Grand Terrace close to naming new city manager
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/18/2009 07:07:04 AM PDT
GRAND TERRACE - The city is nearing the finish line in its search for a new chief executive.
The City Council has had three closed-door meetings in the past two weeks to interview a half-dozen finalists for the position.
Thirty-seven people turned in applications for the job. Council members received a list of about a dozen candidates who met the minimum qualifications and graded them. Those who got the best scores were called in for interviews.
City Attorney John Harper said the council is scheduled to discuss the issue again in closed session Oct. 27 and could make a decision "in the next few weeks."
"They are all excellent, top-notch people," Harper said. "I think the council and the community will be very happy with whoever is selected."
The council is seeking to find a replacement for former City Manager Tom Schwab, who retired this summer. Schwab suffered a traumatic brain injury in June 2008 and went on medical leave.
Steve Berry became acting city manager in Schwab's absence, but the council fired him in July after news reports revealed a cover-up of possible crimes several years ago.
Added Note: Berry was let go after his Assistant City Manager Job was eliminated due to budget cuts. Or so the City Council Said. He was eliminated only after he was instrumental in the public arrest of the Council Member not supporting his promotion to City Manager, Jim Miller's trial is still pending. No one has heard of Steve Berry or his potential criminal charges being advanced.
Berry was suspected of embezzling city funds and filing false records in connection with a window-tinting scandal involving a county work release inmate in 2002, according to sheriff's reports. Berry was assistant city manager at the time.
Berry was never disciplined or charged with a crime, but the disclosure of the incident sparked a public outcry.
Finance Director Bernie Simon was named acting city manager following Berry's dismissal.
The council is only considering people who don't work for the city as candidates for the permanent position.
Councilman Walt Stanckiewitz said he is pleased with how the selection process is going.
"The candidates that we have interviewed are way beyond what I thought we would see," he said. "I've been very impressed with the people we've talked to."