2006, and is currently filling a term that will expire on December 1, 2014. Council Member Carter’s last day as a Council Member for the City of San Luis Obispo will be February 20, 2013 and that will be the day on which the vacancy will occur for appointment purposes. After more than six years on the City Council, Carter’s contributions will be missed by many. Mr. Carter is known for his analytical abilities, focus on financial trends (especially regarding City expenditures), and an unwavering commitment to the role and responsibilities of the City Council. During his term on the Council, Carter became a strong advocate for pension reform and voted with the majority of the City Council to create second-tier pension formulas for all City employee groups.

Live Oak, Florida (population 6,918): The Live Oak City Council met Dec. 18 to interview four candidates for the city administrator job, according to the Suwanee Democrat. They ended by hiring Joseph Miranti of Saint Cloud, Florida. 
Miranti claims to have 25 years in county government and has worked for the counties of Osceola and Madison. He has a master’s degree in business administration and organization management. 
He said he is trained to be resourceful in “getting the job done with as little amount of money possible and still provide the services that the citizens need.”
 Miranti takes over the job from Bob Farley who was sacked by the council in October. Miranti was scheduled to begin work on Dec. 27. 

He said his two main goals are simple: develop communication with the employees, councilman and community to make it an open line of communication and storm recovery. 
He said he once had to cut $500,000 out of a budget and did so without letting any employees go. 
Miranti has lived in Florida all his life, starting in south Florida, then central Florida and will now be living in north Florida. 
The vote to hire Miranti was 3-2 with councilmen Keith Mixon and Bennie Thomas voting against. Mixon and Thomas said they weren’t overly impressed with either candidate interviewed. Mixon wanted to at least interview Miranti and the other top point getter again. 
The council used a point system for each candidate based on different strengths. The top two point getters were David Kraus followed by Miranti. However, there was never a motion made that stated the top point getter would be offered the job first. Councilman Jacob Grantham, who chose Miranti to be interviewed, made a motion to hire him. This was seconded by council president Adam Prins. 
Miranti’s salary was voted to be $65,000 a year. The salary range for the job is $60-70,000 per year. 
The other interviewees were Andrew DeCandis, Kraus and Timothy Williams.

West Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 6,916): Town Administrator Beth Faricy is retiring in June after 21 years on the job, according to the Boston Globe. Applications for the job are being accepted until Feb. 22, and officials expect to screen and interview candidates in March. The search committee includes Superintendent of Schools Patricia Oakley, Town Clerk Nancy Morrison, Town Accountant John Duggan, Water Commissioner and Planning Board member Hugh Hurley, and resident Jack Hughes. The town administrator is appointed by the three-member Board of Selectmen.

Ivins, Utah (population 6,774): The Ivins City Council named City Attorney Dale Coulam as the replacement for City Manager Judy Gubler, who retired in November, according to The Spectrum. “You’re hired!” Mayor Chris Hart said after the council worked through concerns about whether Coulam would be able to simultaneously fill not only the city’s chief executive position, but the city attorney position he has held since 2004 while also continuing to fulfill some of the human resources and administrative services responsibilities he had also assumed during the course of his eight years with the city. Since 2005, Coulam served as acting city manager when Gubler was absent, and has been serving as her interim replacement since she retired. Councilmembers estimated the city will save more than $100,000 per year by combining the jobs, once benefits and salary are considered. Coulam said he will be paid about $120,000 to fill the two jobs that were each worth more than $100,000 previously. The new responsibilities will require him to work evenings and some weekends, but he was accustomed to a similar schedule during his years of private practice as an attorney, he said. Councilman George Elwell said he had wrestled with doubts about whether combining the two jobs placed too much power in one person’s hands, but had similarly determined that the city’s interests are being protected and that his doubts were unfounded at this time.

Princeton, WV (population 6,453): The City of Princeton welcomed a new city manager Jan. 15, according to the Princeton TimesCity Attorney Paul Cassell asked the City Council to approve a contract with Elke Doom, currently of Port Huron Township, Mich. Cassell told the council that he had prepared a draft of the contract which was approved by Doom and the Council needed to act so she could sign. Tim Ealy motioned and Jimm Norman seconded Cassell’s recommendation to approve the contract with Doom. The motion was approved 5-0. Council members Dewey Russell and John Wilborn were not at the meeting. Doom took over for the retiring Wayne Shumate and interim City Manager Wanda Donahue who was elected to serve until a replacement could be found. Doom previously served as supervisor/manager of the Huron Charter Township. In her letter of application for the position, she cited her experience with managing a budget, the 49 employees of the township, and her experience with economic development. Doom has also served as Manager/Assessor for York Charter Township, Mich., Tax Assessor for LaSalle Township, Mich., and as a Property Appraiser/Tax Assessor. She has degrees from Henry Ford Community College, Siena Heights University, and Saginaw Valley State University. She also has attended professional training at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Michigan State University, and the Michigan Township Governance Academy.

Eudora, Kansas (population 6,217): Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein announced his resignation, effective March 1, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. Harrenstein, who gave notice of his resignation Monday to the Eudora City Council, has accepted a similar position with the City of North Mankato, Minn. He’s been the city administrator since 2009. Harrenstein said he has enjoyed his time in Eudora, but the opening in Minnesota will bring him closer to his family in Iowa. North Mankato has a population of about 13,000 and is close to the Iowa border. The citizens of Eudora “welcomed me into their town,” he said. Harrenstein is the third high-ranking city official to resign in recent months, with the city recently hiring a new police and fire chief. But Harrenstein said the turnover “is in no way a negative reflection” of the city, which he said is “poised for great things.” In his three years with the city, Harrenstein said he’s most proud of helping build the city’s financial infrastructure and reorganizing the city’s administration. Harrenstein said he will help the city find a replacement.

Wadesboro, North Carolina (population 5,710): Alex Sewell began his first day as the new Wadesboro town manager on Jan. 7, filling John Witherspoon’s seat that Cecil Wood had been holding in the interim, according to the Anson Record. Sewell was born and raised in Wake County. A licensed attorney, he went to law school in a J.D./M.P.A. program, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and tying for the highest class GPA. Sewell just finished his course work for the M.P.A and is excited for his new position. Sewell enjoys working out, outdoor activities, and playing guitar, describing himself as a “laid-back guy.” Sewell formerly worked as an assistant in the city manager’s office in the town of Apex while in school, helping to prepare him for his new role. Sewell has experience in all phases of municipal administration, according to a press release he sent Monday evening. This includes experience in economic development, strategic planning, public works, finance, public safety, grant-writing, human resources and municipal law. Although he isn’t native to Wadesboro, Sewell had been through town before and when he became interested in the position he took the time to look deeper into the town. Sewell intends to focus on planning, partnerships and community. To accomplish all of this, Sewell said he needs to learn about the community by listening. Wadesboro Mayor Bill Thacker is pleased with Sewell’s appointment. Sewell has high hopes for the town.

Columbus, Wisconsin (population 4,997): City administrator Boyd Kraemer informed Mayor Robert Link on Dec. 19 that he intended to retire effective Jan. 15, according to the Portage Daily Register. The Columbus City Council approved an employee retirement agreement for him, but no details were released. The council approved city clerk Anne Donahue and finance director/treasurer Kim Manley to serve as acting co-administrators during the interim. Each will receive $250 per week in extra salary while performing these duties. Link said that the council will present a plaque to Kraemer at an upcoming council meeting. Kraemer has been city administrator since April 30, 2007. The council plans to undertake a search for a new city administrator that is expected to take several months.

Bulverde, Texas (population 4,780): The new city administrator for Bulverde was the salutatorian of the class of 2000 at Smithson Valley High School, according to the San Antonio Express-NewsE.A. Hoppe was selected on Dec. 11 by the Bulverde City Council to serve as the city administrator. He began his career in public management with the city of Richardson in 2004 as an intern in the finance department while completing his bachelors degree in economics at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he graduated summa cum aude. Hoppe then served as a management analyst in Richardson’s city manager’s office while completing a master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Texas‘ nationally acclaimed city management program, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2006. While there he was awarded the Hatton W. Sumners fellowship, selected as the 2005 Texas City Management Association’s Clarence E. Ridley Scholar and the 2004 North Texas City Management Association‘s William J. Pitstick Scholar. Hoppe went on to serve as the assistant to the city manager in Richardson in 2008, and was promoted to assistant director of community services in 2011. He is a graduate of Leadership Richardson (Class XXIII), the Richardson Citizens Police Academy (Class XXX), and the Richardson Citizens Fire Academy (Class XII). He is also a graduate of Leadership ICMA (International City and County Managers Association, Class of 2012) and is active in ICMA and the Texas City Managers Association. He has also served on the executive board for the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (UMANT) and Leadership Richardson. Hoppe graduated as Salutatorian from Smithson Valley High School in 2000. His wife Ashley is also a SVHS graduate, and they are the parents of two boys, Patrick and Kolby. Hoppe began his duties as city administrator Jan. 2.

Blaine, Washington (population 4,744): Gary Tomsic will retire as Blaine city manager at the end of June – leaving the post he will have held for 13 years for new adventures that include more visits with his children and grandchildren and a 500-mile walking pilgrimage in Spain, according to The News Tribune. The City Council will interview two firms Monday, Jan. 28, and pick one to search for city manager candidates. Tomsic’s tenure in Blaine began February 2000 when he was hired to serve as interim city manager before being selected permanently for the post in July of the same year. City Councilwoman Bonnie Onyon picked him for both positions. She praised Tomsic for putting Blaine on better financial footing in the short time that he served as interim city manager. Onyon also lauded Tomsic for being active in the community. As city manager, Tomsic hires and fires all staff, and oversees Blaine’s finances. The city has about 60 employees and an annual budget of roughly $30 million. His annual salary is $108,000. He said he was proud of the city’s care of its infrastructure, which prepares Blaine for growth. Other accomplishments include a consistent program of improving streets, construction of a new fire station and wastewater treatment plant, as well as the purchase of the Banner Bank building for a new City Hall. As for his greatest challenges, that included providing good financial stewardship of the city, especially during the last few years and with the December closure of the Semiahmoo Hotel. In addition to the loss of 224 jobs at Blaine’s largest employer, the closure – and the associated loss in revenue from sales and utility excise taxes – added to a shortfall in the city’s general fund that eventually totaled $536,000. The closure’s impact will remain an issue for the new city manager. Another challenge during Tomsic’s tenure included successfully negotiating an agreement with the Lummis after work crews dug up truckloads of dirt that contained Indian remains during a planned expansion of Blaine’s wastewater treatment plant on Semiahmoo Spit. (The city abandoned that expansion.) That negotiation, his first big assignment, took more than a year, Tomsic said, but he believed it was successful – noting it was done in a way that wasn’t adversarial and allowed the city to continue working with the tribe “in a positive way.” What’s next for Tomsic, a lifelong fly fisherman, and auctioneer by avocation who has used his skills to help raise money for fundraisers? There will be visits to children and grandchildren in Colorado and Florida. Maybe a little consulting work, and some volunteering. And then there’s the “camino de Santiago” pilgrimage in Spain – a 500-mile walk popularized by the 2010 movie “The Way” that Tomsic and his wife will begin in September. Although it has existed as a Christian pilgrimage for centuries, Tomsic said his inspiration for the trek isn’t religious so much as it is a chance to explore something new.

Russell, Kansas (population 4,497): Interim Russell City Manager Jon Quinday is no longer interim, according to the Hays Post.  Russell City Council members voted last week to offer Quinday a two-year contract as Russell City Manager, Quinday, the Russell Police Chief, was named interim city manager last September after previous Russell City Manager Ralph Wise resigned in August.  Quinday has resigned as police chief, a position he’s held since July 2009. Captain Dale Weimaster has been appointed Interim Russell Police Chief.

Centreville, Maryland (population 4,334): The Centreville Town Council voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Town Manager Bob McGrory and appointed Steve Walls as acting town manager on Thursday, Jan. 3, according to My Eastern Shore. McGrory’s resignation follows him being charged with driving while intoxicated at about 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day while driving a car owned by the town. The town council held two special closed sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Thursday, Jan. 3, with Police Chief Charles Rhodes, Town Attorney Steve Kehoe and Town Clerk Carolyn Brinkley where the council made their vote to accept McGrory’s resignation and to appoint Walls. Walls said his position is temporary but the council can decide to make his position permanent at a later time. Walls was previously the director of public works for the town. McGrory could not be reached for comment.

North Hampton, New Hampshire (population 4,259): The North Hampton Select Board announced Wednesday the selection of Paul Apple as the new town administrator, according to Seacoast Online. Apple has served as the town administrator in Allenstown since 2010. The Select Board said Apple brings to the community extensive municipal experience including past service as a Select Board and Budget Committee member in Mt. Vernon. Apple is also a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and during his legal career has represented both municipalities and school districts. Apple’s compensation has been established at $80,000 per year, and was expected to start work in North Hampton on Jan. 17, 2013. The Select Board’s decision is contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background review, which is currently underway. Apple will replace Steve Fournier, who vacated the position of town administrator in August, to take the administrator job in Newmarket.

Fruitland Park, Florida (population 4,078): Ralph Bowers resigned Jan. 11 as city manager in the midst of a swirling controversy surrounding a two-year affair he had with a city employee that sparked a criminal investigation, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Terms of the resignation included the 73-year-old Bowers receiving 160 hours of vacation pay, which totals more than $6,500, his attorney Chris Largey said. Bowers’ resignation comes on the heels of a State Attorney’s Office decision not to file criminal charges against Bowers for sexual battery against the city employee. In interviews with investigators, the woman said there were five forced incidents of sexual contact, in which she refused sexual activity, but he forced her to continue, a sheriff’s investigative report said. However, prosecutors said Wednesday there wasn’t enough physical or medical evidence to pursue charges. Also, the woman had admitted to accepting gifts and money from Bowers during the two-year sexual relationship and she admitted that she had initially consented to the sexual activity, a report said. Largey said the allegations against Bowers, who became manager in 2006, were meritless. Last month, city commissioners unanimously agreed to fire Bowers and, according to city rules, were set to have a public hearing next week to give Bowers a chance to contest his dismissal. Bowers’ attorney and city officials negotiated the terms of his resignation. Acting City Manager Diane Gibson Smith said she was surprised Bowers accepted the terms, which commissioners approved during a meeting Thursday night. Commissioners started to review resumes for an interim city manager within the first two weeks so she can return to her previous job as the city clerk, Smith said. The Range Riders, a group of retired city and county managers, is conducting the search, she added. It’s unclear when commissioners will find a permanent replacement for Bowers, who admitted to an affair with a city employee that was also the subject of an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Pine Island, Minnesota (population 3,272): The broom that swept away half the Pine Island city council last November took one more as the three new council members voted to eliminate the position of city administrator and terminate the city’s most recent contract with Abraham Algadi, according to the Post Bulletin. Algadi has held the post since 2006 and has been one of the most vocal backers of the city’s Elk Run development, an ambitious plan for a biobusiness park and surrounding residences, offices and stores, which has been slow to get off the ground. Mayor Rod Steele, who voted against the motion, said it’s totally unrelated to the ongoing questions surrounding the Elk Run project. Karen Doll, executive director of Pine Island’s Economic Development Authority, said the Elk Run project “will move forward” but otherwise declined comment. At Tuesday’s meeting, new councilman Nick Novak moved to eliminate the position of city administrator and direct the city’s staff to amend the city code appropriately, dividing the administrator duties among the city’s staff members. New councilmen Erik Diskerud and Randy Bates joined Novak in voting to eliminate the position. Councilman Jerry Vettel and Steele voted against the motion. Novak said his goal in cutting the position was to cut spending. Cutting the post would save about $100,000 per year, he said, after paying Algadi a six-month buyout that includes vacation pay, sick leave and benefits. Department managers would handle anything related to their departments that Algadi had formerly taken care of, he said, and employees could be cross-trained. The move takes effect immediately, as a city official said Wednesday morning that Algadi was expected to be in later to clean out his desk. Steele said the city has quality people who can step up to perform Algadi’s duties, a comment echoed by Novak. The decision was preceded by public comment both for and against the move. Before his contract was terminated, Algadi said he would be happy to help with any transition period for the city, but after the contract termination, he said of the move to cut his position, “I do sense a sinister dark vein of intolerance.” Algadi was not available for comment today. Novak said he likes Algadi but simply wanted to cut the highest salary on the city payroll to save money.

Justin, Texas (population 3,246): The Justin City Council considered appointing a new interim city manager Jan. 22 in a called special meeting after Mike Evans announced plans to retire, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The city manager’s last day was Friday. Evans decided to call it quits last week after 15 years of service and one month after being appointed city manager in December. Mayor Greg Scott said it’s a little surprising to see Evans retire so suddenly after he was appointed to the position in mid-December. The council will consider appointing a temporary city manager or delegating the position’s responsibilities to various city staff members, Scott said. Scott said he’s known Evans for about seven years. He said it’ll be difficult to see Evans leave, but officials will make sure the city moves forward without any problems. Evans worked for the city for 15 years in public works, administration and other departments. He’s resigning after working in his current position for a little over two months. Evans served as Justin’s first city manager as an interim after residents voted for the creation of the position during the Nov. 6 election. Many residents opposed the creation of the position because they felt it would only add to the cost of government.However, Justin residents approved converting the city to a council-manager form of government by a vote of 734 to 469. Because Justin’s 2012-13 budget was already in place at the time the city manager position was approved, city officials agreed to pull from its reserves to pay for any unbudgeted items, including the city manager’s salary. Scott said his personal goal is to have a new manager hired within the next 60 days, but he said council members would determine the timeline. Evans could not be reached for comment, but in a recent interview earlier this month he gave no indication that he would retire anytime soon. Evans retirement is the city’s second in a month. Kim Strange was appointed city secretary after Virginia Blevins stepped down because of health reasons.

Hillsville, Virginia (population 2,675): Travis Jackson, area director for USDA, Rural Development for the past 32 years, has been named the new town manager for Hillsville, according to the Carroll News. Jackson’s hiring was approved during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on Jan. 14 by unanimous vote. “We’ve been in the process of interviewing for a long time, but I’m glad to announce we have reached an agreement with Mr. Travis Jackson,” said Councilman Ed Terry, who then made the motion to approve Jackson as the town manager, effective Feb. 1. Although this will be first time Jackson has served in the role of town manager, he said the issues facing a rural town in Southwest Virginia aren’t new to him. Jackson added that he welcomed the chance to serve in a new capacity. As area director for USDA, Rural Development, Jackson, 55, managed 20 employees serving 19 counties and five cities in Virginia. During his career, Jackson has supervised field staffs in all areas of the state. He was also responsible for administering USDA Loan and Grant Programs for single-family housing, multi-family housing, community facilities, rural utilities, and business and industry. During the past five years alone, Jackson has been responsible for the management and administration of a budget of over $613,000,000 program dollars. He maintained a zero percent delinquency rate for loans in group programs and was recognized by the USDA Administrator for consistently having one of the highest producing offices in the nation. In addition, Jackson was appointed by the Rural Development Administrator to assist in the development of a training program for the nation’s staff. As a self-employed consultant, Jackson has provided services to industries for training employees in management, communication and sales, and for health care management related companies. Jackson developed a tele-marketing training model for a national pharmaceutical company, and developed a guide for a 50-member hospital health care system to be used for board and medical staff. Jackson, a recipient of 34 USDA Distinguished Service Awards, was named the 1993 National USDA Employee of the Year. He was named a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow in 1998, and received the Duke LifePoint Healthcare Board Leadership Award in 2008. In 2009, he was honored by Duke LifePoint Healthcare WCCH Emergency Department’s dedication of the Travis Jackson Wing in 2009. Among Jackson’s other activities and achievements are: past member and president of Hospice of Wythe-Bland, Inc.; past board member, president and campaign chairman of the Wythe County United Way; past drive chairman of the Wytheville Community College Foundation; past board member and chairman of the Housing Committee of H.O.P.E., Inc.; past advisory board member of Southwest Virginia Governor’s School; chairman of the board of the Wythe County Community Hospital Foundation; board member of Wythe County Community College board of trustees; member of the Virginia Rural Health Association; and member of the Appalachian Funders Network. Jackson also brokered a lease of Wythe County Community Hospital and established a community foundation with the proceeds of the pre-paid lease for health education and welfare of Wythe and Bland County citizens.

El Paso, Illinois (population 2,824): Tanner Fortney likes El Paso, but he’ll no longer need to wish he was in Kansas, according to the Journal Star. The El Paso city administrator submitted his resignation last week. Fortney’s final day there is to be Feb. 22. On March 4, he is to become a senior management analyst for Johnson County, Kan., part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It’s also a move home. Fortney is from Spring Hill, Kan., a city of about 5,000 located in southern Johnson County. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas. Prior to his move to El Paso in March 2010, Fortney worked for the city of Olathe, Kan., the Johnson County seat. In his new job, Fortney is to work with the assistant and deputy county managers regarding corrections, emergency management and communications and health and environment, among other areas. The county is responsible for local ambulance service. El Paso has about 3,000 residents. Johnson County’s population is about 550,000. The county’s median household and per-capita incomes also are among the highest in the United States. Helping to balance municipal budgets, after the general fund was in deficit for about 10 years, was one of Fortney’s biggest accomplishments in El Paso, he said. That was done in part through implementation of long-range plans, spending cuts and increases in sewer and water rates. The council hasn’t decided on a process to find Fortney’s replacement, although he plans to share ideas about how to proceed, he said. That might be a parting gift to a community he said was welcoming.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (population 2,521): Former Carolina Beach Town Manager, Tim Owens, was named the new Town Manager of Wrightsville Beach, according to WECT. The Board of Aldermen made the decision Dec. 31 while meeting in a closed session. More than 50 people applied for the position and 11 were interviewed. Owens resigned from his position in Carolina Beach in November, along with the mayor and a councilman. After being in the position for more than six years, the Wrightsville Beach mayor said Owens was chosen for his experience with coastal communities. The new town manager said he is trying to move forward from his time in Carolina Beach. Owens started in Wrightsville Beach January 8. Residents attended a meet and greet session January 10.

Fair Haven, Vermont (population 2,269): The new town manager said he is very excited to start in his new post, according to the Rutland Herald. Herbert Durfee III of Grand Isle was hired December 20 following an executive session with the Fair Haven Select Board in which salary negotiations were discussed but not disclosed. He is set to begin Jan. 28. Durfee was unanimously chosen by the Select Board after he was recommended to the post by the town’s search committee last week. He was one of 35 candidates considered for the position by the committee. Durfee said he will be moving down to Fair Haven from Grand Isle with his family. The terms of Durfee’s contract, which includes salary and benefits, were not immediately disclosed. The town manager post has sat empty since the former town manager, Peter Hathaway, resigned in July citing disagreements and an impasse between him and the Select Board. Hathaway, who had been hired about 17 months before, had replaced Serena Williams. A 12-person committee that included the five members of the Select Board and seven members from other committees in town was appointed to weed through the applications. The committee interviewed 10 candidates by phone and five in person. In the interim, Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries was appointed to the position. His contact was extended in October for another 90 days because of delays in the hiring process. He said his time in the position has been satisfying, especially after the town was able to begin the road project by Depot Street bridge. He said he is happy to be going back to full-time police chief. He said there will probably be a week or two of transition time with Durfee before he hands over the reins to the town.

Veazie, Maine (population 1,919): Town Manager Joseph Hayes tendered his resignation Jan. 7 after an executive session held to discuss an unspecified personnel matter, according to the Bangor Daily News. Hayes, who previously served as Stockton Springs’ manager, was hired as Veazie’s manager a year ago. Hayes’ resignation, effective on Jan. 31, was accepted in a 3-2 vote, with Councilors Joseph Friedman, Jon Parker and Christopher Bagley voting in favor and Council Chairman Tammy Olson and Councilor Brian Perkins voting against. Town councilors then voted 5-0 to appoint Police Chief Mark Leonard interim town manager. Hayes declined Tuesday to say what prompted him to resign. Parker, the only town councilor who could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon and early evening, confirmed that the executive session was held to conduct Hayes’ annual performance review. After the councilors returned to open session, Parker said, Hayes “stated that due to his poor review he was tendering his resignation.” On Tuesday, Hayes said he plans to spend the time between now and his departure getting the annual budget development process under way and meeting with department heads. Hayes, who is 58, did confirm that he had one year left on his two-year contract, which does not expire until Dec. 31. Hayes said he did not have any immediate employment plans. Information about a severance deal was not immediately available Tuesday morning. A signed copy of Hayes’ employment agreement was among the documents contained in the council’s Dec. 19, 2011, agenda package. According to the document, dated Dec. 5, 2011, Hayes’ starting annual gross salary was set at $50,000. The contract also provided for accrued vacation time, group health and dental benefits or a fixed financial contribution in lieu of those benefits. Hayes also was provided life insurance equal to his annual salary, disability benefits based on 70 percent of his yearly pay and an allowance for use of his own vehicle for town business, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and the use of a cellphone. The council waived the residency requirement for the term of the agreement. The agreement also allowed Hayes to resign “at any time from his position with the Town. Provided, however, that in the event of resignation without a prior 60-day notice, the Town Manager shall forfeit accumulated sick leave and vacation.” Leonard, who has served brief periods as interim manager in the past, accepted the mission. Hayes, who also served as town administrator in Lamoine from 1988 to 1992, worked at the Bangor Daily News starting at age 16 in the press room. Later in his newspaper career, he became an assistant to the production manager and then moved to the credit collection department. He left the BDN in 2004. Hayes’ hiring in Veazie ended a 2½-month search after the council chose not to renew Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract in September 2011. After Reed left, the town hired Larry Varisco, a retired Holden town manager, to temporarily fill the role on a part-time basis while the search was under way. Varisco had been working two or three days per week handling the town manager’s duties.

Bangor, Michigan (population 1,885): City Council members are beginning to seek a replacement for City Manager Joe Sobieralski, who is leaving at month’s end, according to The Herald-Palladium. Meanwhile, the council agreed Monday to seek an interim manager through the Michigan Municipal League. Council members said they want one in place within a week or so. One interim candidate had shown interest as of Tuesday. City officials expect to hear from several others before making a recommendation. The interim manager would most likely work two to three days a week for three to six months to give the council time to find a permanent, full-time manager. Sobieralski will become executive director of the Southwestern Economic Growth Alliance in Niles on Feb. 4. The council hired Sobieralski in June 2012. His contract called for a 30-day notice if he chose to find employment elsewhere. On Jan. 1 Sobieralski issued a brief resignation letter to the council. Sobieralski dealt with several Bangor controversies, including a lawsuit from the Downtown Development Authority. But Sobieralski said he is not [leaving] because of the lawsuit. SMEGA works with 11 municipalities to promote economic growth in southern Berrien County.

Haymarket, Virginia (population 1,802): Haymarket Town Manager Gene Swearingen recently resigned his position with the Town of Haymarket. Swearingen’s resignation came after the Haymarket Town Council held a special meeting on Dec. 19 to discuss matters that had “come to light,” said Haymarket Vice Mayor Jay Tobias. While Tobias couldn’t be specific because the issue was a “personnel matter,” he said the council voted unanimously to suspend Swearingen with pay. The council was scheduled to make a decision on the matter during its next regularly scheduled meeting. Swearingen submitted his letter of resignation about a week after the Dec. 13 meeting, Tobias said. According to town records, invoices sent to the Haymarket Town Hall will be reviewed by staff, the mayor, and vice mayor, “until further notice.” Water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, cable and other bills will excluded from review, according to the minutes of the Dec. 13 special meeting. Haymarket Mayor David Leake said utility bills along with the others didn’t need review. Leake said he thought Swearingen my have been overloaded with work when he was put in charge of overseeing the repair and maintenance of the Hullfish House and the Old Post Office, two historic buildings in the town. Leake said he thought Swearingen had simply had enough. Leake said he didn’t think the situation would go any further.

Becket, Massachusetts (population 1,779): Following a review of evaluation forms, the Becket Select Board has begun a search for a new town administrator after recently deciding not to extend the appointment of Craig Kleman, according to The Berkshire Eagle. At the Dec. 12 select board meeting, Chair Mark Karlberg said that former Sheffield Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg will be appointed as a part-time interim replacement. Karlberg said that the board is aiming to hire a permanent full-time town administrator by April or May. The decision was made after the conclusion of the last select board meeting on Dec. 5. Kleman has been the town administrator since about March 2011. His six-month appointment ends at the end of the month. The position paid about $51,500 per year with health benefits. Karlberg would not elaborate why the select board decided to conduct a search for a new town administrator, but he said that the evaluations filled out by department heads and the select board members in November played a large role. Karlberg said that there was no legal misconduct. He complimented Kleman on his organization skills, but he said the select board decided to go search for another candidate. Since joining the board, Kleman wrote that he has overseen computer system improvements. He also applied for grant funding for Fire Station #2, state Green Communities money for energy efficiency, along with the everyday work of managing the town departments. Karlberg said that Kellogg will be paid $45 an hour. He said the Select Board will solicit applications for committee members that will review town administrator resumes.

Henniker, New Hampshire (population 1,747): Tom Yennerell has had a whirlwind winter thus far, leaving his home behind in Colorado to come to Henniker’s to serve as the new town administrator, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Despite the chaos, Yennerell is happy to be home in New England again. Yennerell, 59, began serving as town administrator earlier this month and said the transition into his new post has been smooth. He has 16 years experience as a town administrator, serving 10 years in Rutland, Vt., before chasing a dream that led him west to try life in Colorado. For five years Yennerell managed the town of Mancos, population 1,330, a remote area of the state where ancient Pueblo people made their homes. But despite the beauty and quiet of the area, Yennerell and his wife began longing to return to the East Coast.  While continuing to work in Mancos, Yennerell said he kept an eye on job postings in New Hampshire and when the Henniker job opened up, he jumped at the chance. He applied, went through a rigorous vetting process, and eventually landed the job. Yennerell said the biggest challenge about starting his new job in January is timing. Yennerell said his goal is to ensure that the town is meeting the needs of the taxpayers while preparing for the future, a balance that is difficult to strike when the economy is uncertain. But the challenges aren’t overwhelming, said Yennerell, and the benefits of being in Henniker are vast.

Kremling, Colorado (population 1,414): Tuesday, Jan. 22, was the first day on the job for Kremmling’s new town manager Mark Campbell, according to the Sky-Hi News. He and his two cats Stan and Ollie moved to Kremmling last week from Missouri, where he had worked as a city administrator at the small gaming community of LaGrange. There, a large part of Campbell’s job concerned city issues in dealing with flooding of the Mississippi River, he said. In 2008, Campbell received a congressional medal of merit for his work in the aftermath of the floods that year. Originally from Northern Ireland, Campbell has been living and working in the states for the past 20 years. He lived for a short time in Baker, Montana, and in taking the Kremmling position, “There was a part of me that wanted to move out West again,” he said. Kremmling, he said, is similar to Montana scenic attributes and lifestyle. For mountainous areas, Campbell said, the people “choose to be here.” The manager earned his masters in public affairs at Cleveland State University, College of Urban Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio. During his first day on the job on Tuesday, he traveled to Gypsum with interim Kremmling town manager Dick Blodgett for a meeting on regional collaboration on green management opportunities, such as use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, resource conservation and environmental preservation. According to Kremmling Mayor Tom Clark, Blodgett plans to stay for at least a week to ensure a “smooth transition” of the town’s management. Campbell, who survived two interviews for the job, was among a pool of top five finalists out of 60 candidates Kremmling officials chose, Clark said. Kremmling did offer the job to two others who either did not take the job or dropped out of the running, he said. Campbell’s “all-round experience” appealed to Clark, from “water, waste water and grant writing to emergency management and flood mitigation.” The new manager’s goals at present are to simply “try and advance the town forward” with its own agenda of attracting and retaining businesses and upgrading the town’s infrastructure, while trying to find the needed funds to do so.

Lake Park, Iowa (population 1,120): The appeal of a small town with attractive amenities caught the attention of new Lake Park City Administrator Wade Wagoner, according to the Dickinson County News. The Parkersburg native was making a couple of trips to the area with his wife when he encountered welcoming spirit of the community. The Lake Park City Council must have liked what they saw as well: Wagoner took over for George McGuire who recently stepped down to be closer to family. Wagoner began his new position Jan. 2. The new city administrator received his undergraduate degree at Northwest Missouri State and obtained his masters at Missouri State University — Southwest Missouri State at the time. City planning was a focus of his education. He and his wife, Amanda have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is about to celebrate her second birthday. Wagoner has held three different job titles in the past 15 years. He was a senior planner in Waterloo, served as the community development director in Kearney, Mo. and has been with the Brick Industry for the past six years. The company helps communities with architectural and design standards in an eight-state area. Wagoner’s position with the Brick Industry was coming to a close at the end of the year. He pursued other offers but zeroed in on the Lake Park opening. During his time in the private sector, Wagoner noted that often didn’t get to see his company’s numerous projects through to their conclusion. Wagoner isn’t afraid to admit that he new to the surrounding at his new job, but knows what it is like to be involved in a small, tight-knit community. The new city administrator grew in Parkersburg, which has a population of around 2,000. In addition, Wagoner said he plans to offer a few cosmetic tweaks for the community, whether through changing of the street lighting or sprucing up the main street. He also touched on the need for a housing development for families that are new to town and don’t necessarily plan to purchase a house right away. Wagoner’s enthusiasm for his new position is sure to excite the Lake Park community.

Grundy, Virginia (population 1,021): Grundy’s town manager, Roger Powers, died Dec. 19 at his home, according to TriCities.com. The 78-year-old man was a lifelong Southwest Virginian, a businessman and an athlete, according to his obituary. Powers had served as Grundy’s Town Manager since January 2011, and was the owner of Excello Oil Corporation, the obituary said. He was a U.S. Army veteran, a Mason and a member of the Grundy Lions Club. He most recently served as the chair of the finance committee at the Appalachian School of Law as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and also was a trustee of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy. Powers is survived by his wife, daughters and grandchildren.

White Springs, Florida (population 769): The town of White Springs has just announced the hiring of their new town manager, former Live Oak city administrator Bob Farley, who began his first day on the job Wednesday, Jan. 2, according to the Suwanee Democrat. Farley was let go as city administrator of Live Oak in early October by a 3-2 vote of the Live Oak City Council. Bob Farley was born in White Plains, N.Y. and earned his Associate in Applied Science from the State University of New York at Delhi. He moved to Florida in 1971 after working in Philadelphia, Pa. for the Penn Central Railroad. According to a press release from the town of White Springs, Farley has about 44 years experience, including working in the civil engineering field of water and wastewater design and construction, and serving as operations director for a telecommunication (cellular) design and construction company. Most recently Farley also worked as public works director for the city of Live Oak. During his tenure in Live Oak, Farley was named City Administrator/Manager of the Year in 2010 by the Florida Rural Water Association. He has completed all necessary National Incident Management System (NIMS) as required by FEMA/Homeland Security for Command & General Staff – Complex Incidents.  Additionally, he has completed classes in budgeting and ethics given by the Florida League of Cities. Farley, Miller stated, has spoken throughout the state regarding how small cities can improve their water and wastewater systems through DEP/SRF low interest programs. The city of Live Oak was able to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant, which cost $16 million. Two million of that cost was passed on to the citizens of Live Oak. Farley is married to Charlotte and they have four daughters, Gina, Crystal, Angela and Shay.

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Transitions: Burbank, CA; Broken Arrow, OK; Eagan, MN and more

“A town manager’s life is precarious at best.”–Kevin O’Donnell, Town Manager, Great Barrington, Massachusetts since 2008, whose contract, which expires in April 2013, will not be renewed

Mike FladBurbank, California (population 103,340): Burbank City Manager Mike Flad announced on Monday plans to leave the Media City and take the top post at the city of South Gate, stunning city officials who expected him to retire in the city where he had spent more than two decades building his career. Flad, now 46, became the second-youngest city manager in Burbank’s history when he assumed the top job in 2008 and has worked for the city for nearly 23 years. In February, the city extended Flad’s contract for five years to December 2016, with an initial salary of $18,117 per month and an annual 3% increase after two years. The most notable of those challenges was overseeing a police department roiled by outside investigations into excessive use-of-force, and lawsuits filed by current and former officers. Flad said Tuesday that he was approached about six weeks ago by a recruiter for the position in South Gate — a much poorer city than Burbank. The hiring process included a written application and four interviews. His contract could be finalized in time for a vote by the South Gate City Council on Sept. 25, in which case he estimated his last day at Burbank would be Oct. 26. The terms of the contract, which are still being negotiated, are very similar to his current contract with Burbank, Flad said. If the move comes to pass, it will be a much different landscape — from movie studios and a solid economy with low crime rates to a South L.A. bedroom community sandwiched between Lynwood and Cudahy. South Gate, with a population of 94,396, is similar in size to Burbank, but different in demographics. South Gate is 94.8% Latino — compared to Burbank’s roughly 24% Latino population — and has an unemployment rate of 11.4%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If the contract with South Gate is finalized, Flad would be replacing George Troxcil, who was appointed to the post just eight months ago after a nearly year-long stint as the interim city manager. Troxcil had taken on the dual interim role while also serving as the city’s police chief — a post he held for two years after a 30-year career with the department. The news of Flad’s move comes as Burbank continues the process of finding a permanent police chief, meaning the city may have to fill two top executive jobs at the same time. And since the city manager supervises the police chief, that recruitment could be difficult, city officials said. That’s just as well for Gordon, who had been advocating holding off on the police chief recruitment. Burbank also has a City Council election coming up in the spring, with three seats up for contention.

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (population 98,850): The search for a city manager is over, according to the Tulsa World. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to offer the job to Greenville, N.C., Assistant City Manager Thom Moton, who was a finalist for the position along with Branson, Mo., City Administrator Dean Kruithof. Moton was appointed city manger in an unofficial capacity until salary negotiations are complete. City councilors interviewed Moton and Kruithof individually on Friday, and the finalists met with city staff and school representatives on Thursday. The final interviews and feedback from those groups tipped a close race to Moton’s favor, city councilors said. Moton would take over for Human Resources Director Russell Gale, who was appointed acting city manager in April after the City Council fired David Wooden amid controversy over a proposed Indian casino. Although both Moton and Kruithof are qualified for the position, Moton’s enthusiasm and knowledge made him stand out, city councilors said. He served as interim city manager of Greenville for five months after its previous city manager retired in March, and his previous positions include assistant city manager of University City, Mo., and Corsicana, Texas. Officials have said his expertise includes downtown and economic development — both of which are priorities for the city. Councilor Jill Norman said she believes the city would also benefit from the “visionary qualities” he has demonstrated during past jobs. Moton and Kruithof were recruited by Affion Public LLC, a management consulting firm that also recruited Broken Arrow’s current police and fire chiefs. The firm has been discussing salary and benefit expectations with both candidates, and it appears that the city could afford either one, city attorney Beth Anne Wilkening told the City Council. City spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins said the city would not immediately say how much it planned to offer Moton. His salary would be public record once he is hired. City councilors voted to draft an employment agreement for their next meeting Oct. 2.

Eagan, Minnesota (population 64,206): After plenty of jokes and a few emotional moments, longtime Eagan City Administrator Tom Hedges—widely considered one of the city’s most influential leaders—announced at Wednesday’s Eagan City Council meeting that he plans to retire in early 2013, according to the EaganPatch. Hedges, Eagan’s first and only city administrator, was hired in 1976 at the age of 27 and has served for 36 years as the city’s highest appointed official. Before coming to Eagan, he was employed as the city administrator of St. Peter. After accepting Hedges’ retirement notice, the Eagan City Council approved a $12,900-plus-expenses contract with recruitment firm Brimeyer Fursman to assist in the search for a new city administrator. Hedges told council members at the meeting that he plans to continue in his role as adminstrator until Feb. 1, 2013. A handful of elected officials expressed sadness at Hedges’ announcement, including Eagan City Councilors Paul Bakken and Cyndee Fields, who jokingly discussed voting to reject Hedges’ retirement letter and keep him working as a city employee. Hedges, 63, said he is looking forward to having more flexibility in life, and plans to travel following his retirement as city administrator. He may continue to work limited hours as a consultant, he said. The city administrator is one in a long list of top Eagan officials who have recently retired or announced their intent to retire. Eagan’s longtime public works director, Tom Colbert, retired earlier this year, and Eagan Director of Administrative Services Gene VanOverbeke is expected to retire in December. A number of veteran police officers have also turned in their badges this year. Earlier this year, in the city’s annual “State of the City” address, Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire identified the turnover of aging city staff as one of Eagan’s challenges in the near future. Hedges, who received an applause following his announcement on Wednesday, thanked past and present elected officials, the community and his wife, Debbie.

Upson County, Georgia (population 27,153): During a press conference Monday afternoon, Upson County Commission Chairman Maurice Raines confirmed suspicions that County Manager Kyle Hood is in fact resigning from his post effective September 28, according to the Thomaston Times. Hood has accepted a similar position as the Town Manager of Tyrone, Georgia and will begin his new job the first of next month. The rest of the board echoed Raines’s sentiments and wished Hood the best of luck with his new venture. Hood announced that he would be releasing a formal statement at the next Board of Commissioners meeting, but the short version is he agrees it has been a good four years and the decision to leave was not one that he took lightly. He also noted that until his departure he plans to continue to serve the citizens of this community. Beginning on September 28, Pam Fuentes will be appointed Interim County Clerk and the board plans to move quickly to fill the position of County Manager.

Stoughton, Massachusetts (population 26,962): After interviewing the three finalists for the position of permanent Town Manager and then voting on which finalist was their top choice, the Stoughton Board of Selectmen are now one step closer to naming Stoughton’s next chief municipal employee, according to the CantonPatch.The Board voted unanimously, 5-0, Sept. 18 to express interest in Canton resident Michael Hartman becoming Stoughton’s next permanent Town Manager, pending a background investigation and contract negotiations. Hartman is the current Town Manager in Jaffrey, New Hampshire (2007-present). Prior to his job in Jaffrey, he worked in municipal government in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Iowa and Illinois. Selectman Cynthia Walsh nominated Hartman. No other Board member made a nomination, with all five selectmen – Walsh, John Anzivino, Steve Anastos, Bob O’Regan and Chairman John Stagnone supporting the nomination of Hartman. Paul Shew of Franklin and Kenneth Fields of Boca Raton, Florida were the other finalists Selectmen interviewed, along with Hartman, on September 13. If the background investigation and initial negotiaions do not result in a formal job offer and contract for Hartman, Stagnone said the Board can look at one of the other finalists or start the search process over again. At the start of Tuesday’s meeting, Stagnone said the five-member Town Manager search committee (appointed by selectmen) and the consulting firm, Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI), were charged with the task of finding a highly qualified and experienced candidate. Selectmen were looking for someone with a graduate degree in public administration or a related field; 7-10 years of local government experience; a willingness to commit to the job for more than five years; strong public speaking skills; experience in downtown revitalization; long-range planning experience; collective bargaining and human resources experience; and strong finance and analytical skills. Prior to fielding nominations, selectmen discussed their take on the September 13 interviews with the three finalists and what they were looking for in a Town Manager. O’Regan said the town needed a focused, professional, hands-on manager – someone willing to get his knuckles dirty; someone dedicated to making systems work more efficiently and effectively; and someone committed to capital planning with strong budgeting and management skills. Anzivino said having an experienced manager with a “good strong background in municipal government” was key. Walsh didn’t support the process or cost of hiring a consulting firm (about $20,000), but said she could not argue with the results. She said the decision to select a final candidate “has to be a leap of faith; there are no guarantees.” When it came time for the nominations, Walsh put her faith in Hartman, and when no other nominations were made, it became clear he was the candidate Selectmen felt best fit their criteria. There were 55 applicants for the position. Less than 30 were sent essay questions. Telephone interviews were conducted with the final 13 candidates. Then, on September 12, a final group of seven candidates were interviewed by three separate panels – the Town Manager Search Committee; Stoughton Department Heads; and a group representing MRI. Following these panel interviews, which were not open to the public, the field of seven was narrowed down to three – Hartman, Shew and Fields. Each of the three finalists have held management positions in multiple communities, but Stagnone said that to call any of the candidates “retreads” was an “unfair characterization of town managers in general.” During the September 18 meeting, held in the Yaitanes Room on the third floor of the Town Hall, selectmen held a conference call with Don Jutton of MRI prior to making their nomination. Jutton said the position of Town Manager has been “nomadic in nature” with the average tenure about four years when the economy was stronger and now about six years with a struggling economy making it more difficult to relocate. He said Town Managers might seek a job in another town because they want to manage a larger community or because the complexion of the town’s elected board has changed. Jutton said people “should not draw negative conclusions based on the number of jobs they had.” MRI will assist the town and the selectmen in conducting a background check and with contract negotiations. Stagnone and Anzivino will represent the Board during this process. A finite date for Selectmen to make a formal job offer to Hartman has not been set, although the contract of Interim Town Manager Joesph D. Feaster Jr. expires November 30. Feaster became the interim Town Manager on April 1 of this year and was sworn in on April 3. Feaster was one of the final seven candidates, but was not one of the three finalists selectmen interviewed on September 13. Feaster succeeded Crimmins who had served for two years as Stoughton’s Town Manager, before announcing his resignation in January 2012. Crimmins’ last day in office was March 31.

Wilmington, Massachusetts (population 22,325): During Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, members officially approved the contract of incoming Town Manager Jeff Hull, who currently serves as Assistant Town Manager, according to the WilmingtonPatch. Hull’s starting salary will be $133,200 with scheduled increases of 2.5 percent slated for the second and third years of the agreement. As a part of the agreement, Hull waived an early retirement incentive and agreed not to require longevity payments.

Las Animas County, Colorado (population 15,507): Leslee Fresquez resigned from her position as Las Animas County administrator late Tuesday afternoon after, she says, the county commissioners told her they wanted to demote her to the position of manager of the county airport, even though that position is currently filled, according to The Trinidad Times Independent. In a written statement issued Thursday, Fresquez said commissioners told her they wanted someone who had more experience than she did to fill the administrator’s position. She admits that she had no experience as a county administrator before taking the job, but cited her 14 years of experience working in government as being enough to qualify her for the administrator’s job. She had held the position since being unanimously appointed by the county board of commissioners in December 2011. She took over from former county administrator Bill Cordova, who resigned in October 2011. In her statement, Fresquez said she couldn’t understand why a dedicated civil servant like Cordova would have resigned. She said that after what happened to her recently as Cordova’s successor, she now understands why he quit. Fresquez’s resignation notice gave a two-months notice to the county commissioners, who then placed her on two-months paid administrative leave. Fresquez wrote that during her six years working for Las Animas County, she was never formally disciplined or reprimanded for her work efforts, even though the county has such disciplinary procedures in place. She said she was not treated in the same way as other county employees in regard to her work performance. Fresquez said that when she was hired, she was expected to perform all her previous duties as deputy administrator, with the additional tasks of being county administrator. She said she had to do all this while being paid $30,000 less per year than her predecessor. She said that as a woman, she was not treated as fairly as her male predecessor had been. She said that after she became administrator, the frequency of county meetings was increased from two to four per month, thus increasing her workload without providing her with more professional office support until late in her tenure. Fresquez said she twice requested a formal evaluation process from the board to identify areas where she might need to improve, something she said is required under county policy. She said the board did not honor her requests. She said the board members told her she needed to make herself more accessible by phone, but said she felt the weekly meetings were sufficient to discuss all relevant county issues. Fresquez said current commissioners preferred to rely on e-mail communication with her, but she felt that was an inadequate form of communication, leading to disjointed discussion of policy questions, and insisted that the weekly meetings were a better means of communication. Fresquez said commissioners never established a “standard of expectation nor laid forth goals and objectives I was to achieve as county administrator, and not for my lack of asking for such. I had no defined charge except to ‘get it done.’” Commissioner Jim Vigil said Fresquez resigned by her own choice. Vigil said he wished her good luck in the future. Commission Chairman Gary Hill said that on legal advice he would have no comment on Fresquez’s resignation, other than to say he wished her well with her future plans. Commissioner Mack Louden could not be reached for comment Thursday. Leeann Fabec, county finance director, said she was appointed by the board to act as interim county administrator while the hiring process for a new administrator moves forward. Fabec said she wished Fresquez all the best for her future plans.

Callaway, Florida (population 14,405): Commission members extended a job offer for a new City Manager of Callaway, according to the News Herald. After rounds of questions, the three-hour interview process produced a candidate the board could agree on: Marcus Collins. In Collins’ application to the city, he listed his experience as Public Services Director in Mount Dora for five years before becoming City Manager of Crescent City for around four years. His most recent occupation was as president of the council in Williston until he retired in 2011. Collins said budgeting and economic development were among his strong suits. Four other applicants answered questions before the board and public in the commission chambers of the Callaway Arts and Conference Center. During the interviews, commissioners asked questions in regard to CRA experience, opinions of the four-day versus five-day work week and economic development opinions. However, the more pertinent issue which commissioners addressed directly after the meeting was of salary. Commissioners held a vote after the meeting to set the manager’s salary at $70,000, the lowest figure the board advertised.

Whitewater, Wisconsin (population 14,390): The Whitewater City Council has selected Cameron L. Clapper to serve as city manager, according to The Janesville Gazette. The unanimous choice was made Saturday after interviewing five candidates for the post, according to a news release from the city. Clapper has served as interim city manager since the departure of former City Manager Kevin Brunner. Brunner left to become director of public services in Walworth County. The decision comes after two days of interviews, tours, a reception and public forum. The other candidates included village administrators/clerks and a city manager. Clapper started work with the city in April 2010 as assistant city manager. He previously worked as assistant to the administrator in the village of Waunakee. Clapper has a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He also has a bachelor’s degree in international studies. The council is working on an employment agreement and will vote on that agreement at its Oct. 2 meeting. Clapper and his family live in Whitewater.

Oneonta, New York (population 13,901): Oneonta swore in its first city manager at a special meeting of the Common Council, according to The Daily Star.  Michael H. Long, 56, city administrator of Poughkeepsie, will start the $115,000-a-year position by Oct. 1. The post was created by the city charter that voters approved in November and took affect Jan. 1. The city’s Common Council Human Resource Committee, chaired by Maureen Hennessy, worked with a national recruiter and city personnel director Kathy Wolverton, to narrow the 50 applicants for the post to three finalists. They were interviewed by a group that included council members, department heads and representatives from the community. Long will take over the day-to-day operations of running the city, Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said. This leaves Miller to serve as the head of government for all official and ceremonial purposes, preside over the Common Council, and other duties spelled out in the charter. Long serves at the pleasure of the council and Miller will be his principal liaison and work with the council to establish performance objectives for the manager. Long holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science at Syracuse. He holds a Master’s of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He has served in his current position since 2008. Before that, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the Cayuga County Planning Board and for the city of Auburn over a 28-year span, according to a city media release. After he was sworn in, Long thanked the council for its vote of confidence. Long said he took the new position because he was ready for a new challenge and noted the community spirit that he said will be helpful in tackling such issues as improving downtown. His first step will be orienting himself to the position and spending time with council members and department heads to identify what each sees as important issues. In his first 30 days, he said, he expects to be able to set an action plan. Long said that he is seeking an apartment in the city and will decide later on long-term living arrangements. The city charter does not require him to live in the city. He was joined at the meeting by his wife, Diane Long, who is chair and associate professor of the department of occupational therapy at Ithaca College. Miller said he was confident that Long will help the city achieve savings in operations and will help secure grants.

Ogdensburg, New York (population 11,128): Ogdensburg has a new city manager, according to the Watertown Daily Times. City Council members unanimously appointed John M. Pinkerton as city manager at a special meeting last week. Mr. Pinkerton will start his new role Oct. 15 under a three-year contract. He was chosen out of 41 applicants after a seven-month search. Mr. Pinkerton, an Ogdensburg native, has 31 years of experience in private enterprise, and currently works as a business adviser at CITEC, a business development company based at Clarkson University, Potsdam. He is also co-owner of Adirondack Professional Cleaners and has worked as a consultant and manager for Newell-Rubbermaid. Mr. Pinkerton said he counts his past and current business experience as one of his greatest assets as city manager. During the hiring process, the council was impressed with Mr. Pinkerton’s knowledge of the city’s issues, Mayor William D. Nelson said. Mr. Pinkerton said his first goal as manager will be to establish a vision for the city. Mr. Pinkerton said he is looking forward to helping the city commercialize and develop its waterfront. Mr. Pinkerton will earn $84,000 a year as city manager. He declined the use of a city vehicle.

Tomah, Wisconsin (population 9,093): Tomah city administrator Jim Bialecki will retire Dec. 5, according to the La Crosse Tribune. Bialecki, who has been the city administrator since 2008 and is the former mayor of Onalaska, Tuesday announced plans to retire. Bialecki submitted his 90-day notice to the Tomah City Council Sept. 4. Bialecki said he  has enjoyed his time as administrator, largely because the council has remained above partisan politics and united in working in the best interests of the city. Bialecki, 62, has been in the workforce for 46 years.  His administrative career began in 1976 in the hospital field. He worked at long-term care, assisted living, independent living and Catholic charities in Lincoln, Portage and La Crosse counties before he began his career with the city of Onalaska in 1985. Bialecki was the president of the Onalaska City Council from 1985 to 2000 and the city’s first full-time mayor from 2000 to 2008. Bialecki’s plans include taking some time to visit his family in southern California.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts (population 7,104): Following two consecutive failing job performance evaluations, the Board of Selectmen last week informed Town Manager Kevin O’Donnell that they have decided not to renew his contract when it expires next April, according to The Berkshire Eagle. Multiple members confirmed that the board arrived at its decision while discussing the matter in executive session last week. But the information didn’t come out until this week after O’Donnell met privately with representatives of the board. Those representatives, board chairman Sean Stanton and vice-chair Deborah Phillips, reportedly gave O’Donnell the option of resigning prior to the vote on his contract, but O’Donnell declined the offer. O’Donnell said he was disappointed by the board’s decision. None of the board members who spoke with The Eagle agreed to speak publicly about their decision because they said they wanted to respect the confidentiality of what was discussed during executive session. But the board has made clear publicly in the past that they it hasn’t been thrilled with O’Donnell’s performance. In June, O’Donnell received his second subsequent negative employment evaluation in nine months when he was given only 64 of a maximum 125 points. Those numbers resulted in a rating equivalent to 51.2 percent, which is lower than the 67 percent O’Donnell received on his previous evaluation in September 2011. The lowest mark on O’Donnell’s most recent evaluation was in customer satisfaction where he received 10 of a possible 25 points. In the anonymous comments included in this year’s evaluation, board members stated that O’Donnell groused about the board’s decision, feeling the Selectmen were an impediment to his job. Comments also stated that O’Connell disregarded the Selectmen’s role, and doesn’t follow through on the board’s direction. O’Donnell pledged to improve his relationship with the Selectmen and indicated that he would focus on better communication. Last week, O’Donnell said that he had followed through on those issues, and lamented that the board hadn’t given him more concrete criteria to focus his efforts. O’Donnell was hired by the town in 2008. He signed his current contract in 2011 following performance reviews with scores equivalent to 90 and 84 percent. Those scores were submitted by a board with a significantly different makeup than the current one. O’Donnell said he ís proud of what he has achieved in his years as town manager. He said he managed to get the town’s bond rating increased during a severe recession, and reduced borrowing costs by about $60,000 annually. No matter what happens, O’Donnell said that he plans to continue working through the end of his term, and intends to wrap up the major projects currently facing the town, which include planning for the reconstruction of Main Street, and closing the sale of the old firehouse on Castle Street.

Tyrone, Georgia (population 6,879): Tyrone is about to get a new Town Manager by way of Upson County, according to The Citizen. The Town Council approved the hire of Upson County Manager Kyle Hood, who is expected to begin his new job next month. Hood’s arrival will mean that interim Town Manager and Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins can return to his full-time duties with the police department. Hood has served as Upson County Manager since July 2008 and has also served as project manager for the Wilkinson County Commission and as a research and teaching assistant in Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. The 28 year-old Hood earned a Master of Public Administration from GCSU in 2008 and, in 2011, earned a certification as a local government official from the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia. Hood is expected to begin the job in early October. Mayor Eric Dial said Hood’s job as county manager in Upson County is one where he managed approximately 100 employees. Dial in his comments Thursday was quick to acknowledge the work of interim Town Manager Brandon Perkins who, for nearly a year, has functioned in that position while maintaining his responsibilities as Tyrone Police Chief. Dial’s comments are noteworthy because few in municipal management or law enforcement administration are ever called on to take on the responsibility of a dual administrative function. Though his first calling is law enforcement, Perkins was the exception to the rule when he stepped forward in November 2011 to take on the responsibilities of town management to help out in a time of need.

Normandy Park, Washington (population 6,335): Normandy Park City Manager Doug Schulze was selected Wednesday night, Sept. 19 to become the city manager of Bainbridge Island, according to The Highline Times. The town has a population of 23,000, considerably larger than Normandy Park’s 6,000. While Schulze is going west to Bainbridge Island, Burien Community Director Scott Greenberg is headed east to another island, Mercer Island where he will be Development Services director. Schulze denies that Normandy Park’s financial woes led him to bail out of the city. Instead, Schulze noted, that after managing smaller cities for the majority of his career, he was looking to head a larger organization. He said he has been admiring the 26 square-mile city for a number of years. Pending successful negotiation of a contract, the Bainbridge Island City Council is scheduled to formally hire Schulze at its Sept. 26 meeting. If so, Schulze is planning to give his 30-day notice on Sept. 27 with Halloween, Oct. 31 being his last day on the job in Normandy Park. Schulze admitted there were “gloomy faces around city hall,” the day after the Bainbridge Island council announced its pick. He said he is leaving with “mixed emotions” after developing many positive relationships in his six years with the city. Schulze is leaving Normandy Park at a time when the city is facing a severe financial crisis. This summer the tranquil town was rocked by reports from news media of Normandy Park’s possible demise as a separate city, either through disincorporation or annexation to Burien or Des Moines. Schulze responded that city officials had not considered those drastic options but the City Council did place on the November ballot a property tax levy lid that would raise residents’ tax rate from $1.31 per 1,000 of assessed value to $1.60. The city manager said property tax restrictions had particularly hit the city hard because the taxes account for about 60 percent of its tax revenues. The city also does not have a lot of room along First Avenue South, its commercial district, for large tax revenue raising businesses. In 2008 when the recession hit, “it was like falling off a cliff for the city’s revenues,” Schulze said. Normandy Park’s general fund reserves have been depleted to the point where they are projected to be gone in three years without serious action, he noted. City staff has been reduced by 33 percent and Normandy Park has deferred maintenance and replacing equipment, Schulze reported. Before coming to Normandy Park in 2006, Schulze was city manager in another affluent Seattle suburban city, Medina, home of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He was also city administrator in Sandstone, Minn. from 1992 to 1996. According to the Kitsap Sun, Schulze will also face daunting challenges in Bainbridge Island where roads are failing and the city does not have funds to maintain them. Schulze will also need to hire a new Bainbridge Island police chief after the current chief quit two weeks ago. On Sept. 1, Schulze announced Chris Gaddis as Normandy Park’s permanent police chief replacing long-time chief Rick Keiffer, who retired. Schulze will replace a former city manager, who was ousted in March, according to the Sun.

Russell, Kansas (population 4,506): City Manager Ralph Wise has accepted a position as administrator of Hebron, Ohio, according to The Hays Daily News. While the community has fewer than 5,000 residents, slightly smaller than Russell, it’s home to the Central Ohio Industrial Park. There are 32 manufacturing operations in the industrial park, and that opens up possibilities for his wife, Wise said. Notably, Hebron doesn’t have its own electric generation plant, something Russell does have. Wise, who has been Russell city manager since 2008, also admits a side benefit is Hebron is only 15 minutes away from his grandchildren. Wise tendered his resignation from the city manager’s spot at Russell nearly two weeks ago, but had kept his future job a closely held secret. He announced where he’ll be heading at last week’s Russell City Council meeting, after Hebron officials confirmed his appointment. He also was waiting for confirmation Hebron would reimburse Russell for expenses already paid for Wise to attend a conference this fall. The Russell council voted to name Russell Police Chief Jon Quinday as interim city manager while a search for a replacement is under way. But providing the opportunity for his wife to get back in her field of expertise was a strong draw.

Mulberry, Florida (population 3,817): After interviewing two candidates Wednesday night, city commissioners in Mulberry gave top ranking to a Dundee city commissioner with a background as a corrections officer and no experience in city management. But Richard Johnson said he’s confident in his ability to run the city, despite his limited experience. Mulberry commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday to begin negotiating a contract with Johnson, 52. Commissioner Terry Evers opposed the motion, but not because he didn’t think Johnson would make a good city manager. He wanted the opportunity to ask the candidates more questions. During Wednesday’s interviews, candidates fielded prepared questions that commissioners had previously approved. Evers, however, wanted to know whether the new manager would review each employee on the city’s payroll to determine whether he or she is working to his or her potential, and what would happen to those who weren’t performing well. Commissioner Collins Smith cast the other opposing vote, saying he supported the other candidate, Larry Strickland of Valrico, a management analyst for the city of Zephyrhills. A third finalist for the job, Judith Jankosky of Lady Lake, the interim city administrator in Arcadia, withdrew her application Wednesday morning. Johnson, who’s been a commissioner in Dundee since 2005, said he already had decided not to seek a fifth two-year term on the commission in April. Mulberry’s charter requires the city manager to move into the city, which would mandate that Johnson resign from Dundee’s governing board. Johnson completed his master’s degree in non-profit management and public administration last year at the University of Central Florida. He’s currently working as an employment specialist with the deaf service bureau in Polk County. He spent 20 years with the Connecticut Department of Corrections, rising to the rank of lieutenant before retiring in 2001. Mulberry commissioners will begin negotiating a contract with Johnson, to include salary and benefits, which must be approved before he can start working. Commissioners have budgeted $63,000 for the job. If he’s hired, Johnson would replace Frank Satchel Jr., who was fired in May following his arrest on forgery charges. He was accused of altering employee time cards.

Troutman, North Carolina (population 2,383): After Ann Bailie graduated from Syracuse University in 1974 with a dual degree in English and photojournalism, she first spent a semester abroad in London taking graduate courses in English and photojournalism, then went to work for a newspaper in Florida, according to The Charlotte Observer. Becoming town manager for a small North Carolina town was about the furthest thing from her mind. Life is full of twists and turns, however, and in the mid-1990s, when her husband, photographer and historian Bob Zeller, got a job with the Greensboro News & Record covering NASCAR, they moved to North Carolina. Bailie then became involved with the successful effort to incorporate a small Guilford County community called Pleasant Garden. In 1997, when Pleasant Garden officially became a municipality, Bailie was its first (and for several years only) employee: town clerk, finance officer and budget officer. That sparked her interest in local government administration and prompted a career change to public affairs. Since 2002, all her jobs have been working for government, including almost nine years as the top executive in Trinity. She’s already started to apply that experience as Troutman’s new town manager, with an annual salary of $86,000. As for the town itself, she sees great potential. Bailie said the town’s population had been expected to increase significantly until the economy took a downturn in 2008. She said town leaders have used that time wisely. She cites the town’s participation in the state Department of Commerce’s Small Town Main Street program, which provides on-site technical assistance for downtown development and promotion, as a major plus. In addition, the town’s self-funded façade program, which provides grants to downtown property owners for sprucing up storefronts, is another town initiative Bailie likes. The 60-year-old Illinois native has some big shoes to fill. Former town manager David Saleeby was a hands-on manager, involved in all aspects of the town’s operation. Bailie suggested that her style may be a little different. After Saleeby retired in February, the town Board of Aldermen began an exhaustive search for his replacement, working with the Centralina Council of Governments. Spath believes Bailie has done a good job thus far, even as she continues to evaluate the major issues facing the town. One of those major issues involves the town finances. She’s also been very impressed, even somewhat surprised, with the level of civil engagement in the town.

East Jordan, Michigan (population 2,351): The historic cottage filled up with city officials and residents and the group chatted over appetizers prepared by East Jordan Public Schools cooks, according to The Northern Michigan Review. “I’m so excited to welcome my new team members,” said Mary Faculak, East Jordan Chamber of Commerce director. The team she is referring to is “Team EJ” a long standing partnership between the chamber, schools, city and community. Chris Yonker is the new East Jordan city administrator. He started the new job Aug. 20 and is responsible for the administration of all city affairs. Yonker is a native of west Michigan and graduated from Spring Lake High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and land use planning from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill. Before becoming the East Jordan administrator, Yonker served for two and a half years as the city manager of Wayland, 15 years as the city manager of Fremont and 10 years as the capital budget officer for the city of Evanston, Ill. Yonker recently relocated to East Jordan with his wife, Diane, who was the director of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce for 17 years. The couple has three children.

Oakboro, North Carolina (population 1,859): Oakboro’s Board of Commissioners met on Monday at 8:15 a.m. in a special meeting, according to The Stanly News and Press. Part of the reason the Board needed to meet was to discuss what to do with the office of Town Administrator. Ross Holshouser, previous Town Administrator, was let go over the weekend. The first order of business was to appoint a new Town Clerk. Taffy Smith, previously acting as Deputy Town Clerk, was raised to the position by Commissioner Georgia Harvey. It is believed that Smith’s appointment will help alleviate some of the pressure placed on the offices of Oakboro Town Hall in the wake of Holshouser’s dismissal. The next item on the agenda was in regards to finances. In the Town Administrator’s absence, the Board voted to have any financial expenditure exceeding $500 be brought before the Town Board before it can proceed. Beginning Oct. 1, Doug Burgess will act as Interim Town Administrator until a more permanent candidate can be located.

North Topsail Beach, North Carolina (population 743): North Topsail Beach Town Manager Steve Foster is headed for a new job but won’t be going too far, according to the Jacksonville Daily News. Foster submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday and will be taking a job as manager for the Town of Oak Island. His last day with the Onslow County town will be Oct. 25. Mayor Daniel Tuman said Foster has a permanent residence in Oak Island, making the move a good opportunity for him personally and professionally. But he will be missed. Tuman said Foster worked well with the town board as well as the town staff. Foster has worked for the town since February 2010 and has served in municipal management off and on for more than 35 years. According to a report in the StarNews of Wilmington, the Oak Island town council selected Foster as town manager at its Tuesday night meeting by a 4-1 vote. He will be paid a salary of $95,000. Tuman said Oak Island will be gaining a good manager. Foster said he leaves grateful for his time in North Topsail Beach. Tuman said North Topsail Beach will immediately begin a search for a new manager.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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