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: Charlotte, NC; Savannah, GA; Goodyear, AZ and more

Curt Walton

Curt Walton

Charlotte, North Carolina (population 1,758,038): Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton is planning to retire at the end of the year, according to multiple city officials, according to WCNC. Walton, who was named manager in 2007 when Pam Syfert retired, led the city through the economic downturn mostly unscathed. He made a number of small cuts to balance the city’s budget, but the city was able to avoid large reductions that other cities nationwide had to face. Earlier this year, Walton unveiled an ambitious $926 million capital plan that would have invested in the city’s low-income neighborhoods. But the plan failed to get council support and hasn’t been enacted yet. The City Council is now trying again to pass a capital improvement program. Walton was picked by council members in 2007 over Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and former Assistant City Manager Keith Parker, who now heads up the transit system in San Antonio.

Savannah, Georgia (population 186,236): The half dozen or so Savannah-Chatham police officers proved unnecessary Thursday, according to the Savannah Morning News. A subdued audience of about three dozen filled Savannah City Council chambers for a special meeting to determine the fate of City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney. Her official tenure ended with little of the turmoil associated with her 18 months of management and with none of the vocal protest that punctuated the last week after Mayor Edna Jackson had asked for her resignation. After a 90-minute executive session, Jackson resumed the public meeting by stating she had received Small-Toney’s written resignation about 8:30 that morning. Three times, Jackson invited anyone who wanted to speak to come to the microphone. Only one woman did, and her final question to council was one they had wrestled with, publicly and privately, for weeks: “Is there any way that this could have been avoided?” The time for that question had passed, though. In two quick votes, council members accepted the resignation and appointed Assistant City Manager Stephanie Cutter as acting city manager. The vote on resignation was 6-3, with staunch Small-Toney supporters John Hall, Estella Shabazz and Mary Osborne voting against. The vote for Cutter was unanimous. Under the charter, she can serve for three months before council needs to name a replacement or extend her service. Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson and Alderman Tony Thomas echoed the assessment that council need not rush a search for a replacement. Jackson, initially one of Small-Toney’s strongest supporters, admitted it was a difficult time for all involved. She thanked Small-Toney for her five years of city service, and later said the decision was not meant to hurt her but needed to come because “this fit was not for her at this time.” Johnson regretted the outcome, but saw little other choice. Shabazz, Hall and Osborne had all acknowledged the mismanagement rippling through city departments, and Shabazz and Osborne had asked some of the more pointed questions during council reviews. What they could not support was removing Small-Toney without giving her more time to correct problems. The city manager was reprimanded Aug. 31 after revelations about her failure to adhere to travel policy and a Purchasing Department overrun with payment problems. Council asked for immediate improvement. They stipulated that within 90 days they would provide her a comprehensive evaluation of her performance. Other missteps, though, quickly followed, including a letter that threatened Cutter with termination if she could not address problems in the Purchasing Department. Current and former Purchasing employees say that though their department fell under Cutter’s supervision, Small-Toney had direct involvement and allowed Cutter no decision making. On Sept. 26, in a special work session, a majority of council supported the mayor’s request for the city manager’s resignation. Hall opposed it then as he did Thursday. Hall does not believe the divided vote will have a lingering effect for council, and by the end of the regular meeting a relaxed banter, missing for weeks, had returned. Thomas also believes the full council is ready to return to issues other than day-to-day management of the city. He and other council members had called for, and were assured by Incoming City Attorney Brooks Stillwell, that an audit of funds would occur and that such a step was a normal practice anytime a chief executive officer left an organization. The satisfaction in seeing Cutter named acting city manager was immediate. Council members, employees and residents credit her with being fair, honest and hard-working. Cutter, 55, has been a city employee for 23 years. She rose through the ranks, first as a budget analyst, later as director of the Sanitation Department and for the last two years serving as an assistant city manager. For the last year, she has overseen the bureaus of Management Services and Community and Economic Development. She’s a Savannah native, grew up in Liberty City and graduated from Windsor Forest High School and what was then Savannah State College. She does not want the city manager’s job on a permanent basis. Even in Sanitation, known as one of the more rough-and-tumble, demanding city departments, she earned widespread respect for balancing her expectation that the job get done well with her fairness toward employees. Lamonica Golden, an equipment operator in Sanitation, recalled an incident years ago when a distraught employee wasn’t sure how she could get her handicapped daughter to a special school and keep her work schedule. Cutter rearranged the woman’s schedule so she would be able to take her daughter to school. No one, Golden said, should mistake Cutter’s soft-spoken tone with an inability to lead. In her letter of resignation, Small-Toney stated the terms of her departure. She will receive six months’ pay and, as any employee would, credit for accrued vacation pay. She may be entitled to more pay than she realizes. In a letter dated March 2012, Jackson outlined Small-Toney’s compensation plan approved by the new council. It included a 2 percent salary increase retroactive to January. City staff, including the Clerk of Council and Human Resources, never got a copy of that letter, and Small-Toney’s pay throughout this year remained at $190,575. It should have been $194,386. At that rate, her six months’ pay would be $97,193. Bret Bell, the city’s spokesman, said no one could immediately explain why the raise hadn’t taken effect, but it would be researched. Small-Toney also notified the mayor she would schedule a time to return all city property she has and would vacate her office in five days.

Goodyear, Arizona (population 66,275): The Goodyear City Council on Monday unanimously appointed Brian Dalke the permanent city manager, according to the Arizona Republic. Dalke has filled the position on an interim basis since March after former City Manager John Fischbach abruptly resigned. Dalke will earn $178,760 per year, plus benefits, to run a city with 66,309 residents. His contract runs through Dec. 31, 2013, the maximum time allowable under the city charter. Dalke’s base salary appears to be in line with those of other area city managers. In Avondale, a city of 77,518, City Manager Charlie McClendon earns $183,882 annually. Buckeye Town Manager Stephen Cleveland’s annual salary is $140,200. Buckeye has 61,649 residents. In Glendale, a city of 230,482, interim City Manager Horatio Skeete makes $208,450 annually. Under Dalke’s contract: The city will make an annual contribution to Dalke’s retirement plan that is equal to 10 percent of his salary. Dalke will receive 80 hours of executive leave, 96 hours of sick time and 160 hours of vacation each year. He can accrue as much as 320 hours of vacation and is eligible to accrue an unlimited amount of sick leave. The city manager will get a $400 per month automobile allowance, in addition to the same disability, health and life insurance granted to other city management employees. City leaders say they have high expectations. The City Council wants Dalke to focus on economic development that will create jobs and attract businesses that support existing industries within the city. He is also tasked with completing a strategic plan for the city and conducting an employee compensation study. Since Fischbach’s departure, several new managers have been hired to lead city departments. The Community Development and Economic Development departments were merged into a single Development Services Department. The new department includes the Building Safety Division, which is currently under the Fire Department. The moves allowed the city to reduce the number of department directors from three to one. The changes will lower salary costs and help Goodyear gear up for the next wave of growth, Dalke said. Dalke will run a city where only 10 percent of the land is developed. Goodyear is in discussions to land a couple of new companies by the end of 2012, he said. He declined to name them, but Dalke said the city will cultivate businesses in industries compatible with the F-35 pilot-training mission announced for Luke Air Force Base. Dalke said that he will run a transparent and efficient city and that he is interested in saving residents’ tax dollars. For example, when the city reduced bulk trash pickup from twice a month to once a month, it saved $300,000, he said. He said will also concentrate on improving quality of life for residents. The City Council on Monday appointed 24 residents to serve on the Goodyear 2025 General Plan Committee. They will work for 18 months on a long-range plan that must be ratified by voters before July 1, 2015. Before he was appointed, Mayor Georgia Lord thanked Dalke. It’s challenging to be in an interim position under difficult circumstances, she said. Fischbach resigned March 19 after a closed-door session with council members. The two sides agreed to part ways after a three-month performance review. Council members were concerned that emerging issues were not being handled according to expectations.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 64,669): After weeks of speculation, the Flower Mound Town Council unanimously voted to fire Town Manager Harlan Jefferson on Monday in a special meeting, according to the Carrollton Leader. Jefferson, who has been the town manager since 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 22 during a special meeting. His contract was set to expire in October 2015. Chuck Springer, the town’s chief financial officer and assistant town manager, will remain the interim town manager until a permanent one is found. Jefferson was not at Monday’s meeting. Jefferson will receive 22 months severance per the terms of his contract, though an exact figure was not disclosed. According to his contract, Jefferson made an annual salary of $187,995. The contract states that if Jefferson is involuntarily terminated, he would be entitled to a severance equal to the total base salary, as well as “all accrued leave and town benefits, including but not limited to health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and exempt leave.” The money will come from the town’s general fund, which Mayor Tom Hayden said currently sits at $9.6 million. Hayden said that at Jefferson’s request, the town has agreed to a mutual confidentiality provision as part of the formal settlement. While Hayden would not elaborate Monday on reasons for the council’s action, he did address the situation at the Oct. 1 council meeting. Later that week and before Monday’s vote, Hayden discussed a new direction. At the Sept. 22 meeting, Jefferson’s attorney, Don Colleluori, said Jefferson understands that it is the council’s right to terminate his contract, but he said Jefferson had not been given the opportunity to address any concerns the council had of him. Since then, sources have refuted that claim, citing several instances when Jefferson was aware of concerns. Among those were discussions at the town council strategic planning session and a council work session following the election in which the council outlined goals and discussed a desire to change the town’s direction in certain areas, including the working relationship the town has with developers. Colleluori also acknowledged the developer surveys in which area developers gave low marks to the town’s processes. But Colleluori said those processes are set by the council and that the town manager only enforces those. Others, however, have said the town manager has the right to make exceptions to help in the development process and that Jefferson did not. When asked last week if he agrees with Colleluori’s sentiment, Hayden pointed to the Oct. 1 meeting when David Watson of Direct Development discussed the issues his firm has had with the town when working on Cross Timbers Village. The development, located near the intersection of FM 1171 and Bruton Orand Boulevard, will include Tom Thumb, as well as two other buildings. Per the development agreement, landscaping was required to be installed around the property’s perimeter before a certificate of occupancy would be approved. Watson said his firm requested that the landscaping around the two buildings be allowed to be installed after the construction of the buildings since it would have to be torn up anyway during construction. Watson said the town staff denied that request, causing a delay in the project and adding extra cost. Watson also said his firm had to pull 33 permits for this project, noting that a similar project in Wylie has only required one permit. Watson also said the town required signatures from the owners of all property the construction crew had been on to verify that they left the property in good condition. Watson said that was a last-minute surprise and another hassle. Hayden said there have been several other instances in Flower Mound recently similar to what Watson described. Hayden said the search for a permanent town manager will begin immediately.

Hanford, California (population 53,967): The council is expected to appoint a new city manager and discuss an employment contract, according to the Hanford Sentinel. At the previous meeting, City Attorney Bob Dowd named Coalinga City Manager Darrel Pyle as the top candidate for the job. Pyle is expected to begin in late November or early December. It’s not know how much Pyle will be paid. Former City Manager Hilary Straus was paid $160,000 per year.

Bryan County, Georgia (population 31,377): Only moments after the Bryan County Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of current County Administrator Phillip Jones during their meeting at the Bryan County Administrative Complex Tuesday, they voted unanimously to name south Bryan resident Ray Pittman as his successor, according to the Savannah Morning News. Pittman and William (Jason) Tinsley, the current Assistant County Administrator/Finance Director for Habersham County, had been named as the two finalists for the job on Sept. 18. The original field of 25 candidates was screened and charted by Jones, who presented them to the commissioners as a list. According to Jones, he, County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, and Commissioners Carter Infinger and Jimmy Henderson participated in either all or some of the interviews. Jones added that because it is often difficult to get all the commissioners together at one time, interviews for department head positions in the Bryan County government are commonly conducted by a committee which then makes its recommendations to the entire board. There is no requirement for the entire board to interview candidates he said. However, any commissioner who wishes to participate can. However, if they all do, or enough to make a quorum do, a meeting would have to be called. Pittman has worked for Thomas and Hutton Engineering in Savannah for 27 years as an engineer and is a principal in the organization. He has an extensive background in sewer and water design/construction and has lived in Bryan County since 1986. He also chaired the committee that developed the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the SPLOST and TSPLOST committees. Jones’ resignation becomes effective Dec. 31 of this year.

Garden City, Michigan (population 27,692): In a split decision, Garden City Council voted 4-3 last Monday evening to fire City Manager Darwin McClary, according to the Observer & Eccentric. Councilman Jim Kerwin made the motion, supported by Joanne Dodge. Councilmen David Fetter and Councilmen George Kordie also voted to terminate McClary. The vote was a mirror image of a vote in August to suspend the city manager. There wasn’t a collective reason for firing McClary although Fetter listed a number of his personal gripes that have accumulated through time. Fetter said that what the community sees McClary is just a sliver of himself. Fetter took issue with the first-time lighting assessment and that while the city administration said that the fee will not go up, the plans are now to increase it this year which he won’t support. Employees, who earlier negotiated raises, went to the city manager and on their own said that they would give up their raises but got a slow response. Fetter acknowledged that contract concessions were made. Fetter also complained that both he and Kordie asked if public informational meetings about the 3.5-mil police and fire millage, which passed in May, would be held prior to the election. Kordie said that when he did the math on evaluations, McClary was consistently below average. Kordie also said he couldn’t obtain information about grievances. He wanted to know when a grievance was about to go to arbitration because that costs the city money. He said that he also hasn’t been able to get satisfactory answers to citizen complaints. He added that if the council hadn’t pushed to only close city hall one day rather than two days a week the change would not have happened. Councilwomen Patricia Squires and Jaylee Lynch responded that they hadn’t heard some of the prior concerns before. The council is responsible for establishing policy and procedures and for passing budgets and only has two meetings a month, Lynch said. Lynch called the situation “unfortunate.” She noted that McClary’s assistant’s position was eliminated and he has less help. Walker called McClary’s firing a major decision. Walker, too, added that there were topics he hears which were not brought up to him before. After the vote, McClary, who received hugs from people in attendance, said that he was still trying to synthesize council’s criticisms and wished that these things had been brought up to him prior to the public hearing. He said earlier that evening that the “council and the administration have to work together for the benefit of the city.” Garden City Planning Commissioner Harriette Batchik considered McClary extremely knowledgeable about ordinances and state laws. For all McClary has done, it will take a lot of time for a new person to come up to speed, she said. Resident Kerry Partin was angry at the decision. Al Buckner, a Garden City resident who didn’t support McClary, said the amount of people who showed up at the meeting didn’t represent the public’s true feelings. He added that while the city will have to pay McClary six months of pay in his severance package, the city will save money later. He pointed out that Acting City Manager Robert Muery is only receiving $35 a day extra over his police chief salary. Buckner called the people who came to support McClary, “friends of the mayor.” Garden City Council didn’t discuss next steps after some council members voted to fire McClary. When Garden City Manager David Harvey left for another job, the council interviewed three candidates who were screened from a list of about 13 candidates. They hired McClary who first worked as an interim city manager for six months for the city. A formal candidate search was never conducted.

Greenfield, California (population 16,330): Greenfield appointed a new city manager on Tuesday who was fired as city manager in two Florida cities and spurred a national debate on transgender identity, according to KSBW. Susan Ashley Stanton, formerly named Steve Stanton, was the city manager of Largo, Fla., for 17 years until media outlets reported that she was going to undergo a sex change. In 2006, Steve Stanton was a 48-year-old man who was married, a father of a 13-year-old son, and a city manager in charge of 1,000 Largo employees. In January 2007, Stanton privately told the mayor and other top city officials that she wanted to become a woman. But an uproar by Largo residents and religious leaders ensued when Stanton was outed by an article published by the St. Petersburg Times, and Largo’s City Commission voted to terminate Staton’s employment just days after. Stanton had a $15,000 gender-reassignment surgery and changed her legal name soon after she was fired in Largo. She later became city manager in Lake Worth, Fla., where she worked from 2009 until she was abruptly fired last December. During Greenfield’s City Council meeting on Tuesday night, council members are expected to appoint Stanton to the post and give her a city-owned house in Greenfield. Greenfield Interim City Manager Brent Slama and Mayor John Huerta declined to comment on the city’s decision to hire Stanton.

Whitewater, Wisconsin (population 14,390): Whitewater’s new city manager, Cameron Clappper, said he is confident he can continue successes and projects handed down from his predecessor, according to the The Janesville Gazette. Clapper’s top priorities include the city’s annual budget and economic development. Cannon has decades of experience in local government, including serving as city administrator in Sun Prairie. Beyond the budget and economic development, Clapper said he wants to continue a tradition of open and transparent government and show that Whitewater city government continues to look for ways to be more efficient without degrading essential services. Whitewater city employees have cooperated in the thinning process, Clapper said, and that needs to be recognized. Clapper said he intends to work for and with the community.

Powder Springs, Georgia (population 13,940): The Powder Springs City Council on Monday switched the role of Brad Hulsey—who served as the city’s mayor for four years—from interim city manager to the long-term position, according to the WestCobbPatch. Hulsey beat out roughly 50 initial applicants and two other finalists: Raymon Gibson, who most recently served as city administrator for the city of Stockbridge for a year; and Terry Todd, whose most recent job was the city manager for the city of Palmetto for four years. The appointment—which comes with a $104,000 annual salary—was made on a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Nancy Hudson against, the Marietta Daily Journal reports. She declined to elaborate on her vote to the paper after the meeting. Hulsey was making $72,000 in the interim role, which he started after leaving his insurance business Brad A. Hulsey & Associates. There, as president and CEO over eight sales agents, he made $48,000 a year—meaning his salary has more than doubled in less than a year. Wizner said the choice will likely be followed by criticism because of the job description’s qualifications: “bachelor’s degree in public administration or related field; master’s degree in public administration preferred; eight years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal or county government, including five years in a senior management role; or equivalent combination of education and local government experience.” Hulsey has a high school diploma, took classes from Floyd Junior College and Georgia State University, and his government experience includes being a Rockmart councilman, Powder Springs councilman (1996-99) and mayor (2000-04), and the city’s interim city manager since February. Gibson has a master’s in business administration from Columbia Southern University, and his government experience includes Stockbridge’s city administrator and assistant city manager, and Henry County Department of Planning & Zoning’s director, assistant director, planner and chief planner. Todd has a master’s in business administration from the University of West Florida, and his government experience includes Palmetto’s city manager; a program director for government service provider CH2M Hill; Fulton County’s deputy county manager and public works director; and the director of the Growth Management Department, director of the Environmental Resources Management Department, and a Public Works Department engineer for Escambia County, Florida. Wizner pointed to the job description phrase “equivalent combination of education and local government experience” and noted that “the ultimate authority on qualifications for city manager is the City Charter section 2.27 that states, ‘The mayor and city council shall appoint a city manager for an indefinite term and shall fix his compensation. The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications and shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor and council.'” In his seven months as interim city manager, Hulsey “has done an oustanding job,” Wizner wrote. That job has included, among other things, balancing the fiscal 2013 budget. Meanwhile, Wizner said, “he took employee moral that was very low and turned it around. He has been active in the community and responsive to citizen’s concerns and issues. He has worked with the department heads to provide the best services for the city of Powder Springs.” The former city manager, Rick Eckert, resigned in mid-February after nearly two years with the city but received his full pay through the end of May as a consultant.

Waverly, Iowa (population 9,874): The Waverly City Council has extended an offer to Iowa native Philip Jones to serve as its next city administrator, according to the WCF Courier. If negotiations are finalized between Jones and the city, his contract may to approved as early as tonight. The Waverly City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Jones serves as utilities operations manager for Westminster, Colo., a city of 108,000 people. In that capacity, he leads 89 people and oversees an operating budget of $14.7 million and a capital budget of $2.3 million, according to Jones’ application. The Waverly council unanimously agreed to offer Jones the job after a multi-day interview process that included public and executive session meetings with finalists on Friday and Saturday. The city hired executive search firm Brimeyer Fursman LLC to help find a replacement for Waverly City Administrator Dick Crayne, who is set to retire Dec. 1. Brimeyer Fursman received 65 applications. The mayor and city council reviewed materials for 12 semi-finalists and selected five candidates to interview. Brunkhorst said the selection proved difficult as the search yielded a pool of qualified candidates. Jones, who completed his undergraduate work in public administration at the University of Northern Iowa, stood out for his people skills, management experience and long-term perspective, Brunkhorst said. If the city hires Jones, he would likely start in mid-November. That would allow him to shadow Crayne for two weeks.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,343): Pending the outcome of a background check, the city of Wells will have a new city administrator, according to the Fairbault County Register. On Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to make an offer to Steve Bloom of Miltona – a small town located north of Alexandria. Bloom and two other finalists – Sarah Friesen of Minneota and Marc Dennison of Black Earth, Wis., – each answered 11 questions from council members during interviews held on Friday, Sept. 21. A fourth candidate – Mark Baker of Holstein, Iowa – withdrew his name from consideration prior to the interviews. Bloom has nearly 25 years of experience in city and county government that includes economic development. He’s also worked six years in education as a teacher. Council members agreed to offer Bloom an annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits. Councilwoman Ann Marie Schuster says all of the finalists had many strengths and it was nice to have a tough choice when it came time to making a decision. Bloom and city officials have yet to work out details of his contract, which are generally for one to three years. Bloom taking a job in Wells will be a return to his southern Minnesota roots. He graduated from Okabena High School in 1978 and then Mankato State University with a bachelor of science degree in community health/planning. After working several years in the public sector – including four years as Martin County coordinator and EDA director – Bloom earned a master’s degree in political science/public administration from Mankato State University in 1992. Bloom touts himself as a person who, “leads by example” and does not manage like a dictator. He says he’ll do whatever is necessary to promote the city. Bloom sees the city’s business base, downtown district, its cleanliness and overall appearance as positives that provide opportunities for growth. Bloom could be on the job as soon as today and will have some big projects to work on when he starts. In addition to completing the 2013 budget, Gaines says the new city administrator will be involved in the hiring of a new street department supervisor and community development director. Interim city administrator Brian Heck told the council he will work with Bloom for a smooth transition. Heck, who already has another interim job waiting for him at Thief River Falls, also has applied for a full-time position in Faribault.

Cologne, Minnesota (population 1,519): The Cologne City Council fired city administrator John Douville during a closed meeting late Wednesday evening, Oct. 10, according to the Waconia Patriot. Mayor Bernie Shambour Jr. confirmed the action the following day. Shambour did not share any specific reason for the termination, referring the issue to the city’s attorney. The NYA Times will be making a request for more information through the Data Practices Act. Douville had been placed on paid administrative leave following an earlier closed meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2. It was the third time he had been placed on leave this year. He was also placed on paid administrative leave from May 17 through June 3, and was placed on unpaid leave from June 12-25. The council had adopted a personal improvement plan for Douville and implemented the plan on May 31. Issues regarding his performance mentioned in the plan included a failure to satisfactorily supervise employees under his direction both in public works and in the city offices, a misappropriation of municipal funds by allowing third parties to use the community center facilities without paying the necessary fees, and storing personal data on the city’s computer system and server. He also failed to present revised personnel policies drafted by the city attorney’s office in the year 2008, according to the plan.

Transitions: San Luis Obispo County, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Fayetteville, NC and more

San Luis Obispo County, California (population 269,637): Dan Buckshi is the new San Luis Obispo County administrative officer, according to CalCoastNews. Buckshi succeeds Jim Grant, who recently announced his plan to retire in September. The county picked  Buckshi, who has served as the assistant county administrative officer for the past two and a half years, over four other candidates, all of whom are currently employed by the county.

Scottsdale, Arizona (population 217,385): Scottsdale City Council July 10 approved a $45,000 severance package for former City Manager David Richert and appointed Dan Worth, the city’s public works director, acting city manager, according to the Scottsdale Independent. Mr. Worth accepted the position under the presumption he would fulfill the role until a recruiting process could find a permanent replacement. Both measures were approved with unanimous votes. Mr. Worth was hired at a base salary of $180,000. Former City Manager Richert submitted his resignation at council’s July 2 meeting. He joined the city in 2008 and served the last two years as city manager. Mr. Richert left his post saying there was not sufficient support by the mayor and city council to remain effective in his position. Scottsdale City Council met with Mr. Richert Monday, July 2 as part of his annual review process. Mr. Worth has been leading the city’s solid waste, street, fleet and facility operations in addition to capital project management. He first came to the city in May of 2004 as the city engineer, responsible for administering the city’s $1 billion capital improvement program. He is 22-year veteran of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, where he was an officer in a variety of engineering and public works leadership positions.

Fayetteville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s next city manager says the community’s “size, complexity and energy” appeal to him, according to The Fayetteville Observer. Ted Voorhees takes the reins of the state’s sixth-largest city in August. As a deputy city manager in Durham, Voorhees has spent the last decade helping transform Durham’s downtown from empty tobacco factories into offices, apartments and restaurants. City officials said he emerged the top choice among four finalists seeking to succeed Dale Iman, who resigned in March following a tenure of 5 1/2 years. Voorhees, 48, will manage a city with 1,500 employees and a $187 million budget.

Topeka, Kansas (population 127,473): A divided Topeka City Council voted Tuesday evening to hire Jim Colson, the deputy city manager of Glendale, Ariz., as Topeka’s next city manager, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Council members voted 6-3 to approve a two-year contract with Colson calling for him to start work Aug. 27 and be paid a salary of $170,000 a year. Council member Sylvia Ortiz suggested residents would “scream” when they saw how much the city would be paying Colson. The annual salary of Topeka’s last permanent city manager, Norton Bonaparte, was $137,500. Colson and the city had negotiated the contract that was approved Tuesday prior to that evening’s meeting. After two years, the contract automatically renews from year to year unless either party notifies the other in writing by July 1 that its terms won’t be extended. The contract calls for the city to provide Colson 10 work days each annually of vacation leave and sick leave, with all unused vacation and sick leave carrying over from year to year. The city agrees to provide Colson a vehicle at its expense for official business use. The city also agrees to pay Colson a lump sum of $28,000 for relocation expenses. Colson becomes Topeka’s second city manager to be hired on more than an interim basis. Voters in August 2004 approved a charter ordinance switching to a city council-manager form of government from a strong mayor-council form. The new government took effect in April 2005, with Neil Dobler serving as interim manager. Bonaparte then was Topeka’s city manager from March 2006 until he left in July, 2011, under a severance agreement he reached with the council. Dan Stanley was interim manager until early last month, when he was replaced by current interim manager Pam Simecka, who plans to return next month to her former job as finance director. The city since February has been under contract with Tallahassee, Fla.-based Bob Murray & Associates to help it find and recruit a permanent manager. The city announced June 21 that the initial list of 49 applicants had been pared to two finalists: Colson, who has been deputy city manager since 2009 of Glendale, Ariz., and Margie Rose, who has been an assistant city manager since 2002 at Corpus Christi, Texas. The council conducted public interviews with Colson and Rose on June 23, then met in executive session that day to discuss the candidates. Colson, a native of Michigan, has been deputy city manager since 2009 at Glendale, which 2010 census records show has a population of about 226,000. Tuesday’s news release from the city of Topeka said Colson was responsible at Glendale for all community development services, such as planning, building safety, engineering, transportation, downtown redevelopment, community revitalization, the city’s airport and code compliance. Colson has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University, a master’s of arts in theology from Western Seminary and a master’s of urban planning degree from the University of Michigan.

Westminster, California (population 89,701): The Westminster City Council placed its city manager on administrative leave Monday – giving him two options: termination or retirement, according to The Orange County Register. After a 40-minute special closed session, Mayor Margie Rice and Councilmen Tyler Diep and Tri Ta announced their vote to place City Manager Mitch Waller on paid leave. They named Assistant City Manager Eddie Manfro interim manager. Waller, a former Westminster police chief who has worked for the city for 29 years, will be on paid leave until “he retires or is terminated,” Rice said. Last week, the city finalized the layoffs of 67 employees and continues to face a budget deficit, although that shortfall was cut from $10.4 million to $3.7 million this fiscal year under Waller’s stewardship. The “lion’s share” of the deficit was addressed and “all of our economic indicators are slowly starting to head in the right direction,” Waller said recently. City Council members declined to say after the meeting why they voted to take the action against Waller. In an interview before the closed session, Rice was critical of Waller’s management style. The mayor accused Waller of leaving the council out of the decision-making process during the recent layoffs, but did not blame him for the city’s financial budget woes. Waller sat in the council chamber until council members called him in to give him their decision, which they announced immediately afterward in open session. No one from the public attended. Earlier in the day, Waller addressed the mayor’s criticism, saying he regularly meets with her during a one-on-one weekly meeting and also whenever she is working at City Hall, at least twice a week. Waller said he was surprised by the council’s decision to call for a special closed session and said it was odd that it came soon after Diep presented a request regarding the chief of police post. Diep wanted the council, and not the city manager, to appoint the police chief, but that request never made it to a council discussion. Diep withdrew it from the council’s agenda last month. Police Chief Ron Coopman announced earlier this month that he was retiring from his job at the end of this month. Waller said Diep’s proposal to give the council more control over the police chief would create the potential for conflicts between the council and a chief who would then become “an at-will political appointee … beholden to those who appoint him.” Last week, the city finalized the layoffs of 29 full-time employees, or 12 percent of the workforce, and 38 part-time employees, or 26 percent of Westminster’s part-time staff. Fewer employees will mean reduced services to residents, including slower response to police calls and a “potential for drastic delays” in lower priority calls, officials have said. No sworn personnel were laid off but more than 20 full- and part-time civilian employees were laid off. Immediate effects have included the closure of the City Hall’s mall office and a reduction in the police department’s front lobby hours. Westminster has faced a $1.5 million annual deficit since the recession began in 2008, officials have said. This year, the picture got bleaker. The state abolished all redevelopment agencies. Since the entire city of Westminster was under a redevelopment area, the loss of redevelopment funds raised the community’s budget deficit to about $10.4 million. The layoffs will save the city $3.2 million, and city staff said it had saved an additional $4.1 million with other measures. But Westminster entered the new fiscal year with a $3.1 million deficit. City staff also has considered other measures that the council has rejected: increasing fees for services and hiring a consultant to promote a new tax for the November ballot. In another financial setback, Westminster was forced last week to pay nearly $9 million to the state for money state authorities said was due after the abolishment of redevelopment agencies. Like other cities in the same position, Westminster made the payment “under protest.”

Miami Beach, Florida (population 87,779): The ouster of Miami Beach’s long time city manager could cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars, according to The Miami Herald. Ever since Jorge Gonzalez submitted his resignation following weeks of turmoil, city officials have asked for the value of Gonzalez’s full compensation — the basis for his pending severance. The city’s human resources department has now provided an answer: $501,768.77. In a July 12 email to the city attorney, Human Resources Director and former Gonzalez chief of staff Ramiro Inguanzo attached a spreadsheet that he said “captures the aggregate compensation for 12 months for Jorge.” Among the items included in the spreadsheet: Gonzalez’s $231,000 salary; $50,000 in insurance policies; $24,000 housing allowance; $56,000 in annual paid time off; and $62,600 related to his public pension. Inguanzo said everything in the spreadsheet was pulled from the city’s payroll system, except for a list of Gonzalez memberships and subscriptions paid for by the city that Gonzalez valued at $12,654. Commissioners will discuss Gonzalez’s compensation during their Wednesday meeting at City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. The value of Gonzalez’s compensation is key due to the circumstances surrounding his resignation. Gonzalez, who ran the city for nearly a dozen years, stepped down amid a push for him to resign or be fired. His contract expired in August of next year, but called for him to receive a severance of “12 months aggregate compensation” if he resigned “following a suggestion, whether formal or informal, by the city that he resign.” So questions have not been about whether he would receive a severance, but about how much he would receive. Gonzalez, however, said he has not made any demands for severance or claimed a final aggregate compensation total. He said his talks with city lawyers have not yet focused on which items — or at what value — should be part of his severance. Gonzalez officially resigned July 8. He remains on the city’s employee rolls while burning accrued time off worth more than $100,000. City Attorney Jose Smith said members of the city’s legal staff and a private attorney met Monday afternoon with Gonzalez and had a 30-minute, “very preliminary conversation.” He declined to comment on individual items on Gonzalez’s compensation list. Some city commissioners said they were surprised at the overall figure provided by human resources, even though all but Commissioner Jorge Exposito voted at least once to amend Gonzalez’s contract. It isn’t yet clear if city commissioners will vote on Gonzalez’s severance. Gonzalez said his contract calls for his severance to be arbitrated should he and Smith not agree on his package. Smith, however, said it is likely that commissioners will vote on at least some aspects of Gonzalez’s severance, or vote to send the parties to an arbitrator. Also Wednesday, commissioners also are slated to vote on an interim manager contract for Kathie Brooks, who is leaving her position as budget director to run the city while commissioners hunt for a permanent replacement. Brooks’ contract is worth $220,000 annually, though it only runs through mid-January and can only be extended by a vote of the city commission.

Troup County, Georgia (population 67,044): Assistant County Manager Tod Tentler dropped the assistant title after former County Manager Mike Dobbs retired last week, according to the LaGrange News. Tentler was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting to succeed Dobbs as county manager. Tentler came from Columbus to Troup County as parks and recreation director in 1998. In July 2007 he received the additional duty of assistant county manager. Tentler said the main challenges he will face as manager is overseeing the county during tough economic times. He added that national and state mandates coming down the line are putting more pressure on local governments to “pick up the slack.”

Huntington Park, California (population 58,114): The City Council Monday night approved a three-year contract with Rene Bobadilla to serve as its first permanent city manager since last December, according to the Los Angeles Wave. Bobadilla is currently city manager in El Monte and is expected to assume his new duties the first week in September. Bobadilla has agreed to a lesser salary, $196,392, than he currently receives. Bobadilla also will receive medical, dental and vision insurance benefits. Other benefits are the use of a car leased by the city for commuting or traveling on city business. Bobadila also will have a cell phone. The City Council approved the contract on a 5-0 vote after a brief closed session on the issue. Huntington Park has not had a permanent manager since Greg Korduner retired at the end of last year. Police Chief Jorge Cisneros served as city manager for a time, followed by interim administrators Raul Romero and currently Mary Strenn. The latter two are retired administrators. Bobadilla is expected to be available at all times, the contract states. He’s also expected to “be reasonably active” in professional and civic organizations. He does not have to live in Huntington Park, but must have a permanent residence nearby, the contract states. Bobadilla may accrue sick leave at the rate of eight hours per month and accumulate vacation leave with 12.66 hours of service a month. He will be a member of the Public Employees Retirement System and may retire at age 55 with a pension of 2 percent of his final salary. He must contribute 1.5 percent of his salary toward his pension.

Port Arthur, Texas (population 53,818): Six months and one day without an official City Manager in Port Arthur, and Monday, Floyd Johnson was welcomed on his first day on the job, according to KIII TV. Floyd Johnson says he has worked as a city official from Florida to California. He was City Redevelopment Director in two Florida cities, but he was also City Manager in Fort Lauderdale. He was forced to resign in 2003 for late responses to budget issues, but Johnson says city leaders rejected a budget he felt was more responsible. Now he’s ready to start work in Port Arthur, replacing 15 year City Manager Steve Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons left after receiving a $220,000 severance package after threatening to sue. Johnson, a Virginia native, says that improvement begins by providing reliable services to the people of Port Arthur. Services like trash pickup after trucks broke down leaving garbage piling up, and public transit. Port Arthur bus services were stopped for three weeks because of mechanical issues causing city buses to catch fire. Now the city is leasing buses from New Orleans until Port Arthur works out a solution with their bus manufacturer. Long term, Johnson says he can see Pleasure Island becoming an attraction for tourists. Johnson’s annual salary is $155,000 a year. He received moving expenses of $12,000. He also gets a housing allowance of $1,000 a month for up to six months.

Sarasota, Florida (population 51,917): Thomas Barwin, the former village manager of Oak Park, Ill., has been selected as Sarasota’s new city manager, according to the Herald-Tribune. In contrast to their earlier vote to start a new search for better candidates, city commissioners chose Barwin unanimously this go-around, praising his record of building consensus and his history in redevelopment. Barwin has about three decades of experience leading local governments in Michigan and Illinois. He faces a tough job, with divisions lingering in the wake of the ouster of Robert Bartolotta, who was forced to resign in January amid allegations that he violated public records and computer fraud laws. Barwin also will be at the mercy of his five bosses — the city commission — who have struggled to agree on everything from whether Sarasota’s downtown should be lined with parking meters to the hiring of a city manager. Sarasota also faces another deficit year, rising retiree pension and medical costs and the specter of criminal investigations by the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For evidence of how tough his job will be, look no further than Monday’s meeting agenda. In the same day Barwin was selected, two city commissioners — Terry Turner and Paul Caragiulo — pushed for competing ballot measures that could either give Barwin more authority as a so-called “strong city manager” or make him potentially unnecessary under an elected mayor. The strong city manager amendment, which was supported by Turner and local business and pro-growth groups, gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. Caragiulo’s attempt to get a strong mayor referendum on the ballot failed to get enough support from commissioners to make the ballot. Still, Barwin said he is not sweating. Barwin’s hire is not yet final. The city will now enter into negotiations with Barwin, who hopes to take over the helm by late August or early September. His salary could range from $150,000 to $180,000 per year. Once his contract is finalized, Barwin will move from Illinois with his wife of 32 years, Margaret. Barwin has four adult sons. In hiring Barwin, the commission snubbed the other finalist, Edward Mitchell, the longtime city administrator of West Palm Beach. In their discussions, commissioners voiced reservations about hiring Mitchell, who kept his job after a corruption and a pay-to-play-scheme occurred under his watch. A special meeting is scheduled for July 30 to finalize Barwin’s selection. If he signs a contract then, Barwin hopes to move to Sarasota within 30 days. His willingness to take the job quickly eases fears that arose after Interim City Manager Terry Lewis said he would not stay during a second search for city manager candidates. That process that could have left Sarasota leaderless until the end of the year.

Hillsborough Township, New Jersey (population 38,303): Former Hillsborough Mayor Anthony Ferrera has been named the new township administrator, according to the Hillsborough Patch. Ferrera, who served on the Township Committee from 2004 to 2011 and as mayor in 2007 and 2008, will replace Michael Merdinger. Ferrera, now serving as director of the Division of Workforce Portfolio and Contract Management in the state Department of Labor, will take over the $124,000 township post on Aug. 20. Merdinger will leave at the end of August. Ferrera, a Republican, was unanimously approved by the all-GOP Township Committee. Ferrera, who earned a master’s degree in business administration from Stevens Institute of Technology, had a 20-year career with AT&T before joining the state. Ferrera also served on the township Planning Board, the Business and Economic Development Commission, the Recreation Commission and the Cultural Arts Commission. On the Township Committee, he served as chairman of the police committee and the finance committee.

Puyallup, Washington (population 37,022): Pierce County’s third-largest city soon will be in the market for a new chief executive, according to The News Tribune. Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg apparently is leaving his post after nearly two years. The city has contacted a consulting firm to help search for an interim city manager. Dannenberg, 64, became city manager in the fall of 2010 after filling the post on a temporary basis for about six months. Before that, he was Puyallup’s parks director for nearly 13 years and worked for the City of Pullman for two decades, including as director of public services. Since Dannenberg took over in Puyallup, he’s navigated budget cuts and a new political landscape. The seven-member City Council has four news faces and a new majority this year, and has reversed several policies established by last year’s council. Puyallup’s finance director, Cliff Craig, is filling in as acting city manager.

Jackson, Michigan (population 33,534): Jackson City Manager Larry Shaffer said he’s enjoyed his 13 months as the city’s top administrator and is in no way being forced out, according to MLive.com. Tuesday night, the Jackson City Council approved a separation agreement that clears the way for his Aug. 3 departure. The severance agreement will cost $64,000. Shaffer said his decision to leave was a result of him reexamining what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Mayor Martin Griffin said Tuesday it became evident during the 2012-13 budget process that some council members had differences with the city manager. At a City Council meeting in May in which the budget was discussed, Councilman Dan Greer chastised Shaffer, saying it looked like a position the council didn’t want had been “tried to be slipped in,” although Greer later said his comments sounded stronger than he intended. But Shaffer said any issues council members had with his budget had little effect on his decision. Councilwoman Laura Dwyer Schlecte said during a June council meeting that Shaffer’s job performance review by council members “wasn’t stellar.” But council members later said that most were satisfied with his performance, and Griffin said Shaffer’s overall rating was about 3.1 on a scale with 5 being the highest. Councilman Carl Breeding said then he was dissatisfied with Shaffer’s performance, but others were not. Shaffer said he has been discussing his desire to leave with council members over the last couple of weeks. The City Council met with Shaffer behind closed doors during Tuesday’s council meeting for about 20 minutes. They returned to open session and approved a separation agreement without any discussion. Shaffer said that the city manager job is demanding and he had to consider whether he wanted to continue working a job that requires 50- to 60-hour work weeks.

Taos County, New Mexico (population 32,937): Taos County has begun its search for a new manager, and the county is keeping mum as to whether any other employees are slated for termination, according to The Taos News. Outgoing county manager Jacob Caldwell was given 45 days notice of his termination and placed on immediate administrative leave at the county commission’s July 10 meeting. No explanation for Caldwell’s termination was given at the meeting. A termination letter dated July 11 and signed by commission chairman Joe Mike Durán stated that Caldwell was being terminated “for cause” and referenced a clause in Caldwell’s contract. The contract stipulates that Caldwell could only be let go if he “is indicted for a crime, does not work, is grossly insubordinate or is unable to perform the duties of county manager.” The letter from Durán did not specify which reason the commission was citing in terminating Caldwell. Durán told The Taos News Tuesday (July 17) that the commission had a good reason for letting Caldwell go. Durán declined to go into greater detail out of concern that the county would have to pay the remaining time (until Feb. 2013) on Caldwell’s $110,000 annual contract. Commissioners Larry Sánchez and Andrew Chávez said they could not comment on the reasons for Caldwell’s termination. Commissioner Nicklos Jaramillo did not return multiple messages seeking comment. Chávez lost a reelection bid in the June primary and will also give up his seat in January. Jaramillo will term out at the beginning of next year. Incoming commissioner Tom Blankenhorn, who won the June primary in District 4, said last week he was worried that the current commission sought to fire other county employees before the end of the year. A handful of county employees have said they have heard they may be next to go, but no additional terminations had been made since last Tuesday. County administrators did not respond to questions to confirm if other employees had been let go, or if certain employees had been targeted for dismissal. The county posted the manager job July 12 — two days after Caldwell was given notice of termination. The job posting is set to close Aug. 17. The listing says a manager will “typically enter into a contractual term of employment,” meaning a new manager could be contracted to work well after the new commissioners take office. Interim Taos County Manager Barbara Martínez, who was appointed to temporarily replace Caldwell, said no one had yet applied for the manager job. The minimum requirements in the county manager job listing include a “master’s in degree [sic] public administration, political science, business administration, finance, law or a closely related field.” The listing states that candidates with eight years of “progressively responsible experience” in state or local government are preferred. It also states that “an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered by the Taos County Commissioners.” The Taos County Commission typically interviews a final field of candidates in private before offering someone the manager job.

Monroe, North Carolina (population 32,797): Wayne Herron has resigned as Monroe’s city manager after more than three years on the job, according to WCNC.com. City officials confirmed Wednesday that Herron resigned at the end of Monroe’s city council meeting Tuesday night. Two assistant city managers have been appointed to run government operations until a replacement is hired. Herron did not give a reason for his resignation, but he had come under criticism from some Monroe residents for recommending against a $3,000 performance bonus for Police Chief Debra Duncan. In a 4-3 vote last month, the city council rejected a proposal to award the bonus to Duncan. Several council members said their vote against the bonus was based on Herron’s recommendation. Herron was hired as planning service manager in 2001 and was promoted to assistant city manager in 2008. He became city manager in April 2009. His salary was about $150,000.

Hermosa Beach, California (population 19,506): The top administrator for a popular resort town in Utah is expected to become the next city manager in Hermosa Beach, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Tom Bakaly, the city manager in Park City, Utah, was set to have his contract approved Tuesday by the Hermosa Beach City Council. More than 75 candidates applied for the open Hermosa Beach city manager’s post, and the council interviewed four of the top contenders. Bakaly, 48, will earn a base salary of $185,000, with an additional maximum 7 percent bonus awarded annually at the council’s discretion, sources said. Bakaly joined Park City’s staff as finance manager and director of capital programs in 1995, rising to the position of assistant city manager in 2001. He was named city manager in 2002 and oversees a staff of 200 full-time city workers and a $45 million annual budget. Hermosa Beach has an annual budget of about $37 million. The beach town’s former city manager, Steve Burrell, retired in March after 18 years on the job. John Jalili, a former top administrator in Santa Monica, was tapped by the council to fill in as Burrell’s interim replacement. Bakaly visited Hermosa Beach twice during the interview process, and the city paid for both trips. After Burrell’s retirement, city officials hired a recruiting firm, Teri Black and Co., for $17,500 to search for his permanent replacement. Before coming to Park City, Bakaly worked for seven years for the city of Pasadena, serving in various positions, including budget director during the recession of the 1990s, Hermosa Beach city leaders said. In Pasadena, he helped oversee the management of large sporting events held there, including the World Cup, Rose Bowls and Super Bowls. In Park City, he prepared the community for the 2002 Winter Olympics and the popular Sundance Film Festival. Bakaly, who grew up in Pasadena, earned a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in public financial management from USC. He is married to Pam Bakaly, and they have a teenage son, Henry. If his contract is approved by the Hermosa Beach City Council, Bakaly is expected to begin his new job in early September.

Camas, Washington (population 19,355): The Mayor of Camas, Scott Higgins, has chosen to keep the current City Administrator, Lloyd Halverson, in his current position until Spring of 2013, according to the Silver Star Reporter. Camas City officials announced today that after culling through 51 applications for the position of City Administrator, and narrowing the field to two, Erik Jensen and Craig Martin, it was decided by Higgins that neither  “were the right fit for Camas’ future.” Erik Jensen of Portland is the former administration department director for the City of Hillsboro, Ore., and Craig Martin of Sweet Home, Ore. is the current Sweet Home city manager.  Both were interviewed by Higgins on Thursday, July 12. According to a statement released by the City, Higgins said he intended to pause and reflect before starting a new search. The statement also added that city officials did not “find any of the finalists as suitable to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for the city of Camas.” Lloyd Halverson, 65,  was hired as Camas’ first city administrator in 1989, and announced his plans at the City Retreat in January that he intended to transition toward retirement, first becoming part-time by September of 2012, and ending his employment in Spring of 2013.

Greene County, Virginia (population 18,403): Greene County Administrator Barry Clark sent out an e-mail last week announcing his resignation, according to CBS19. He simply said he was leaving his position effective November 30 and would be on administrative leave in the meantime. Some people in the county said they were shocked by the news. One county employee said that he too was worried about his job. In addition to the County Administrator’s sudden resignation, the Public Safety Director Dave Lawrence has been given a two-week notice after 12 years serving the county. His position has apparently been consolidated with others. He was told on July 13 that his last day will be July 31. No one at the County Administration Office would comment, but people in the community have some concerns. Crystal Morris, Greene County business owner, says she would like to know who will be the next County Administrator, but so far no official word on even an interim person for the position. CBS19 has reached out to the members of the Board of Supervisors but has not heard back yet from any of them. They do have a board meeting Tuesday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. The agenda was posted on the door of the County Office Building. Legal or personnel matters will be discussed first in executive session.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts (population 15,784): The Select Board voted Monday night to enter into contract negotiations with town manager finalist Thomas Guerino, but the decision did not come easily, according to MassLive.com. The board spent over an hour discussing Guerino and fellow finalist Mark Stankiewicz. There were two failed motions, one in favor of Stankiewicz that was not supported by any other members and a motion in favor of Guerino which failed 3-2. There must be a super majority for the town manager vote. Select Board Chairman Paul Santaniello said he was not willing to endorse either candidate. Santaniello said he would like to see the board hire an interim manager and begin a new search in December. The rest of the board was strongly against Santaniello’s suggestion. Members Marie Angelides, Mark Barowsky and Richard Foster favored Guerino, the town administrator in Bourne, while Mark Gold favored Stankiewicz, who is the former town manager in Plymouth. Foster and Santaniello went to both candidates’ communities last week to meet with their boards and department heads. Foster said he felt strongly that Guerino would fit the needs of Longmeadow. Angelides agreed saying he is very involved with the day to day operations in Bourne and has found creative ways to save the town money which Longmeadow also needs. Barowsky said he felt comfortable with Guerino from the first interview and felt his answers to questions were frank and honest. Gold said he has strong reservations about Guerino, but was unwilling to share them publicly with the board. He said Stankiewicz was a town manager not a town administrator and had more experience. He initially voted against Guerino. After more discussion including the possibility of delaying the vote to later in the week or the month Gold said that with great disappointment he would be willing to change his vote. Santaniello stood by his decision to not vote for either candidate. Angelides said both were good candidates and this does not rule out Stankiewicz if Guerino and the town cannot come to a contract agreement.

Brunswick, Georgia (population 15,383): Brunswick City Manager Bill Weeks has completed a six-month probationary period successfully and will get the job permanently depending on contract negotiations, according to The Florida Times-Union. The City Commission voted unanimously to make the appointment after a brief executive session during its regular meeting. Weeks, formerly assistant city manager, became acting city manager in September 2011 when Roosevelt Harris retired after 36 years on the city payroll. Weeks held the job while the commission searched for a permanent replacement for Harris, a process that saw Thompson and former Commissioner Mark Spaulding apply for the job. Thompson pulled out of the running, but Spaulding remained until the commission seemed ready to offer the job to Paul White of Riviera Beach, Fla. But in January, the commission decided to offer the post to Weeks instead. Among the biggest is the strong likelihood of a court battle with the County Commission over division of 1 cent sales tax proceeds.

Washington, Illinois (population 15,134): Bob Morris is retiring again as city administrator, according to the Journal Star. He says this time it’s for good. Morris, 60, initially retired June 22, 2011, after nine years with the city and was replaced by Richard Downey, who lasted only seven weeks. Downey resigned Aug. 15. He was given a severance package by Washington worth more than $60,000 in exchange for a promise not to sue the city or talk about his time as city administrator. He was placed on administrative leave before his resignation “to pursue pressing personal and family matters,” according to the five-sentence news release issued after a City Council meeting. City officials asked Morris to return on an interim basis and he’s served in the capacity since Sept. 12. He’s retiring July 31 because he’s approaching the 1,000-hours-per-year employment limit imposed on those who draw a pension from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and work again in government. The City Council accepted Morris’ retirement request last week and initiated a search for a full-time city administrator. Mayor Gary Manier said the council will be more actively involved in the vetting and hiring process this time. The deadline to apply is Aug. 17. If the candidate offered the job can’t begin immediately because the school year has started, Manier said, it’s possible another interim city administrator could be hired. Morris said his workload began to pick up early this year as the 2012-2013 budget and summer projects started needing attention. He was supposed to work 20 hours per week at $50 per hour. Downey was selected for the Washington job among 69 candidates. He was being paid an annual salary of $100,000, a tripling of the $33,000 salary he was making as the Rock Falls city administrator, a job he’d held since 2003. He was a finalist for several openings after he left Washington and was hired as village administrator in Kronewetter, Wis., on Feb. 6. He’s making an annual salary of $82,500.

Ontario, Oregon (population 11,366): Ontario city officials anticipate receiving a signed contract today for the person offered the city manager’s position, according to The Argus Observer. The Ontario City Council decided to offer the position to Jay Henry, the former city manager of Talent, Ore., council President Norm Crume said Monday. Crume was speaking for Mayor Joe Dominick, who is out of town. He said, as of Monday, the city had not received a signed agreement from Henry, but, if everything goes according to plan, Henry, Central Point, will start working for the city Monday. He replaces former City Manager Henry Lawrence. The City Council hired Prothman Company, a consulting firm, to conduct the city manager’s search. Out of 33 applications, Prothman brought 10 names to the council, with five considered strong candidates. Two of those five dropped out and the city’s hiring committee interviewed three final candidates for the position: Henry, Jeff Fiegenschuh, Princeton, Ill., and Jim Payne, Rio Rancho, N.M. Crume said the council initially began discussions with Fiegenschuh, but he was no longer interested in the position. Crume said it was the City Council’s unanimous consensus to offer the position to Henry. Crume said Henry’s wife, an internal medicine physician, is also moving to Ontario, and he believes she has been hired at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario. Crume said Henry is ideal because he is familiar with Ontario, having attended Treasure Valley Community College, he knows Oregon and has been a city manager in Oregon. Before becoming a city manager, Henry worked in public works and community development for Klamath County and attended Marylhurst University to obtain his masters of business administration and also attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2007, Henry was hired as the first city manager of Polson, Mont., but he and his wife, Evelyn, moved back to Oregon after their 19-year-old son died. Henry was the city manager for Talent from 2008 to 2011, but his contract was not renewed under tense circumstances. According to June 4 article in the Ashland Daily Tidings, Henry was accused by a council member of violating his contract, and an elections complaint and a civil rights complaint were filed against Henry. Henry and city officials, however, worked out their differences. According to an article published on the Portland Tribune website in January of this year, Henry, however, was named in a $1.9 million lawsuit in which former city employee Cheryl Nicolay who claimed Henry fired her “after their working relationship bogged down following a contentious labor negotiation.” Crume said, during the interview process, Henry explained the circumstances behind his departure from Talent. He said, according to Henry, when he was hired in Talent, he dismissed a long-time city employee whom he felt was not doing her job properly, and that employee had ties with community members who were later elected to the City Council and then chose to not renew his contract. Crume said he was satisfied with Henry’s explanation. He said Henry will be paid $95,000 a year base salary, which is similar to Lawrence’s starting salary as city manager. Ontario City Councilman David Sullivan said he was pleased Henry was selected as city manager, adding Henry interviewed well, he understands budgeting and personnel issues very well and he also has a network with other city managers in Oregon, which Sullivan said is important.

Shawano, Wisconsin (population 9,305): Michael Hall is no longer administrator for the city of Shawano, according to The Shawano Leader. There had been a closed session of the Shawano Common Council on Tuesday on a personnel matter, but it had not listed anything specific regarding Hall. Hall was chosen from five finalists and hired unanimously in May 2011 by the Common Council to replace Jim Stadler, who was retiring. Hall’s first day with Shawano was June 27, 2011. Prior to taking the administrator post, Hall was the financial and technology manager in West Jordan, Utah. He also worked as a fleet manager, public works analyst and finance management analyst. Hall has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University and an associate degree in computer science from Ricks College in Idaho. At the time Hall was hired, Mayor Lorna Marquardt said she contacted a number of people in West Jordan to find out some background on him and received only positive comments. Hall said the night the council approved his employment that he was interested in being Shawano’s administrator because of the city’s good fiscal status. When the state cut about $270,000 from Shawano’s shared revenues, Hall’s ideas to fill that hole included controversial proposals such as eliminating the city taxicab service and creating a stormwater utility. Ultimately, the taxi service survived and the Common Council opted to assess a $100 annual fee for the city’s trash service. Hall also was working to reduce the amount of paper generated by City Hall. For example, he purchased 12 iPads for the mayor, aldermen and department heads to reduce the monthly packets of information for council members. Hall is the second major city figure in Shawano to resign in less than a year. Marlene Brath left in November after 20 years as the city clerk for, according to Marquardt, health reasons.

Morehead City, North Carolina (population 8,661): A new manager with 35 years experience in local government is headed to Morehead City, according to The Daily News. The town announced Wednesday that David S. Whitlow, who currently serves as county administrator for Essex County in northern neck of Virginia, has been selected as the town’s next manager. He will begin work Sept. 4. There were 91 candidates for the position and Whitlow was one of three finalists. Whitlow will follow former Manager Randy Martin, who retired earlier this year after 16 years with the town. Martin took a job as city manager in Franklin, Va. after closing out a 30-year career in local government in North Carolina. Now, Whitlow will bring his experience from Virginia to North Carolina. According to the town, Whitlow has 35 years experience in local government management and has worked in private sector planning positions. During the selection process, 91 applicants were narrowed to six finalists who spent considerable time in Morehead City being interviewed by the mayor and council. The initial set of interviews narrowed the finalists to three. Whitlow will be paid an annual salary of $95,000.

Thief River Falls, Minnesota (population 8,573): The Thief River Falls City Council accepted the resignation of City Administrator Jodie Torkelson at its meeting Tuesday, July 17, according to The Times. Torkelson submitted her resignation after it was learned 69 out of 73 employees had no confidence in her continuing service as city administrator. Torkelson had been employed as the city administrator since October 2003. Her last day will be Friday, Sept. 28. Four city employees appeared before the council at its July 3 meeting to present a resolution regarding the vote of no confidence. They were cut off by Mayor Steve “Beaver” Nordhagen, who noted the matter should be discussed in committee. Personnel matters are typically discussed in committee before being considered by the full council. The Times and Thief River Falls Radio obtained copies of the employees’ resolution. The resolution indicated that the employees were forced to have a vote of no confidence in Torkelson due to their low morale, the ongoing conflict and adversarial climate existing in city government, and the fallout of having to cope with disputes caused by Torkelson’s management and leadership style. The letter also indicated her leadership style has cost the city “considerable amounts of wasted money, time and resources, including, but not necessarily limited to, attorney’s fees and related expenses, wasted staff time and wasted City Council time, in dealing with and addressing unnecessary and petty issues and conflicts which have been caused by the city administrator’s abrasive, dictatorial, disrespectful, corrosive, vindictive, intimidating, adversarial, difficult and overly micromanaging leadership and management style.”

Georgetown, Ohio (population 4,331): The city administrator of Wells may have resigned for a personal matter, but he also has a job waiting for him back in Ohio, according to the Faribault County Register.. According to The News Democrat newspaper in Georgetown, Ohio, the council voted June 28 to hire Jeremy Germann as the town’s new administrator. Kelly Jones, who is retiring as the city administrator on Aug. 1 after serving 11 years, says he was among those who interviewed Germann on June 25. Georgetown is located 35 miles east of Cincinnati and has a population of nearly 4,500. Germann will be paid $64,000 a year, plus benefits. In all, 22 people applied for the position and the field was narrowed to seven finalists. Germann reportedly signed a contract to be presented for approval at the July 5 Georgetown council meeting. On July 9, Germann submitted his letter of resignation to the Wells City Council. He made no mention of employment in Ohio. Mayor Ron Gaines says he was not aware Germann had applied or had accepted another job prior to resigning. Germann was in the last year of a three-year contract and was being paid an annual salary of $71,000, plus benefits. The agreement called for Germann to give the city a 30-day advance notice. “We didn’t enforce it, because of his personal matter,” Gaines says. Due to four resignations, only two councilman unanimously voted to hire Germann. One council member stepped down to run for county commissioner and the other three applied for the city administrator’s position. Two council members who did not get the job have been re-appointed to their seats.

Grand Saline, Texas (population 3,136): Grand Saline resident Rex White begins work as the new city manager July 18, according to The Grand Saline Sun. He accepted the position recently vacated by Stephen Ashley who resigned and moved to a position in Spring Valley, Texas. White said he applied for the City Manager position becaus he realized that for the city council to retain the services of a search firm would have entailed a substantial fee in addition to the time it would take the search firm to find a qualified candidate. Budget planning time needs to begin immediately for the next fiscal year. White recognized that his salary would save the city a significant amount each year and further work that needs to be done here. White served as the Main Street program manager and community development coordinator for the town from January 2008 until July 2009. He volunteered in earlier years as a director of the Grand Saline Economic Development Corporation, a director of the Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Salt Museum, member and president of the GSISD Board of Trustees. He retired from a 28-year career with several divisions of Morton Salt International. When he retired in December 2007 he was the national accounts sales manager for the entire nation and Puerto Rico. In that position he planned and administered an operating budget of more than $20 million and managed sales totaling $163.7 million. He began his career with Morton Salt in Grand Saline in 1984 as an account executive. He is a 1962 graduate of Grand Saline High School. He was recently elected to a second term of service on the City Council. He now vacates that position, and the Council has decided to not fill it in the immediate future.

Myrtle Point, Oregon (population 2,514): After three years behind the wheel, city manager John Walsh is departing to take the helm of a slightly larger vessel, according to The World. Walsh will take over as city manager of St. Helens, Ore., at the end of this month, a move spurred by his desire to be closer to family in Portland. But Walsh, Myrtle Point’s city manager since 2009, said it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Walsh listed his proudest achievement as the consummation of a deal that paid for the majority of a $12.2 million wastewater upgrade the city must implement to meet environmental regulations. To pay for the project, household sewer bills were expected to skyrocket to an average of $150 per month. Thanks to grants and loans that Walsh secured, households are paying about $55 per month. Walsh said he expected to face new challenges at the city of St. Helens. The town, nestled on the Columbia River, has a population of 12,380 — about 10,000 more than Myrtle Point. St. Helens council does not have any major infrastructure projects on its plate, so Walsh expects he will focus largely on community building and improving efficiency. Myrtle Point already has advertised a vacancy for a new city manager. The council plans to finalize a short list of candidates in a meeting on Monday night. Walsh will work for Myrtle Point part-time in August to smooth the transition between city managers. The new manager is likely to begin in August.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,343): Jeremy Germann has resigned as city administrator of Wells, effective July 27, according to The Free Press. The City Council has hired former Shorewood City Administrator Brian Heck as interim administrator. Germann is in the final year of a three-year contract paying an annual salary of $71,000. Germann, who has been involved in the transition process with Heck, told city officials he’s stepping down for personal reasons.

Miniok, Illinios (population 2,078): The City Council approved a one-year contract for a new city administrator with a starting salary of $65,000, according to pantagraph.com. Gary Brennan was scheduled to start work July 16.

Dewey Beach, Delaware (population 341): After a search that lasted more than six months to get a town manager in Dewey Beach in place in time for the summer, the town council’s top pick didn’t survive it, according to DelMarVaNOW. Town manager Bob Stickels submitted his resignation letter to the Dewey Beach town council late Wednesday afternoon, July 25. Stickels started as Dewey Beach town manager April 9, after signing an 18-month contract with the town that included a mutual option for an additional year. His salary was $85,000. Stickels replaced Diana Smith, who resigned in September 2011. Between Smith and Stickels, police chief Sam Mackert, finance director Bill Brown and property owner Jim Dedes had stints as acting town manager. Stickels came to Dewey Beach from the office of U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Del., where he was the coordinator for Kent and Sussex counties. He previously spent 18 years as the administrator of Sussex County — from 1988 to 2006 — and six years as Georgetown’s town manager.