Council sees list of possible hopefuls for city manager job

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 1, 2013 

City Council members were presented with a list of potential hopefuls for city manager at a special meeting last week with the recruiter in the search.

"I thought it would be good to do a targeted recruitment," said Teri Black-Brann.

The recruiter said she's identified 10 candidates she will approach, and has confirmed four others who are "extremely interested." She said the process would not start over from the beginning.

In closed session, City Council on Jan. 24 affirmed the city manager hopefuls on both lists. Black-Brann said she would also attend the League of California Cities city managers meeting in San Francisco, which began Wednesday and continues through today, to look for more recruits.

City Council could conceivably hire a city manager by early March and have that person in place later that month, Black-Brann said.

Mayor Mike Villalta said he expects the league meeting to produce additional candidates.

"We're sitting in great shape, but we're going to continue to expand our horizons," Villalta said.

A yearlong process

City Council hired Teri Black & Co. in April at a proposed cost of $24,500 to $26,000. Early speculations had the council hiring a new official by August.

Black-Brann said the recruitment process garnered a list of 40 applicants in May and June, of which she identified 10 as the best suited candidates. She said City Council interviewed a half dozen before identifying two final candidates.

The recruiter said a final meeting was postponed when former Councilman Joe Sousa suffered from complications from surgery. Black-Brann said all parties could not reschedule the meeting because calendars among the council, candidates and the recruiter did not sync.

"The timing was such that (a new city manager) would've started right before the election and we didn't think that was fair to the candidates," she said, adding that it would be a difficult transition. "Upon my recommendation, the council decided to take a pause."

Before continuing the process, Black-Brann requested $4,000 more in December. The additional fee did not exceed the original budgeted amount for recruitment of $29,500, according to city staff.

The city is not currently paying a city manager's salary. Acting City Manager and Police Chief Gary Brizzee is covering two jobs at a monthly salary of $10,937, $770 more per month than he made as police chief alone. He's held both jobs since Nov. 1.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos

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