Community Meeting Provides Insight into Attributes and Qualities Sought for New City Manager

February 12, 2020

The City held a Community Meeting on Monday, February 10 to discuss the upcoming City Manager recruitment process and to provide feedback on what qualities community members think the next City Manager should possess. Following the retirement of City Manager Jim McCann, Council has hired Heather Renschler of Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct a national executive search as part of the process of hiring a new City Manager.

The purpose of the meetings was to provide community members with more information about the recruitment process and to learn about what community members are looking for in the next City Manager. Approximately 15 community members attended the meeting, and shared with Ms. Renschler the attributes and qualities they are seeking, as well as top community issues and priorities.

Community members shared that they seek someone who is collaborative, engaged, and a good listener. They indicated an interest in a candidate with local government experience, especially in California, to understand and navigate issues such as municipal finance, environmental regulations, and housing. Meeting participants shared key issues facing our community such as public safety, with an emphasis on wildfire preparedness and prevention, climate change, with a focus on localized flooding. They acknowledged the challenges in hiring and retaining talented City staff, the challenging housing market, and anticipated rise in costs associated with retirement and benefits.

Ms. Renschler thanked community members for their input and shared her process to-date, which includes one-on-one meetings with Councilmembers, Department Directors, key senior staff, and labor representatives (see list below for details).

She also shared next steps in the process, which includes compiling feedback, completing a summary and producing a draft recruitment brochure. Once these are complete, she hopes to announce the opening of the position. She recognized that there will be an election in the middle of the process, with a new City Council sworn in after the ratification of the March 3 election. Steps after the election include briefing the new Council members, culling the pool of candidates, conducting interviews, contract negotiations and Council approval of the new City Manager contract. These upcoming steps will span from now to mid-May, with a new City Manager estimated to begin in June.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please send them to: Deadline for comments is March 2, 2020.

Ms. Renschler has met with: Mayor, Vice Mayor, Councilmembers, Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Director of Planning & Building, Interim Director of Arts and Recreation, Director of Public Works, Director of Library, Acting City Manager, Director of Finance & Human Resources, Wastewater Treatment Plant General Manager, Public Works Superintendent of Operations, Library Operations Manager, Senior Planner, Police Lieutenant, Battalion Chief, Deputy City Clerk, City Clerk, Senior Management Analyst, Labor Representatives from AFSCME and Police Officers Association.