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Santa Maria City Council holds special meeting to discuss ongoing search for new city manager

Santa Maria City Hall
Dave Alley/KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Maria City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing search for a new city manager.

After calling the meeting to order, councilmembers immediately left Council Chambers met behind closed doors during a closed session that lasted just under 90 minutes.

"We met with our facilitator to figure out exactly the direction we want to go, and who we want to lead us in that direction," said Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino. "We have a new recruitment firm, and so we were really asking ourselves a bunch of questions, and asking him questions so we can get going with the recruitment. We are on our way."

Santa Maria has been without a permanent city manager since Jason Stillwell left the position last September.

Since then, Alex Posada, who has worked for the city since 1978, including as Recreation and Parks Director for 20 years, has served as interim city manager.

After Stillwell's departure, Santa Maria has been conducting a nationwide search to hire a new city manager, using an executive recruitment firm to conduct the recruitment process.

At the time of Posada's appointment last year, the city said it expected the search to last a few months.

However, nine months later, the search continues on with no known date when a new city manager will be hired.

"We are really we have to take the seriously because in years past, it's been the deputy city manager has moved into the city manager's seat, so this is a brand new process for it's actually at the city," said Patino. "We want to make sure that we get it right and that we're doing it right."

Posada signed a new 90-day extension last month to remain in the interim position through Sept. 30, 2024.

"We're really sort of compressing this, and we're ready to do that because I think we've done a lot of background work on ourselves individually, so this time is going to be very compressed." said Patino. "We figure by maybe mid-September to the end of September, we'll have someone ready to go. I think (Posada) is anxious to get back to Parks and Rec, where he just loves. I'm just so thankful that he was able to take this time to lead us through this period."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
Santa Maria City Council

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Dave Alley

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