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Hughson starts search for new city manager

POSTED March 9, 2010 11:45 p.m.
Perhaps the last task Hughson City Manager Joe Donabed will complete for the city is finding his replacement.
After serving as the city manager for three years, Donabed is starting the search for a new city manager after the Hughson City Council opted to not renew his contract. Council members voted Monday to start the recruitment process as soon as possible with Donabed’s contract expiring in May.
The process is expected to take a minimum of four months with a realistic time line of about six months, said Mayor Ramon Bawanan.
Council members are planning to follow the recommendations of the Civil Grand Jury to “practice due diligence in initiating an outside search for any city manager hired in the future.”
Donabed will begin the search for the new city manager with a request for proposal to search for outside firms that will do all the recruiting for the next city manager.
“Let’s have someone else out there find the best for us,” said Doug Humphreys, Hughson council member.
Humphreys also wants to set up times for the outside source that the Council chooses to use for their recruitment process, to speak to the community about what the community wants from a city manager, he said.
Hughson Councilman Ben Manley wasn’t pleased with the timeline or Donabed taking any part of the recruitment process, but Humphreys reassured Manley that Donabed is strictly putting together a request for proposal with everything coming back to the Council.
The City of Hughson is searching for a new city manager after the City Council came to a three to two vote with Humphreys, Manley and Thom Crowder in favor of the non-renewable contract.
“I am ready to take a different direction,” Humphreys said at the Jan. 25 meeting.
Crowder was for the non-renewable contract because he said he has been constantly misled under the direction of Donabed.
In other City Council news, Crowder requested the start of an internal investigation of a city employee that has been leaving posts on Hughson related news stories on local Web sites. His reasoning for the internal investigation is that the comments are posted during work hours perhaps on a work computer.
Crowder refers to the city employee as a “punch and run type of individual” who hides behind a “cloak of darkness.”
He is asking for the city employee to resign or be terminated.
“I want somebody’s head on this,” Crowder said.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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