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Arroyo Grande Close to Appointing Interim City Manager


ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. – Arroyo Grande moved a step closer to filling its vacant city manager position with an interim appointment at a special city council meeting on Wednesday night.

The meeting was held one week after the council tapped Bob McFall to fill the position left open after the recent dismissal of Dianne Thompson, who was let go by the city in late June.

“It really had to do with PERS,” said Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Harmon. “Mr. McFall is a PERS retiree and there was specific language that needed to be reviewed, related to his retirement and how he would be a contract employee with the city versus another alternative.”

During the session, council members successfully ironed out the details in question and voted unanimously once again approve McFall to take over on an interim basis.

“We’re very fortunate to have him and his skill-set that he brings, not only from his former employment, but he also knows a lot of what is going on with the city based on his tenure, his brief tenure with us,” said Harmon.

McFall, a retired Glendale assistant city manager, previously served as Arroyo Grande interim city manager last year, following the controversial exit by Steve Adams.

McFall assumed duties in January 2015 and worked through August. Now, he’ll take over again pending final approval during the next city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 23.

As for a permanent replacement, the city will begin to search for candidates, but won’t actually hire one until sometime early next year.

“Because we have an election that is ongoing, we really need to wait until after the election to move forward with a permanent city manager,” said Harmon. “We really need to have the new city council seated because ultimately it will be their determination on hiring a full-time city manager.”

Whoever takes over the position will become the city’s third city manager in just the past two years, meaning city officials are hoping to find the right candidate.

“All of our focus is to take our time and make sure that the things we learned from our last experience are incorporated into our planning for our recruitment for our upcoming city manager,” said Harmon. “W need to do it methodically and do appropriate vetting and incorporate some of the things we learned from our last experience into this upcoming experience and to get the right the fit.”

Following the timeline mentioned by Harmon, the earliest a permanent city manager would be in place is sometime in the first half of 2017.

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