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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Transitions: Long Beach, NY; Rockville Centre, NY; Ashland, OR and more

“I think the most important part of this job is being able to use the resources available to you, and in my police career I’ve had a lot of experience with that.”–Keith Spadaro

Long Beach, New York (population 33,275): Officials said the details of a contract between Long Beach and City Manager Jack Schnirman should be finalized by March after the City Council passed a resolution last week allowing the city to enter into a contract with Schnirman, according to Newsday.The two-year agreement will provide security for Schnirman and clear guidelines for his responsibilities to Long Beach, said Councilman Scott Mandel. Mandel said having a contract “puts the position on a level that’s outside of political influence to some extent.” Former City Manager Charles Theofan did not have a contract, council members said, but former City Manager Glen Spiritis did, and so have others. Council president Fran Adelson said the council would follow past guidelines, but that this contract would have fewer privileges. “There was a provision in a contract that gave the city manager a car, and that provision has been stricken,” Adelson said, citing costs of gas, insurance and wear and tear. Council vice president Len Torres said the city hopes to auction off the black, eight-cylinder Chrysler 300 that Theofan drove during his tenure. Schnirman said this contract won’t have “executive days,” and that he would be entitled to only as many leave days as other management employees. According to the International City/County Management Association, more than 89 percent of city managers have contracts. The contract will reflect Schnirman’s annual salary of $157,988 and will be made available to the public once finalized, council members said.

Rockville Centre, New York (population 24,023): After a four-month search involving more than 30 applicants, Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray and the Board of Trustees have chosen a former New York City police inspector to be the new village administrator, according to the LI Herald. Keith Spadaro will replace Frank Quigley, who was removed from the position in October, Murray announced at a special Monday-afternoon Board of Trustees meeting. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Spadaro, 50, who has been a village resident for 19 years. He and his wife, Stacy, have three children, Katie, 19, Keith 16, and Caroline, 14. Though Spadaro will not begin his new job until March 19, Murray and former village consultant Anthony Cancellieri will bring him up to speed on village affairs in the coming weeks. Murray removed Quigley from the position four months after he was elected, as he assembled his administration. Spadaro held a variety of positions in his lengthy career with the NYPD. Most recently, he was the commanding officer of its Office of Information Technology, where he oversaw the 1,400 members of the Communications Division. Spadaro graduated from Buffalo State College with a business degree in 1983, and then joined the Air Force for officer training and flight school, but his military career was cut short because of an injury he suffered in college. For several years he worked as a stock trader for a number of corporations. In 2001, while serving as an NYPD lieutenant, he earned a law degree from New York Law School.

Ashland, Oregon (population 20,255): Six months after being fired as Deschutes County administrator in a split vote of county commissioners, Dave Kanner was named Thursday as Ashland’s new city administrator, according to KTVZ. Mayor John Stromberg made the announcement in a news release. The position is appointed by the mayor, with the city council expected to confirm the appointment at its Feb. 21 meeting. Most recently, Kanner served as the County Administrator in Deschutes County, Oregon. Previously, Kanner served as the deputy county administrator in Jackson County, assistant to the city manager in Wilsonville and senior public affairs specialist at Metro in Portland. Kanner will begin work on Monday, February 27. Larry Patterson — former Bend city manager — has been serving as Ashland’s interim city administrator, managing operations of the city since October. Kanner will succeed former city administrator Martha Bennett, who left to accept the position of chief operating officer at Metro in Portland. Last August, commissioners Tammy Baney and Tony DeBone voted to fire Kanner. In written evaluations, the pair and colleague Alan Unger, who wanted to keep Kanner, highly praised his fiscal management, honesty and integrity. But Baney felt Kanner was not conveying her voice on county policy, and DeBone wrote that Kanner did not provide enough feedback to the managers of county departments.

Gautier, Mississippi (population 11,280): Gautier’s new city manager said she is ready to help make this city a thriving place to live, work and enjoy, according to WLOX. City council members hired Samantha Abell after firing former manager Sidney Runnels late last year. Samantha Abell is the new woman in charge of the day to day operation in Gautier. She said it’s a job she said requires a strong vision. The new city manager is no stranger to the city. She was formerly the economic director and plans to use those skills to entice more businesses to move here. Abell said creating a more walkable downtown and building a town center are also some of the big projects in the works. Abell said promoting the natural areas and building upon the riverfront will also enhance the quality of life in the city. Changing the aged signage in the city to make it more welcoming for visitors is also on the to-do-list. With help of the mayor, city council and citizens, this new city manager believes Gautier will be a better place to live, work, and enjoy.

Mathews County, Virginia (population 8,978): Melinda Moran, manager of the Town of Clarksville for the past 18 years, has been appointed Mathews County Administrator, effective April 16, according to the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal. The announcement was made following a procedural vote at a special meeting Saturday afternoon by the Mathews County Board of Supervisors. Moran will replace Steve Whiteway, who retired on Jan. 31 after serving more than 11 years in that post. Moran began her tenure as manager of the Town of Clarksville in May of 1994. According to a release from the county board, during Moran’s time in the lakeside Virginia town, she “led administrative efforts to establish a lasting shift from a traditional agricultural and manufacturing-based economy to tourism and service-based economy.” Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a master’s in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Tech. As the new county administrator, Moran will earn $90,000 a year. Clarksville, the first incorporated town in Mecklenburg County, is located on Virginia’s southern border. With a population of 1,139, according to 2010 U.S. census figures, Clarksville is situated on Kerr Lake. Each July, the town hosts the Virginia Lake Festival, attracting approximately 80,000 visitors during the three-day event. The search for a replacement for Whiteway began last summer, attracting a “substantial number of candidates,” Burns said. Several of those candidates were called back for follow-up interviews.

Cohasset, Massachusetts (population 7,542): Wednesday night Cohasset Selectmen unanimously adopted a resolution to remove Town Manager Michael Coughlin effective immediately, according to WATD. Coughlin has the right to a public hearing which could reverse the decision. Attorneys for the town and Coughlin have agreed to hold the hearing March 13th at 7 p.m. The town will continue to pay Coughlin his salary until the hearing and final resolution. Coughlin began the job last August 1. When they hired him, selectmen lauded his “consensus-building style.” In his first week on the job, he asked all department heads for their goals and objectives. Many department heads attended the brief Selectmen’s meeting and subsequent informal question and answer session with Chairman of Selectmen Ted Carr. A former JAG Army Captain and youth sports coach, Coughlin frequently communicates in sports analogies, calling himself coach and town employees the team. He says he spoke and emailed Carr daily. Carr said the became friends. Selectmen voted to remove him without cause, referring only to “communications with the board.” Coughlin formerly served as Town Administrator in three other towns, leaving each after three years. Selectman Diane Kennedy read a statement during the meeting. No other selectman spoke. She stressed the board’s action was not the result of a pending bid by the town’s  water commissioners. Coughlin said the bid, or RFP (request for proposals), lay at the heart of the dispute. The town manages 90 percent of its water system. A private water company, Aquarion, manages the system in the north section of town. Aquarion also manages the water systems of neighboring Hingham and Hull. Hingham has discussed terminating its relationship with Aquarion because of annual rate increases. Chairman of Cohasset’s Water Commissioners Peter DeCaprio has proposed the town ask for bids from private water companies to manage the entire water system. DeCaprio is managing director of the Crow Point Partners hedge fund of Scituate and New York City. The fund received a $15 million investment from Aquarion’s parent company, an Australian holding company. Coughlin has publicly objected to the water commissioners’ bid, saying only he, as the town’s procurement officer, can manage the provision of goods and services to the town. Selectmen will meet Friday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. to plan for interim management of town government.

Pleasant View, Utah (population 7,482): The city has hired a new chief administrator, according to the Standard-Examiner. At a recent special meeting, council members approved, with a 4-1 vote, an employment agreement for Melinda Brimhall to take on the duties of city administrator. Brimhall’s contract with the city began Feb. 8. Her salary is $78,000 a year, with benefits that include three weeks of vacation, sick leave and holiday leave. She also will receive health and retirement benefits and a travel allowance of $300 per month, using her own vehicle. The city administrator position will be evaluated annually. Mayor Doug Clifford said the city is happy to have Brimhall on board. The previous city administrator, J.J. Allen, accepted a job with the city of Clearfield, necessitating the new hire. Brimhall grew up in Utah County and graduated from Weber State University with a double major, earning degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She also has a master’s degree in administration from Brigham Young University. Brimhall is coming to Pleasant View from Grand County where she worked as council administrator for two years. Before that, she was was a management analyst for three years in Casa Grande, Ariz., and a management assistant in Chandler, Ariz., for three years. Brimhall said she has family in Pleasant View and is pleased to start working in the area. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and her puppy, Flynn. She also enjoys biking and other outdoor activities. Brimhall was sworn into office Tuesday night by Judge Patrick Lambert.

Corning, California (population 7,093): A packed house watched Tuesday evening as the City Council chose Public Works Director John Brewer to take on additional duties as city manager, according to the Daily News. Brewer, who begins his new position March 1, starts at $6,689 per month, according to the staff report. In one year, Brewer would be eligible for a raise to $7,041 per month followed by eligibility for another raise the following year to $7,412 per month. Brewer will be filling the shoes of City Manager Steve Kimbrough, who went to part time while taking retirement in 2011. Kimbrough is unable to keep the position due to Assembly Bill 1028. Effective Jan. 1, a retiree under PERS cannot work for more than a year without his retirement being affected. Councilman John Leach, the lone no vote, said he objected to the contract for Kimbrough because it has an indemnity clause and automatic renewal. Kimbrough’s duties under contract would be limited to assisting with the budget and training Brewer and other staff to prepare the budget. He would remain covered under the city’s indemnity, which protects him in case he is sued in the scope of his work for the city, City Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick said. Kimbrough would be paid $4,500 a month from March to June, with a 30-day notice of termination. The contract would renew for an additional year if not canceled. Former Councilman Ross Turner questioned whether the position of consultant was to be opened up with request for proposals or had just been created with one person in mind.

St. Clair, Michigan (population 5,485): With City Superintendent Scott Adkins heading to a new job with Roseville in two weeks, the city council will have to act swiftly to replace him, according to The Times Herald. Adkins said he submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday to Mayor Bill Cedar Jr. If the council accepts his letter, Adkins’ last day will be March 1. The Roseville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Adkins as city manager with a one-year, $94,000 contract. Adkins said he’ll start March 6. Adkins said he asked for a one-year contract with Roseville so both parties could evaluate if they were a “good fit” for each other. He said he has created a list of transition items he plans to discuss with St. Clair department heads and council members. One of the things Adkins was working on was bidding out city services, per the council’s request. Adkins said he started searching for a job in another city because of the council’s openness to privatizing city services. He said he didn’t want to wait for the council to put his job out to bid as well. He’s served St. Clair since 2006 as superintendent and makes $81,177 per year. Adkins’ contract with St. Clair was to expire in mid-2013. There is a clause in the contract that allows him to submit a resignation and attempt to give 30 days notice, but it isn’t mandatory, Adkins said. If the council fires Adkins, the contract states the city must pay him a six-month severance package, he said. St. Clair City Clerk Janice Winn said the council has directed her to assume some of the superintendent’s duties for an interim period when past superintendents have left. The Michigan Municipal League has a list of qualified people who can serve as interim city managers, Adkins said. He said he notified the mayor and some members of the council more than 30 days ago he was seeking employment elsewhere. Adkins also applied for the city manager position in Algonac on Jan. 31 and was offered the job, as Algonac City Manager Karl Tomion is retiring March 11. Algonac City Council voted Feb. 7 to accept resumes for the position. According to a schedule set by the Michigan Municipal League, it will take about 10 weeks before Algonac is ready to make an offer to a new city manager. Tomion said he’s trying to expedite the process, and has already received some resumes. He makes $72,000 per year.

West Peoria, Illinois (population 4,414): John Carlson, the city administrator in West Peoria for the last nine years, will leave at the end of April, according to the Peoria Journal Star. Carlson, who is 60, has worked in government for 32 years, coming to West Peoria in 2003 after retiring from the Peoria City/County Health Department as director of administration. Carlson said he had no hidden agenda behind his decision to leave West Peoria. Carlson cited several accomplishments in his letter of resignation and thanked the council and Dillon, who has been mayor all of the Carlson years, for the opportunities they provided him. Carlson, who told Dillon of his intentions at the end of January, will stay on until April 30, the end of the city’s fiscal year. Dillon said the search for a replacement will likely be done locally, in the hope of landing a home-grown professional like Carlson. He said he has been bursting with the news of the impending resignation since the end of January. Dillon hopes the hiring process ends up with a new administrator ready to take Carlson’s place the day his resignation takes effect.