Yuba City Council members are looking to get the community involved in their search for a new city manager, recently voting unanimously to create a community panel to serve in an advisory role through the process.

The city has been without a permanent top executive since March. Open recruitment for a replacement has been ongoing for a few weeks now after the city hired MRG (Municipal Resource Group) out of Sacramento to help with the process.

“The open recruitment is scheduled to end on Oct. 23,” said Yuba City Vice Mayor Marc Boomgaarden. “We are continuing to receive applications and resumes. The consultant is reporting back to us that we do have some very qualified candidates.”

During a meeting Oct. 6, the council voted to establish a panel of community members from a variety of sectors (healthcare, business development, building/construction, public safety, agriculture and finance) to lend their expertise in the decision-making process. The panel would meet with the finalists for the position and provide their feedback to the ad hoc committee created to spearhead the hiring process, which is comprised of Boomgaarden and Councilman Dave Shaw. The committee would then make a recommendation to the entire council to make a final decision.

Boomgaarden said the plan is to keep the panel somewhat small, around five people, to keep it manageable. The ad hoc committee also plans on setting up other panels with department heads and peers from other local cities and counties to get their feedback before further narrowing down the applicant pool.

“We just wanted to have an opportunity to be advised by various folks in the community that we felt might lend their expertise to the process,” he said. “It would purely be an advisory role.”

Council members each came up with a list of community members they’d like to see comprise the panel. Boomgaarden said they will likely get into the selection process within the next week, which will see officials interview some of those suggested panelists before making a decision.

The hope is to select a permanent city manager by early January 2021, Boomgaarden said.

The city’s former top executive, Michael Rock, left the city for undisclosed reasons earlier this year after about six months on the job. Public Works Director Diana Langley has served as interim city manager ever since.

In MRG’s job posting, the city manager’s annual salary is advertised as up to $204,996 dependent upon qualifications, and the position offers benefit packages for retirement, health and leave. 

The posting states that qualified candidates should have 10 years of increasingly responsible municipal or closely comparable administrative experience, including significant administrative and personnel management responsibilities, five years of which at the executive management level.

The filing deadline for the position closes at 5 p.m. on Oct. 23.

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