Colusa City Council weighs its city manager options
Colusa officials said they are open to a variety of candidates for the city manager's position and not necessarily someone who is on a traditional track.
Just how far off that track the council might go is unknown.
"We may not know who we want until we meet him," said Councilman Tom Reische, a member of the ad hoc committee guiding the recruitment and hiring process.
"We kind of broadened the realm from having five-, 10-years experience as a city manager," Reische said. "I think we (will consider) someone who can take their first shot at being a city manager: Someone who has a strong background in finance, or someone .... with an economic development background."
Councilwoman Donna Critchfield, the other member of the committee, still believes having a strong tie to the public sector is critical. "We are open to selecting someone who has not been a city manager. It could be someone who has served as an assistant city manager or deputy city manager," Critchfield said.
"But we need to consider someone with a public sector background because the public sector is so different than being an administrator in the private sector."
Still, Critchfield is willing to look at a first-time manager who brings the right kind of tools to the job, but not directly from a city- or county-specific history.
She specifically mentioned someone who has worked closely with municipalities, or perhaps someone that comes out of a public utility company, for example.
However, she believes a finance and budget background is essential.
The city has developed a pamphlet with the specific qualifications spelled out, and is advertising the position with the League of California Cities and Western Cities Magazine.
Résumés and applications will be accepted starting Tuesday through Nov. 15, at which time the initial screening process will take place over the following few weeks.
The interview process is not expected to start until the new year, with a goal of hiring someone by Feb. 15.
The salary range is set at $95,000 to $135,000, but Critchfield said it is unlikely the city could afford the upper end of that scale.
Finances could also be a big factor in who the city ends up hiring.
"We have to balance what we would like (in a candidate) with what we can afford," Critchfield said.
Both council members agree that it would be a plus if the candidate is willing to live in the community, but Critchfield does not think that is a deal breaker.
"I think having someone living in the community is desirable, but I don't think hiring should hinge on someone living in the community," Critchfield said.
A lot of the criticism of former City Manager Jan McClintock was she was out of touch with the community, although supporters argued it was more personal and more political than that.
That noted, other city managers have lived in the community, and faced similar opposition as particular issues have arisen, and either chose to or were forced to leave.
Either way, the new city manager will have an expectation of being active in Colusa. "We want someone who is going to be a part of the Colusa community," Reische said.