Transitions: San Mateo County, CA; Charles County, MD; Santa Clara, CA and more

San Mateo County, California (population 727,209): County supervisors are putting their money where their mouth is, backing up plans to keep Interim County Manager John Maltbie around full time four more years with a roughly $300,0000 annual salary package, according to The Daily Journal. The Board of Supervisors will vote at Tuesday morning’s meeting on the agreement which would begin Dec. 23 and run through Dec. 22, 2016. The proposal calls for Maltbie to receive a bi-weekly salary of $10,393.60 but the board plans to bump the wage up to $11,538.46 to be more in line with other chief executive officer pay in the Bay Area. The current county manager salary of approximately $270,000 is more than 11 percent behind its counterparts, according to a board report by Human Resources Director Donna Vaillancourt. Maltbie, 65, will also receive a $1,000 monthly car allowance and 45 days of vacation per year which can be cashed out at the end of the contract. However, Maltbie intends to fully use the vacation time and will receive a 22.5-day advance, according to the agreement. In the case Maltbie is let go by the county, he will receive up to a year of salary and benefits depending upon what time is left on his contract. On his end of the arrangement, Maltbie must suspend his annual $133,000 pension to be reinstated as a full-time county employee because he cannot receive it simultaneously with a salary. Maltbie previously served as county manager for more than two decades before retiring in 2008. Succeeding county manager David Boesch resigned three years later before the end of his contract and Maltbie stepped back in on an interim basis. He was limited to work 960 hours in a fiscal year and did not receive any other benefits. In February, the Board of Supervisors decided to keep Maltbie longer and postponed recruiting a permanent replacement until 2013 but now will wait until closer to 2016. The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.

Charles County, Maryland (population 146,551): The Charles County commissioners hired a new county administrator last week, filling a post that had been vacant since a majority of the board fired the prior administrator in July, according to Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. Mark J. Belton, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserves, will leave his job as administrator of Page County, Va., to start work in Charles County on Dec. 17. Belton has held that post since 2005 and also served as administrator for Queen Anne’s County in Maryland from 1999 to 2002. Originally, Belton’s contract with Page County expired in January, but the county board of supervisors voted Nov. 22 to let him resign early, said supervisors’ Vice Chairman J.D. Cave. In “late summer,” the board voted not to renew his contract, but Cave would not say why. Belton said the supervisors were looking to replace someone hired by the previous board and to pay a lower salary. Supervisors’ Chairman Johnny Woodward had praise for Belton despite his vote, a decision he said he made because “the board just felt it was time for a change.” Education dominated his legacy in Page County, Belton said. He recalled his role in helping establish middle schools in a public school system that previously had only elementary and high schools, and in attracting a campus of Lord Fairfax Community College to a county that had been without any institution of higher education. He also assisted in the development of a small commercial airport, he said. It’s too soon to say what projects he’ll face in Charles County. Page County, like others in rural Virginia, often serves as a training ground for officials who then progress to more lucrative positions in larger, wealthier counties, said former Page County Board of Education member Gary Gibbs. The Charles County commissioners interviewed four candidates before settling on Belton, said commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D). Belton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1983 and served in the Navy for seven years. Since 1991, he has been in the reserves, from which he was mobilized and sent to Kosovo in 2001 and to Baghdad from 2009 to 2010. He serves as a supply officer, he said. He also holds a master’s of business administration from Regis University in Colorado, and served as assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for two years, according to the county government announcement. As a reservist, Belton could be recalled to active duty, but it is “highly unlikely” because he already has served several postings, Kelly said. Should he be called up, the county will manage “just the same as we always manage, with our deputy county administrator, and as we’ve managed previously when various different folks in leadership roles were out or pending a replacement.”

Juliio Fuentes

Santa Clara, California (population 116,468): Santa Clara has hired a new city manager, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Julio Fuentes has been hired for his track record of bringing economic development and fiscal stability to cities in Southern California, according to a statement by the City of Santa Clara. Fuentes, who has been the city manager for Alhambra, Calif., since 1992, was appointed to his new post unanimously at a city council meeting Tuesday night. His first day on the job in Santa Clara will be Feb. 4, 2013, and he will earn an annual salary of $290,000. Fuentes was selected after a nationwide search to find a replacement for Jennifer Sparacino, who retired in June after 25 years in the role. Fuentes’ experience managing Alhambra’s $114 million budget – that’s compared to Santa Clara’s $558 million annual budget – should come in handy as his new employer deals with an expected state claim of up to $350 million in former redevelopment assets.

Harnett County, North Carolina (population 114,678): The Harnett County Board of Commissioners wasted no time firing County Manager Scott Sauer once a new Republican majority was established, doing so shortly after swearing in two new Republican members on Monday, according to The Sanford Herald. The vote was 3-2, largely along partisan lines. Sauer, who was hired away from Sampson County in 2009, didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday. His temporary replacement, Interim County Manager Joseph Jeffries, wasn’t available on Tuesday, according to office staff. Hill, the lone Democrat on the board, said she considered the vote “revenge” for a lawsuit involving the county’s Public Utilities Department. Although she wouldn’t say more, the county did sue Republican commissioner Gary House last spring, alleging that he orchestrated the theft of private documents from the county by a former utilities employee who was fired in 2011. That employee has admitted to taking the documents, but House, according to a Fayetteville Observer story from last May, said there is more to the story than has been revealed. On Monday, he was voted vice chairman of the board — taking the position Hill had held for the past decade and a half — but didn’t respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. Sauer did elicit some controversy in 2011 when he accepted a raise included in the same budget that also required all county workers to take one day of furlough per month. At the time, he reportedly said he had declined a raise in 2010 but did feel that accepting the 2011 raise of 5 percent was appropriate because it was comparable to raises other employees had received. The vote to fire Sauer didn’t go entirely smoothly for the GOP bloc, though, with the newly elected Joe Miller breaking rank with his fellow Republicans in order to vote against dismissing Sauer. The other new commissioner, Gordon Springle, said he had no problem voting against Sauer on his first day on the job because he saw the recent election as a wider referendum on what Harnett County voters want. According to John Rankins, the Harnett County Human Resources and Risk Management director, the county will be accepting applications for county manager for the next two weeks or so. Also at Monday’s meeting, Republican Jim Burgin was chosen as chairman, replacing longtime Republican board member Tim McNeill, who was chairman during Sauer’s tenure as county manager. Neither he nor Burgin responded to requests for comment. McNeill and Democrat Dan Andrews, who served for years before being defeated by Springle in November, were also both honored and presented with the Order of the Longleaf Pine — North Carolina’s highest civilian award — at the meeting.

Pueblo, Colorado (population 106,595): Pueblo City Council this week named City Finance Director Sam Azad to be the new city manager, according to The Pueblo Chieftan. He is scheduled to take the reins of city government on Jan. 2. Mr. Azad succeeds Jerry Pacheco as manager. Mr. Pacheco stepped down in May due to personal problems. In the interim, former city official Jim Munch has been the acting manager.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (population 105,162): Members of the Cambridge City Council appointed longtime deputy city manager Richard Rossi Monday to the city’s top spot next year, according to the Boston Globe. The council voted 8 to 1 to promote Rossi to the city manager post once it is vacated by Robert Healy, who is retiring June 30 after 32 years on the job. Rossi, 66, who grew up in Cambridge and now lives in Watertown, promised hard work and good communication to the council on Monday.

Bartow County, Georgia (population 100,157): For 38 years, Steve Bradley has called Bartow County government home. On Tuesday, he will celebrate his retirement as county administrator, official Jan. 1. Bradley’s path to county administrator evolved, taking him through the tax assessor’s office and the district attorney’s office. He also served as treasurer under late Commissioner Frank Moore, which Bradley said is a position that evolved into the county administrator job. The Bartow County native became county administrator under retiring Commissioner Clarence Brown in 1993. Brown said Bradley’s experience was key in his hiring. Once he became county administrator, Bradley said he really never considered anything else. Bradley’s son, Stan, said his father’s passion for his work was a standard he himself has tried to follow. The father of two is a graduate of Cartersville High School, earning his bachelor’s from West Georgia College and his law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1979. He added that serving in a fast-growing community presented its own set of challenges in the past 20 years. Of his accomplishments as county administrator, Bradley considers the growth management plan as perhaps his greatest. Bradley said he has continued to look ahead for the county, coordinating with staff and incoming County Administrator Peter Olson. With retirement just weeks away, Bradley said he will shift his focus a bit closer to home. Stan Bradley said his father’s dedication to family is one of the gifts he passed on to his children.

Temecula, California (population 100,097): In a 3-0 vote, the Temecula City Council fired City Manager Robert Johnson Tuesday night, according to the TemeculaPatch. The vote came behind closed doors, in the closed-session portion of the regularly scheduled city council meeting, and no information regarding the reason for termination is being released. City Attorney Peter Thorson made the announcement Tuesday and after the meeting declined to comment about the firing. City Councilmen Jeff Comerchero and Ron Roberts were absent during Tuesday night’s meeting. When asked about Temecula Chief Financial Officer Genie Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this month with Johnson, Thorson declined comment. There was no mention of Wilson Tuesday night. Thorson told Patch last week that actions against Johnson and Wilson are based on “differences in management philosophy and goals.” City employee Aaron Adams was officially appointed Tuesday to serve as acting city manager; no fill-in has been named to serve as chief financial officer. Johnson’s appointment to City Manager came July 10, 2011 following news that then-City Manager Shawn Nelson was retiring effective Jan. 1, 2012. As part of his four-year employment contract agreed to in Sept. 2011 and commenced on Jan. 1, 2012, Johnson received an annual salary of $215,000 and $11,000 a year in deferred compensation for a savings plan, according to the city documents. Under his employment contract, which was officially terminated Tuesday night, Johnson is entitled to receive a severance payment equal to six months’ salary, as well as insurance benefits during the six months following his firing. However, if termination is the result of being charged or convicted of a felony, or engaging in corrupt or willful misconduct in office, Johnson’s severance benefits will not be paid, according to city documents. Wilson’s annual salary as of 2010 was $180,466, including benefits, according to the latest public salary information available from the California State Controller’s website. According to city documents, her role with the city encompassed overseeing various administrative services including human resources, strategic budgeting and operations, support services, information technology, and accounting and purchasing.

Floyd County, Georgia (population 96,317): The Floyd County Commission will meet next week to discuss the replacement of County Manager Blaine Williams, who is leaving Dec. 31 for Athens-Clarke County, according to the Rome News-Tribune. The board’s regular session is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 11. Williams — who took over Floyd County’s top slot on Jan. 1 — said he’ll work through the end of the year and take a week off before starting in Athens on Jan. 7, 2013. He’ll be one of two assistant managers for the consolidated government of Athens-Clarke County, which has 1,573 employees and a general fund budget of $104 million. Floyd County has about 650 employees and a $43 million budget. A “green” fire station and a government-backed arts center were two initiatives he mentioned, but another draw is Alan Reddish, the Athens-Clarke manager. Including a 7.5 percent deferred contribution, Williams was netting about $106,000 a year in Floyd and was part of the pension plan. In Athens-Clarke, he’ll have a base salary of $109,000 and his choice of either a 10-percent deferred contribution or participation in the pension plan. Williams hired on as Floyd’s assistant county manager in April 2007 and served as interim county manager after the Dec. 2, 2011, departure of Kevin Poe. The board named him as Poe’s permanent replacement after a nationwide search that drew 21 applications. Noah Simon, the former community development director for Fortney, Texas, replaced Williams as assistant county manager on March 26. In Athens-Clarke, Williams will hold the title of assistant manager for transportation and community services, overseeing the departments of planning, building permits and inspections, human and economic development, transportation and public works, public utilities, transit, airport and solid waste.

Moore County, North Carolina (population 88,247): James Layman Westbrook Jr., a veteran North Carolina government manager who had been tapped to be the interim Moore County manager, died Nov. 27 in a traffic accident near Vass, according to The Pilot. Westbrook was traveling east on Vass-Carthage Road when his 2007 Chevy SUV struck a tractor- trailer hauling logs that had pulled out in front of him. Westbrook died on the scene at approximately 5:35 p.m. Westbrook, who would have turned 69 Nov. 29, had a long and distinguished career as a local government manager for several cities, including Fayetteville, Asheville and Cary. He also had worked in various Moore County governmental departments as a consultant. Westbrook began his duties as interim county manager on Nov. 26. The Moore County Board of Commissioners had voted unanimously on his selection to succeed retiring County Manager Cary McSwain, who was set to retire Nov. 30. According to state retirement regulations, McSwain must vacate his position for at least 31 days following his retirement Nov. 30. Westbrook was a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He worked as a consultant for Moore County government from July 2007 through Sept. 2011, where he prepared and monitored a 10-year capital budget project and served in an interim capacity as the public works director, the human resources director, the public safety director and as the assistant county manager. A retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and a Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm veteran, Westbrook was city manager in Asheville. Before that, he was town manager in Cary and had worked with Catawba County, the city of Petersburg, Va., the city of High Point, and Burlington Industries, Inc. He received the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, and other awards and decorations for his military service. The Westbrook family experienced a more prominent tragedy last year when their daughter, 37-year-old Ashley Westbrook Turton, was killed in a bizarre accidental explosion and fire in the garage of her Washington, D.C., home. The incident made national news because she was ­married to senior White House aide Daniel Arthur Turton, and she was a major lobbyist for Progress Energy. Her death in January 2011 occurred on the day Progress announced its merger with Duke Energy.

Jefferson County, Wisconsin (population 83,686): Just two days after learning of the pending retirement of longtime Jefferson County Judge Jacqueline R. Erwin, Jefferson County officials this morning heard news of the upcoming retirement of county Administrator Gary Petre, according to the Watertown Daily Times. Petre, 61, began his work as administrator with the county Oct. 25, 2005. He succeeded a retiring Willard Hausen. Petre came to Jefferson County after serving as director of administration for the city of Franklin. Prior to work in Franklin in 2000, Petre was assistant manager for administration with the United States Census Bureau in Muskego. From 1993 to 2002, Petre served with the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors on its board of directors. Before that, he served as director of administration for the Milwaukee County Department of Administration, was acting zoo director at the Milwaukee County Zoo and was deputy director of Milwaukee County Parks, Recreation and Culture. Petre is a 1973 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with a bachelor of administration degree and a major in finance. He received continuing education at Marquette University and with the state of Wisconsin as a real estate broker. At the time he was hired, then-Jefferson County Administrative Search Committee Chairman Ron Buchanan said his committee was sold on Petre when they learned of his overall experience and heard recommendations. Making the final three along with Petre in 2005 were Jefferson County Corporation Counsel Phil Ristow and Diane Gard of the city of Oconomowoc. The search began with 45 candidates. Petre has lived in Franklin during his career with Jefferson County and said he and his wife Beth have no plans to relocate. The couple has four adult children and six grandchildren between the ages of 6 months and 7 years old. Petre’s retirement is effective April 1, 2013, because his current employee contract ends March 31, 2013. The Jefferson County Administration and Rules Committee met this morning with the subject of Petre’s contract renewal on its agenda. After hearing of Petre’s desire to retire in 2013, however, the panel decided against requesting renewal of the employment document. Petre’s list of accomplishments as county administrator during the past 7 1/2 years include teaming with others to engender a substantial reduction in the amount of tax levy support required by the county’s fair park. Petre said the county has undergone a classification and compensation study this year, a document that will go before the county board at its December meeting. He said he is pleased with the fact the county was able to develop a strategic plan for the county. Petre said he believes a lot was accomplished in county government during his time as administrator, but work remains to be done. Petre said he leaves the county with a few items of unfinished business. Among the highlights of his time with Jefferson County, Petre said, was helping coordinate the transition of Countryside Home from a public facility to a privately owned operation. Petre and his wife have travel plans in the making for his retirement. He also said work for him is really never done because his family views him as their own, personal handyman. Petre said he appreciates the support and encouragement he has received from county board members and department heads over the years.

San Clemente, California (population 63,522): After a 35-year career in municipal government, San Clemente City Manager George Scarborough will retire March 20, according to the Orange County Register. San Clemente hired Scarborough as city manager in 2003 after he had worked 15 years for neighboring San Juan Capistrano, the final 10 as city manager. He said he is proud of the performance of city staff during his tenure in San Clemente and of the city’s accomplishments, including the beach trail, Vista Hermosa Sports Park, projects to ease traffic, improved customer service in city offices, a strong financial foundation and a “can do” culture at City Hall. Council members reached by phone Monday congratulated Scarborough on his service and his retirement. Pall Gudgerisson, San Clemente’s treasurer and assistant city manager, will take the reins as chief executive of the city after George Scarborough retires in March, according to the SanClementePatch. The San Clemente City Council offered glowing praise for Gudgerisson before unanimously voting him in. Gudgerisson said he hopes to continue where Scarborough will leave off, shepherding projects to completion.

Gaithersburg, Maryland (population 59,933): After a national talent search of nearly five months duration, Tony Tomasello, Gaithersburg’s acting city manager since June 15, was chosen to fill the position permanently, according to The Town Courier. The city of Gaithersburg made the announcement Nov. 29, and the appointment was effective immediately. He was officially sworn in on Dec. 3. Prior to his new appointment, Tomasello held the position of deputy/assistant city manager for 11 years. He has worked for the city a total of 16 years. Tomasello said he has been gratified by support from every level of city employee — throughout the selection process and in the time since his appointment was announced. Gaithersburg’s city manager is appointed by the City Council and serves as the chief administrative officer for the city. Tomasello will manage Gaithersburg’s administrative operations in accordance with policies and procedures set forth by the City Council, with a professional staff of 272 full time employees and a city budget of $50.6 million. His starting salary is $165,000. Tomasello is looking to the challenges ahead with enthusiasm. A new budget process will begin soon. Since there is no assistant city manager in place, nor is there an executive assistant city manager to whom to delegate parts of the process, Tomasello anticipates being engaged fully in all aspects of drafting the city’s strategic plan and budget for FY ‘14. Undeniably, there is a lot of work ahead for Tomasello, and he seems to look forward to it. In an interview, his voice is filled with enthusiasm. It appears that longtime Gaithersburg employee and nouveau City Manager Tony Tomasello is home at last.

Somerset County, Maine (population 52,228): Somerset County Administrator Larry Post has abruptly resigned after a closed meeting with county commissioners, according to WABI. Commissioner Lynda Quinn says the 59-year-old Post resigned Tuesday because of “different management styles.” Post, who lives in St. Albans, tells the Morning Sentinel, that his resignation was a “mutual parting.” Post was escorted out of the county courthouse, where his office was located, by sheriff’s deputies, but Quinn says that is standard procedure. Post got a four-year contract with a $60,000 salary and the county paying 100 percent of his health insurance. He also got five weeks of paid vacation.

Bloomfield, New Jersey (population 47,315): Ted Ehrenburg began his career as the new Bloomfield administrator on Monday with a song, according to Bloomfield Life. His first taste as Bloomfield’s top professional started with the lighting of the holiday tree outside Town Hall and caroling. After that, he headed inside for his first Township Council meeting. After it was over, Ehrenburg told Bloomfield Life that he’s looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting down to business. He met with department heads earlier Monday and wanted to hear what they thought of how the municipality operates. Ehrenburg held the same job in Bloomingdale, with a population of 7,667, for seven years before putting in his resume for Bloomfield, which as 47,315. Prior to that, he served as a police chief in Morris County. He said residents are “very passionate” about their town. Ehrenburg’s seven-step salary range is between $150,000 and $180,000 a year, meaning after seven years, he will make top pay. His base salary in Bloomingdale was just more than $116,200. With longevity, it came to $119,800, according to the Bloomingdale borough clerk. The township received about 56 resumes for the position. Bloomfield was without an administrator since July when Yoshi Manale resigned. Manale had said he made $127,000 a year, although public finance records say he pulled in $110,000.

Essex County, New York (population 39,370): In a surprise action Monday, Essex County Manager Daniel Palmer and his wife, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Deborah Palmer, both announced their retirements effective at the end of the year, according to the Press-Republican. Mr. Palmer has been county manager since August 2008, and his wife was appointed board clerk in September 1996. County officials were informed of the decisions on Monday morning. Mr. Palmer and his staff had recently devised a three-year plan to restore Essex County to solvency. The plan, which would have had 26, 16 and 3 percent tax hikes for the next three years before stabilizing, was apparently rejected by the County Board of Supervisors at a budget workshop Nov. 29 in favor of a combination of cuts, reductions and greater use of the county’s fund balance to get to a 2.6 tax-levy increase in the proposed 2013 budget. Before he was named county manager, Mr. Palmer was county personnel officer, and before that he served as Minerva town supervisor. The retirements are effective Jan. 1, 2013. Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said it was with deep sadness that he learned of the Palmers’ retirements. He said he spoke with Mr. Palmer on Monday, as well as Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba), the vice chair of the board, about ensuring a smooth transition. Mr. Palmer also served as head of the County Information Technology Department. Douglas said he regretted that there were such sharp differences of opinion between the board and Mr. Palmer. Douglas said a 26 percent tax increase was too high, despite the eventual budget stability Mr. Palmer said it would provide. Mrs. Palmer has 38 years of service with Essex County. She started as a clerk in the County Attorney’s Office, moved to deputy clerk of the Board of Supervisors and finally clerk of the board when Peter Mends retired. The Palmers reside in Minerva, where he was elected town justice in the 2011 elections. Mr. Palmer said he can’t support the board’s decision to make major changes to the tentative 2013 budget he had filed. He said he could withdraw the retirement paperwork before the due date but doesn’t feel he’ll be swayed to do so. Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah), who chairs the County Finance Committee, said the Palmers’ decision was unexpected. Scozzafava has long insisted the county does not need a county manager. Mr. Palmer said he’ll decide after the first of the year what he wants to do with his life. Mr. Palmer was also unhappy that the Board of Supervisors removed department-head raises from the new budget since he believed they were doing a first-class job despite a fiscal crisis in the county.

Huntsville, Texas (population 35,548): After nearly a seven-month search, the Huntsville City Council unanimously approved hiring finalist Matt Benoit as Huntsville’s new city manager, according to The Huntsville Item. Benoit, 38, replaces Bill Baine, who resigned his position in April. Chuck Pinto has served as interim city manager  while council sought a replacement. Benoit, who was selected from a pool of four finalists, will begin his new job on Monday, Dec. 10. Councll chose Benoit on the basis of his experience,  education, and his interactions with council and city staff during the search process and final interviews, Mayor Mac Woodward said. Benoit is the former assistant city manager in Farmers Branch, Texas, an inner ring suburb north of Dallas in Dallas County with a population of 28,600, a position he took in September 2009. Before coming to Farmers Branch, Benoit was assistant city manager of Wichita Falls and city manager of Herington, Kan., a city of 2,526. In addition to seeking the top spot in Huntsville’s city government, Benoit also was a finalist for the city manager’s job in Melbourne, Fla. Woodward introduced Benoit to council after an hour and a half long executive session. After the council meeting, Benoit told The Item he had been selected following an “extensive selection process,” that included multiple interviews and visits to the city.  Benoit said he also is looking forward to getting to know Huntsville’s citizens. Benoit is married to Micki, a speech-language pathologist, and has two children, a daughter, 12, and a son, 9.

Cottonwood Heights, Utah (population 33,433): John Park, city administrator for Highland City, has been appointed the new city manager for Cottonwood Heights, according to the Cottonwood/Holladay Journal. The city council approved his appointment during their business meeting on Tuesday night. Park will begin his employment on Jan. 7. He will take the position of current city manager Liane Stillman, who is retiring after leading Cottonwood Heights for the eight years of its existence. Park has been Highland’s city administrator since June 2010. Previously, he spent more than 20 years working for the cities of Orem and Tooele in various capacities, including police officer, Director of Building and Development and assistant city manager. He also worked for many years as a business consultant in the private sector.

Wildomar, California (population 32,176): Wildomar’s first city manager, Frank Oviedo, announced Dec. 3 he is resigning to take a job as assistant city manager in the city of Santa Clarita, according to the North County Times. After Wildomar became a city on July 1, 2008, the City Council relied on a consultant to manage affairs until it hired Oviedo, who assumed the position Sept. 1, 2009. In accepting the job in Santa Clarita, Oviedo is moving to a city with a population of about 200,000, more than six times the size of Wildomar. Oviedo earned $179,000 in annual salary in Wildomar. Oviedo, 42, stated in a city news release that he has relatives living in the Santa Clarita Valley, which is situated along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. Mayor Ben Benoit praised Oviedo for the quality work he did in guiding the city through some difficult financial times. The release did not say when Oviedo’s last day of work with the city would be and city officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Eureka, California (population 27,191): The Eureka City Council has appointed William T. Panos to serve as City Manager, according to the Humboldt Sentinel.  Mr. Panos brings over three decades experience to the position. Most recently, he was the director of public works for the City of West Sacramento, responsible for overseeing community infrastructure, engineering, public utilities and the Port of West Sacramento.  As a member of the city’s executive and budget teams, Panos directed city financial strategies, government relations and regional partnerships. Mr. Panos was previously the school construction executive for the State of Washington where he directed capital finance, land use policy and local school construction throughout the state.  He was responsible for creating a $600 million annual capital program and oversaw 2.9 million acres of state trust lands. Mr. Panos has also served with local government in Northern Idaho and Los Angeles, as special advisor to the chancellor of the California State University System and as toxics director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Panos’ public sector experience came after a successful career with the TRW Corporation in its defense, space and automotive business operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  He was an advisor to President’s Council on Sustainable Development under the Clinton Administration and his work received the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation and the prestigious Harvard University-Ford Foundation Award for Innovations in American Government. Mr. Panos is scheduled to start January 1.

Upson County, Georgia (population 27,153): Upson County has a new County Manager, with the Board of Commissioners selecting Jim Wheeless to fill the position that has been vacant for the last two months at the Nov. 27 meeting, according to the Thomaston Times. Wheeless, an Upson County native, currently serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs for Savannah Technical College. However, he stated that he is looking forward to coming home. He will not have to wait for long as Friday marked his last day at Savannah Tech and he started his new role as County Manager on Monday, December 3. Wheeless is no stranger to local government, having served on the Board of Commissioners as well as the Upson County Board of Education and then the Thomaston-Upson County Board of Education after the two school systems merged. He also served in numerous positions at Flint River Technical College including adjunct instructor, Director of Operations, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President of Academic Affairs and most recently Acting President prior to the merger with Griffin Tech which formed Southern Crescent Technical College.

Weathersfield, Ohio (population 25,908): Township trustees have named former fiscal officer David Rouan as the new township administrator, starting Jan. 1, according to the Tribune Chronicle. Township Trustee Chairman Steve Gerberry said Tuesday that Rouan was selected from 18 candidates who sought the position. Current administrator David Pugh is retiring. He served the township for many years as both a trustee and administrator. Trustees approved the selection at a special meeting on Monday, with Rouan receiving a three-year contract at $50,000 annually. Rouan had served previously for 22 years as Weathersfield’s clerk / fiscal officer and township zoning inspector. He then worked at the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office with former engineer David DeChristofaro as director of administration. Gerberry said trustees were impressed with Rouan’s experience with budgets, engineering, road work and having worked at both the township and county levels. The administrator position oversees the police, fire, road and zoning departments and the day-to-day operations in the township. Gerberry said while the trustees are sorry to see Pugh leaving after his years to the community they are glad to bring someone to the position who is familiar with the community and the various township departments. Pugh, who has served as administrator since 1996, is among the candidates for the county’s road use maintenance agreement (RUMA) coordinator.

Oak Harbor, Washington (population 22,075): A doctor of philosophy is now officially running the day-to-day operations of the city of Oak Harbor, according to the Whidbey News-Times. The City Council confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Larry Cort as the city administrator during the meeting Tuesday. Cort has been serving as interim city administrator since June. City Council members and the mayor had glowing remarks about Cort, especially regarding his communication abilities. Cort replaces Paul Schmidt, the former city administrator. Dudley fired Schmidt and several other top people in city administration after coming into office in January. The move was criticized by council members, who were upset by the costs associated with severance packages and the lack of leadership at the city. But Tuesday, the council was happy. Cort will earn $133,00 a year, plus benefits. By comparison, Schmidt was making about $145,000 a year, according to Finance Director Doug Merriman. If he’s ever fired, he’ll receive a six-month severance package. Cort has been around the block on Whidbey Island. He grew up on North Whidbey and graduated from Oak Harbor High School. He left the island to pursue a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Exeter in England and a doctorate of philosophy from the University of London. He later returned to Whidbey Island and spent eight years as town planner in Coupeville and then worked for several years as a senior planner in Oak Harbor. He went on to became the planning director in Langley for five years and returned once again to Oak Harbor, becoming project specialist for the public works department.

Highland, Utah (population 15,523): If you are looking for a $90,000 annual starting wage, Highland might have a job for you, according to the Daily Herald. Just a month after the resignation of its city recorder, Highland’s city administrator is leaving too. John Park has accepted a position in Cottonwood Heights, Mayor Lynn Ritchie told the Daily Herald on Wednesday. Park’s resignation was announced to elected officials at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Park told the Daily Herald on Wednesday that he applied for the job after two and a half years in Highland. Living in American Fork, his new job will be a bit of a commute. His greatest challenge as city manager has been navigating the economy. Decreased tax revenues have meant struggling to cover the basics, such as road repair. The loss of the city’s two most important administrators means that the city is working quickly to fill the positions. The window for applications for recorder has just closed, and the city acted immediately to advertise the administrator job, said the mayor. Cottonwood Heights, with 40,000 residents, means Park will now be managing a bit larger city. His resignation is effective on Jan. 3. Interested in the job? A bachelor’s degree in business or public administration is required, and a master’s is preferred, along with 10 years of senior management experience.

Elizabethton, Tennessee (population 14,176): Elizabethton City Manager Fred Edens said that after a lifetime of service to his country, his state and his family, it was time to retire, according to the Johnson City Press. Edens discussed his plans with city staff Nov. 27. Edens is a retired major who served three tours in Vietnam as an enlisted man and he was twice wounded in combat. His tours in Vietnam included service as a member of the 75th Rangers. After retiring from the Army, Edens said he also served his state for six years in child services. His latest service will be for 4 years and 9 months as city manager of Elizabethton when he leaves that post in January. Edens said this retirement is not like the joy he felt when he left the Army. Mayor Curt Alexander said he learned of Edens’ decision over lunch on Nov. 26. Newly elected City Councilman Bob Cable said he had a “fairly long talk” with Edens on Monday afternoon. Cable occasionally was an outspoken critic of Edens when Cable operated a downtown business. Both Cable and Alexander said they thought City Finance Director Jerome Kitchens would be a good choice for interim city manager.

Graham, North Carolina (population 14,153): After nearly a quarter century of working as Graham’s city manager, Chris Rollins will be taking a job in Mebane, according to the Times-News. Rollins will become Mebane’s assistant city manager in January. He has been on Graham’s payroll for 23 years and has served as city manager since 2005. His resignation is effective Dec. 26. After a 66-minute closed session of the Graham council Tuesday night, assistant city manager Frankie Maness was unanimously selected to succeed Rollins and was sworn in as the new city manager with his wife and two daughters at his side. Maness graduated magna cum laude in 1999 from Western Carolina University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. He received his master of public Affairs, with a concentration in management, in 2001. He received certificates in municipal finance and in municipal administration from the Institute of Government at UNC Chapel Hill.
Maness has been assistant city manager of Graham since October 2005. Before that, he was town manager in Warsaw from 2000 to 2005 and a management
intern in the town of Troy for five months. He is a native of Star in Montgomery County. Rollins is a native of Virginia. The son of a military man, his family had homes in Virginia, Maryland, Texas and twice in Germany. Upon his father’s retirement, his family lived in Goldsboro and Rollins graduated from high school there and then from N.C. State with a degree in civil engineering. He was recruited by then-Graham city manager Ray Fogleman and Mayor Troy Woodard while in college. He was hired as an engineering and administrative assistant under Fogleman. Rollins committed to seeing the project to its fruition and then planned to move on. He liked the city, his co-workers and council, so he stayed on, moving through the ranks to become administrative development director, assistant city manager, and ultimately city manager upon Fogleman’s retirement in March 2005.
Rollins said he is proud of the way the city has survived over the past few years of “hard economic times.” He cited the fact that the city has not had a tax increase during that period, a sign of fiscal responsibility. Rollins also takes pride in the Children’s Museum, which opened this year not far from the city hall. He plans to take that same verve to Mebane, where he will work under city manager David Cheek, with whom he has been friends for many years. Cheek once served as Alamance County Manager, working within a stone’s throw of Graham’s municipal building. Rollins will serve as Mebane’s assistant city manager over public works, planning and zoning and inspections. Rollins said he did not make his choice lightly, but had begun to feel the need for a change. At age 48, he said he was within five or six years of being able to take retirement, and had been thinking about what he wanted to do. Rollins and his family will remain living in their Graham home. Rollins’ current annual salary is $112,321.79 and Maness’ salary of $93,911.01 will be bumped to about $102,000, said Mayor Jerry Peterman.
He will serve a six-month probationary term and his salary can be renegotiated after that.

Guymon, Oklahoma (population 11,442): The Guymon City Council terminated the contract of City Manager Ted Graham effective immediately during the Nov. 29 city council meeting, according to KSCB. The council went into an hour-and-a-half executive session to discuss the city manager’s performance, upon returning to open session, councilman Larry Swager moved to terminate the city manager’s contract effective immediately, which was seconded by William King. Council members Swager, King and Kim Peterson voted yes to terminate the contract, and John Van Meter voted no. Mayor Jim Norris was absent.

Berlin, New Hampshire (population 10,051): The Berlin City Council has begun its search for a replacement for City Manager Patrick MacQueen, who will leave city hall in September 2013 after over a decade of service, according to the Union Leader. The mayor and council won’t be going through the hiring process alone, but will have the assistance of Primex, the New Hampshire Public Risk Management Exchange. The city will advertise the position starting on Jan. 4, 2013, according to MacQueen, with resumes from applicants due Feb. 1. The salary range will be $75,000 to $105,000. The goal is to have a new city manager on board Aug. 1. Mayor Paul Grenier, who is also a Coos County commissioner, said the county used Primex to fill two positions. Carl Weber of Primex said the company does not participate in the interview process, but assists with structuring it and keeping it on track. MacQueen gave the council one year’s notice that he would be stepping down. The city contracts through Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith for his services. MacQueen has held city manager positions with MRI since 1995. Prior to that was the Keene city manager for 17 years. He has been with Berlin since spring 2002.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): Former Vineyard Haven town administrator Michael Dutton has been chosen as Bridgewater’s new town manager, and is now working out an agreement to take the helm of the town, according to the Boston Globe. Dutton, expected to start in mid-December, said he admires Bridgewater for its recent decision to change from a selectmen form of government to that of a town council. For Bridgewater, Dutton’s arrival comes at the end of several difficult months that saw the departure of former town manager Troy Clarkson, who had engaged in a power struggle with the Town Council since its nine members took office in January 2011, and a subsequent recall of two councilors. Adding to the list of challenges is the recently announced resignation of the town accountant just as budget season begins, and the need to find offices for town employees displaced from municipal buildings too dilapidated to provide safe space. In an interview Wednesday, Dutton, a lawyer, said he was unfazed by the town’s difficulties. Hiring a top administrator who values long-term planning was named as a high priority by the council. Dutton, who grew up in New York, is an attorney in private practice on Martha’s Vineyard. His municipal government experience consists of five years as Vineyard Haven’s town administrator, from 2006 until 2011. While in the private sector, he spent four years on the senior management team at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, helping to win back public confidence after the hospital had gone through a bankruptcy, and six years as vice president, senior trust officer, and trust counsel for Cape Cod Bank & Trust. Dutton’s introduction to municipal government came as a three-term member of Vineyard Haven’s Board of Selectmen. In 2006, he took the job as administrator, at the urging of some colleagues on the board, he said. While Dutton lacks public administration degrees usually held by town managers, councilors said Tuesday they favored his communication skills, ties to the business community, and proven personnel management ability. Dutton said Wednesday trust and confidence are won gradually by one’s actions. During Tuesday’s discussion, the Town Council didn’t mention a situation in Vineyard Haven that ultimately led to Dutton’s resignation in 2011. Dutton had been admonished by the state attorney general’s office for not following the Massachusetts procurement laws, which require all contracts for more than $5,000 to undergo a bid process. The only comment made Tuesday was by Councilor Paul Sullivan, who warned it would be important for the new town manager to be up-to-speed on procurement requirements. Dutton said Wednesday that the state’s principal point of concern had been over a contract to repair the library’s roof. utton said his mutually agreed upon resignation in Vineyard Haven shortly after the procurement flap was “rooted in politics.” While Dutton will start in Bridgewater later this month, his family won’t move from Vineyard Haven until his son finishes eighth grade in June. His stepdaughter is already in the area, a junior at Bridgewater State University. While Dutton’s salary is under negotiation, the Bridgewater position had been advertised as paying in the low-to-mid $100,000 range. Clarkson was paid about $92,500.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (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. And starting early next year, 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.

Belding, Michigan (population 5,757): For eight years, the city of Belding has been with the same manager in Randy DeBruine, but on Wednesday, after submitting his letter of resignation to members of city council, the search will now begin for a new leader, according to The Daily News. DeBruine will step down Dec. 28 — 30 days after submitting his letter, as is written in his contract, to accept a new position as the Kent County Sheriff’s administrative officer. In a letter written to city council members, DeBruine thanked all current and previous council members, department heads and city employees for making his eight years as city manager an enjoyable experience. DeBruine said although he is sad to leave a position he has invested much time in, he is excited to start a new chapter of his career with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. DeBruine will be overlooking a department that has more than 600 employees and operates with a $60 million budget. He said he is proud to have held the position of city manager for eight years, citing that the average tenure of a city manager in Belding since 1964 was only 3.9 years. He said he was also pleased to leave his position knowing that “Belding (is) in a very strong financial condition with healthy fund balances and also with cash on hand to undertake four large infrastructure projects in the next three years.” Those four projects include reconstruction of the Main Street bridge, road construction on Washginton Street to Hall Street, road construction on Crawford Street and the pathway project on Main Street between the Alvah N. Library and Ashfield Street bridge. All four projects received grants that were approved, with the exception of the pathway project, although DeBruine said he expects that grant to be approved next week. DeBruine said he is confident the city can continue to move forward, with assistance from those who are already in place to help do so. DeBruine said discussion of his replacement will begin at next Tuesday’s city council meeting. If the council is unable to find a suitable replacement before DeBruine steps down on Dec. 28, current Finance Director Sam Andres will be appointed to the position.

Hyde County, North Carolina (population 5,209): Hyde County commissioners terminated the contract of County Manager Mazie Smith during their meeting on Monday night, according to WCTI. The board voted, 4 to 1 to fire Smith. The firing was one of the first actions taken by the county’s newly-elected board.  Dick Tunnel cast the lone “nay” vote. A news release sent out by the county on Tuesday said the board gave no specific reason for the action, but that “several commissioners cited comments of disapproval from the public regarding Smith’s job.”

Broken Bow, Oklahoma (population 4,120): The Broken Bow City Council met in special session on December 5th, according to the Sandhills Express. The Council approved the City Administrator job description with a few changes. The changes include the fact that the City Administrator must live within the Zoning Jurisdiction, they must have 5 years’ experience and they may not terminate an employee without the Mayor and City Council’s review. The council then went in to closed session and after closed session approved hiring David Varley from Colorado as the new Broken Bow City Administrator. The contract information will be available at a later date.

Fairview, Oklahoma (population 2,579): Fairview City Council met in a special meeting Tuesday to hire a new city manager, according to the Enid News and Eagle. Garfield County native Paul Southwick will step in Jan. 1, 2013, to replace current Fairview City Manager Dale Sides, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the year. Southwick graduated from Garber High School and attended Rose State College and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, before embarking on his career in public administration. Southwick’s past work experience includes almost 16 years of service as manager of the Hunter Rural Water District, eight years on the Garber City Council, five years’ service as Garber public works director and five years as a conductor for BNSF. Southwick currently is the city manager for Mangum, in Greer County, where he has served since early 2010. Fairview Vice Mayor Vernon Hoehn said Southwick was selected for the job after a lengthy search process, that attracted applicants from as far away as Vermont and Washington. Hoehn said the quality and range of experience of the applicants “was amazing.” Twenty-nine applicants were screened and narrowed to a pool of 10 that were presented to the full city council. After a vetting process, four applicants, including Southwick, were called in for the final interview process. Hoehn said Southwick’s qualifications earned him a spot in the final four, and his interview quickly drove him to the top. Fairview Mayor Garen Martens said Southwick’s past experience in managing infrastructure projects makes him an ideal selection to meet the city’s needs. Martens said addressing Fairview’s aging water supply system will be a top priority in Southwick’s early tenure. Southwick said he is looking forward to moving to Fairview, where he will be closer to family in Enid and to his farm near Fairmont. He said Fairview’s school system also was a draw. He and his wife Michelle will enroll their children, 16-year-old son Baylor, 17-year-old daughter Danielle and 4-year-old son Cord, after moving to Fairview in January. Southwick said he is looking forward to working for and with the Fairview community. Sides said he doesn’t have any set plans after his retirement in January, but he is planning to stay in Fairview.

Cordova, Alaska (population 2,454): Cordova city manager Mark Lynch and his wife Patty are returning to the lower 48 this month, according to The Cordova Times. Lynch submitted his resignation just before the Thanksgiving holiday, after serving in the position for three years. The Lynchs are headed to Poplar Grove, Illinois, to be closer to their grandchildren. Lynch has accepted a position as village administrator for the community of five thousand. Earlier this week city staff reflecting on Lynch’s tenure in Cordova expressed appreciation for the broad array of expertise he brought to the job and also commented that his wife Patty was very well liked. One of his most notable achievements as city manager is a town-wide clean up of junk cars and scrap metal that littered streets and neighborhoods and clogged up the landfill. Lynch said he had been aware of the problem when he took the job as Cordova City Manager, but when he initially proposed to get the scrap removed at little or not cost to the city, his plan was greeted with skepticism. Nonetheless, drawing on his contacts in the scrap business in Illinois, Lynch knew it could be done. Sure enough, Lynch found a company in Alaska delighted to do just that. Lynch is also credited with working to clean up city code and implementing a new budget process. At the time of his resignation, the city was midway through the budget process. Asked to look out over the challenges with this budget cycle, Lynch says it boils down to a few basic points. Earlier this week, with a moving van parked in their front yard, the couple sat perched amongst packing boxes in their living room. The phone rang non-stop as friends both here in Cordova and the lower 48 called to wish them well or chat with anticipation of their return. In between calls they debated about which items they really wanted to keep, which to pack, which to give away. One prize possession that will not be making the cut is the couple’s Coronet Oceanfarer, a 32-foot power boat equipped with all the comforts of home, it is up for sale.

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.