At the November 18, 2019 City Council meeting, City Manager Jim McCann provided an update on the recruitment process for the new City Manager. As announced in October 2019, Manager McCann will be retiring in February 2020.
“The Council would like for this process to be a unifying experience for the community while balancing public input with efficiency,” Mayor Wickham said. The City Council will seek input on desired qualities, characteristics, skills and experience for the next City Manager from the community, possibly working with the new recruitment firm to develop an online survey or to hold a community meeting to gain community input.
Manager McCann explained that there are public sector recruitment firms specializing in City Manager roles, and that he has identified a handful of firms that are successful with recruiting candidates in California and west coast. Council indicated an interest in hiring a recruitment firm that takes an active approach to finding individuals that have the skills and experience to meet the needs of the City of Mill Valley. Manager McCann noted that from a cost standpoint, recruitment firm contracts are usually in the $20-35k range, depending on the services requested of the firms.
Manager McCann also highlighted the importance of ensuring that the new Council chosen at the March 2020 election has a dominant role in the selection of the new City Manager, as this would ensure best alignment of team dynamics. The new Council would then have confidence in the City Manager they have chosen, and vice versa for the new City Manager to know that he or she was chosen by the Council they will be working with. Given the timeframe required to conduct a proper recruitment process, as well as the upcoming General Election for City Council, Manager McCann noted it will likely take approximately 6-7 months, at the earliest, to find a permanent replacement City Manager and that June or July 2020 would be a reasonable time period to expect someone permanent on board.
Manager McCann indicated that an Interim City Manager will be needed to fill the gap that will occur from his retirement in February 2020 until the new City Manager is chosen and is able to begin. Selection of the Interim City Manager will be discussed in closed session by the City Council and brought back to a future City Council meeting.
The City Council will hold a Special City Council meeting on December 18, 2019 at 4:30 pm, taking the next steps in the City Manager recruitment process. Agenda topics will include presentations by executive search firms and consideration of awarding a professional service agreement to an executive search firm.