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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Luzerne County, PA; Port Orange, FL; Decatur County, GA and more

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (population 320,918): After a six-day, 2,800-mile drive from California, Robert Lawton is settling into a Kingston rental and preparing for his high-profile position as Luzerne County government’s first professional manager under home rule, according to The Times Leader. Lawton said he has been monitoring county developments from afar, but won’t take positions on any pending issues until he gathers and discusses information that will be available after he starts the $110,000 position. Under home rule, the manager oversees daily operations and many duties previously handled by three elected commissioners. Employees should expect a lot of interaction with the new chief. He praised Interim Manager Tom Pribula, who accepted the temporary leadership post when home rule was officially enacted Jan. 2. Daily monitoring of the county budget is necessary, and Lawton said he will ensure the council and public are regularly updated on spending and revenue – both current and projected through the rest of the year. He also will report on steps taken to control costs. Lawton plans regular meetings with department heads and senior management to explain his own directives and hear their ideas. He said he’s open to all feasible suggestions to make county government more efficient. Lawton also wants to develop an open dialogue with union workers to discuss county finances and “what lies ahead.”

Port Orange, Florida (population 45,823): Ken Parker, one of the state’s longest tenured city managers, has announced he will retire at this time next year, leaving the position he’s held in Port Orange since 1984, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He said he thought about other options for his life, including travel with his wife, volunteer work and spending more time with his grandchildren. Recently, Parker, acting as the city’s hearing officer, fired Warren Pike, the city’s longtime public works director, after he acknowledged giving his teenage son the access code to the yard, where thousands of dollars of merchandise was later determined to have been stolen.

Decatur County, Georgia (population 27,842): County Administrator Tom Patton resigned by telephone Tuesday night, during a two-hour executive session that followed the regular meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, according to The Post-Searchlight. Patton was not present for either the 5:30 p.m. work session, or the 7 p.m. meeting. The executive session lasted from 8:10 p.m. until 10:10 p.m., when the board came back into open session and announced that they had accepted Patton’s resignation. County Chairman Dr. C.T. Stafford said it was a “negotiated resignation” that the board immediately accepted. Stafford also said Patton would receive a $29,400 lump-sum payment in the coming days, which includes accumulated unused personal and sick time. Stafford said that this decision was best for the overall welfare of the county. Patton’s resignation is a result of the controversy surrounding his alleged failure to report a sewage spill at the Decatur County wastewater treatment plant in February 2011. Earlier Tuesday night, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners publicly addressed the spill, which some commissioners alleged had been “covered up” by County Administrator Tom Patton and County Finance Director Carl Rowland. The spill has been the source of controversy for the county in recent weeks. According to commissioners, there was a spill at the wastewater treatment plant in February 2011, although the exact magnitude of that spill is uncertain.  However, it was reportedly severe enough that Board Chairman C.T. Stafford, County Attorney Brown Moseley and wastewater treatment facility engineer Stacy Watkins took a trip to Atlanta last Friday to meet with officials at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Stafford said Tuesday that the county would be cited for the spill, but no major fines would be levied. Stafford said he was first notified of the spill in February 2011, shortly after it occurred. However, several commissioners expressed their concern that they were not told about the spill until many months after its occurrence. Commissioner Oliver Sellers said he was not told about the February 2011 spill until one year later. In April 2011, the EPD ordered the county to address the issue of raw sewage allegedly finding its way into the Flint River as a result of problems at the county’s wastewater treatment plant. Decatur County Commissioners agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and take steps to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant, which is about 30 years old. Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely, who served as the board chairman in 2011, said he did not know about the spill until December 2011. He also noted that Watkins had told him that the upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant were not proceeding in a timely matter. Mosely said there was a “cover-up” to keep the news of the spill under wraps. He also stated that both the county’s wastewater treatment permits, as well as the EPD consent order, require that all spills must be reported, regardless of severity. Commissioner Frank Loeffler said the county was lucky to avoid harsh penalties. Commissioner Russell Smith said he did not feel there was a “cover-up,” but did admit there could have been better communication.

Ontario, Oregon (population 11,366): The city of Ontario will be looking for a new administrator as City Manager Henry Lawrence announced Wednesday he has accepted a city manager position with the city of Eagle Point, located northeast of Medford in Jackson County, according to The Argus Observer. With a population of nearly 8,500, Eagle Point is smaller than Ontario. Lawrence said the new position offered a good career opportunity. He was one of four people interviewed for the position, according to the Medford Mail Tribune. Lawrence said he is proud of all that has been accomplished with the City Council and other officials and staff during his tenure, mentioning particularly the city’s stronger financial position. Department directors and managers will be working closely with the mayor and City Council to determine how the council wishes to handle this interim transition period between city managers, Lawrence said.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,609): Rockland City Council has offered the job of City Manager to James Smith of Greenbush, Maine, and Smith has accepted the position, according to The Free Press. Mayor Brian Harden made the announcement on Monday afternoon. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith, along with the signing of an employment agreement, has been scheduled for a special City Council meeting next Monday, March 5. Smith is a Maine native who has been serving as Assistant City Manager in Brewer since 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Maine Orono with a BA in public administration. Prior to attending college, Smith served 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. While working in Brewer, Smith was active on committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a local community volunteer. He is married with four children and will move with his family to Rockland after the end of the current school year. Harden said that Smith is very enthusiastic about coming to Rockland and is planning to begin the new job on Monday, April 2.

Santa Clara, Utah (population 6,003): Santa Clara will welcome a new city manager next week to fill the vacancy left after former City Manager Wally Ritchie took a pitching coach job with Brigham Young University’s baseball team last fall, according to The Spectrum. Edward Dickie, a former Ivins city employee and the current North Ogden city manager, will step into the role Monday, taking over from Interim City Manager Brock Jacobson, who will fill the administrative services director position that has been vacant since Barbara Salmon retired last summer. Mayor Rick Rosenberg said the city received 39 applications for the job, which were narrowed down to a “short list” of seven people for final interviews. Rosenberg said Santa Clara notified Dickie of its decision in January but gave him time to give North Ogden his notice and work through the management transition. As city manager, Dickie will supervise the day-to-day operations of the city’s departments and their directors. Rosenberg said Dickie’s experience in North Ogden for the past four years was a selling point during the selection process. Dickie said he was Ivins’ administrative services director and assistant to the city manager before moving north, but he kept his Ivins home and rented it to his parents. After using a few days of vacation time from his North Ogden job to start work in Santa Clara, he’ll return to northern Utah to officially finish his job there on March 9, then his wife and four children will move back to Southern Utah with him, he said. Although he will live in Ivins, Dickie acknowledged that Santa Clara officials would like him to move into their city limits once the dust settles.

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (population 4,467): City Administrator Jim Ferneau is leaving in April to be the City Manager of Burlington, Iowa, according to KTIV.  Burlington’s population is six times the size of Sergeant Bluff. Originally from Marshalltown, Ferneau has held the City Administrator’s job for four years. He’s proudest of the projects the city has undertaken during that time.

Minonk, Illinois (population 2,168): The same Minonk City Council that cast a vote of no confidence in Doug Elder accepted his resignation as city administrator, according to the Journal Star. Elder resigned Monday night during a special council meeting. Elder had come under criticism recently from council members who alleged he had communication problems with them and with the public. When contacted Tuesday, Elder had little comment. The terms of his resignation included a mutual non-disparagement clause. According to his resignation agreement, Elder will be paid and receive benefits through July 7. Elder’s resignation culminates a tumultuous month that included the City Council’s 4-2 no-confidence vote last week during its regular meeting. Many of the city responsibilities Elder held will fall to Koos, whose mayoral job is part time. Elder’s former position is full time. Other city employees will fill breaches, according to Koos. Elder’s departure comes at a particularly inopportune time organizationally, with budget planning under way. The current fiscal year ends April 30. Before Elder’s hiring, Minonk had not had a city administrator for about two years. Koos said he has no timetable for finding Elder’s replacement.

Wayzata, Minnesota (population 1,998): Heidi Nelson will become the next city manager in Wayzata, according to the Star Tribune. Nelson is deputy city administrator and community development director in the city of Ramsey, in Anoka County. She also serves as executive director of Ramsey’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Nelson will take over from Al Orsen, who will retire in April after 36 years in Wayzata, first as city engineer and as city manager since 1985. Several panels of city staff members, City Council members and citizens at large evaluated the candidates from an initial pool of 77 applicants. Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox called Nelson “a high energy, enthusiastic and community-engaged leader” who will bring fresh perspective and experience in economic development to the west metro community in Hennepin County.

Troutman, North Carolina (population 1,592): Troutman Town Manager David Saleeby announced his retirement at a special meeting of the town’s Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. Saleeby, 58, has been with the town since 2006, three years after he retired from Duke Energy. Saleeby said he has lived in Troutman all of his adult life and that his wife, Janie, is a native. Saleeby added that he would stay involved in the town. That involvement includes helping current Town Finance Director Steve Shealy transition to his new duties as interim town manager. Saleeby said the Board of Aldermen would start a search for a new manager soon. Saleeby said the town is in “excellent shape” and that it has “one of the best police departments” in Iredell County. He credited the town staff and the Board of Aldermen for maintaining a tightly run and efficient government.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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