Selection of new city manager proceeding

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 22, 2013 

The search for a city manager continues and city officials say the process is rolling along.

"We are closer than we've ever been," said Gary Brizzee, acting city manager.

City Council conducted interviews with three candidates in closed session early this month, but has yet to hire for the city's top position. In June 2012, City Council approved a payment range for a city manager of $10,937-$13,671 a month. Former City Manager Steve Rath made $13,250 per month when he retired.

Brizzee said he's not been privy to the closed session meetings or discussions on salary.

"Because he's going to come in and be my boss, I have not been part of some of those conversations," he said.

A hiring process of this magnitude will come with a slew of background, medical and other checks, Brizzee said, which add to the lengthy process.

Council voted last year to leave the salary off the recruitment brochure circulated among potential candidates.

The brochure did include some benefits, including a retirement plan, and a health care plan for the new city manager of more than $1,400. The health coverage of his or her family would cost the city more.

The city manager would also be granted 80 hours of administrative leave each fiscal year in addition to vacation and sick leave, according to the brochure. "Other components of compensation package, including support for relocation expenses, are negotiable," the brochure stated.

Councilman Scott Silveira, who has been in the closed session meetings, said the subject of salary has not been discussed with candidates and that sort of conversation is confidential. He said he feels positive about the process.

"Things are moving in the right direction," Silveira said.

Recruiter Teri Black-Brann told council in January the process could be over as early as late March. The process will officially reach a year if no one is hired by April. Council hired the recruiter in April 2012 and early speculation had the council hiring a city manager by August 2012.

The search effectively stalled during the November election, and the recruiter recommended City Council postpone the process until after new board members were seated. 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 full city manager's salary. Brizzee, who is also chief of police, is covering both jobs at a monthly salary of $10,937, which is $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@losbanosenterprise.com.

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

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