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Community panels part of City Manager search
city manager search
The Turlock City Council adopted a new process in selecting the next City Manager, following the retirement of current manager Gary Hampton. - photo by Journal file photo

Members of the community will take a larger part in choosing Turlock’s next City Manager, following the City Council’s approval of a process to select a replacement for current city manager Gary Hampton.

Hampton announced in April that he would be retiring in August after 35 years in public service. He began his current term as Turlock City Manager in April 2016, being selected to fill the position following the retirement of Roy Wasden in December 2015.

While the City will once again turn to recruitment firm Robert Neher & Associates — the same firm used following Wasden’s retirement — this time there will be three panels of community members and a panel of City executive staff who will also take part in the candidate selection process.

The current City of Turlock department managers will make up the Executive Staff Panel and community leaders will be appointed for another panel.

Each member of the City Council also recommended a community member for the Council Appointed Panel and the Business Panel, which were approved by the Council during a special meeting on Friday.

The City Council appointed former mayor Curt Andre to chair the community panels — recommended by Mayor Gary Soiseth — and help facilitate the recruitment and selection process.

Members of the Council Appointed Panel are: Chris Kiriakou, Dana Trevethan, Ron Eivaz and Milt Trieweiler. Members of the Business Panel are: Fred Brenda, Sam David, Gena Larson, Tony Zaia and Robert Puffer.

The Community Chair person, Andre, is tasked with assisting the recruitment firm in screening and assembling candidates. The four panels will then interview qualified candidates. Based on the interviews and rankings, the Chair and Council Appointed Panel will make recommendations to the City Council on finalists for the position. The City Council will conduct the final interviews of the most qualified candidates.

“I appreciate us going with this format, it’s a hybrid of past and current processes for the police chief, the fire chief and the previous city manager. I think it takes the best of all those processes and brings in a lot of community oversight and it allows for a lot of involvement from business executives, community members and even our directors,” said Soiseth on Friday.

The salary range for the position has yet to be released. The City Council is expected to receive information from Hampton on a salary comparison survey for the position during a special closed session meeting at 9 a.m. Monday.

The salary range for the position when it was open in 2015 was listed at $210,696 to $256,104.

Turlock will be competing with neighboring municipalities to find qualified candidates. The Cities of Modesto and Manteca are both currently seeking new city managers and Stanislaus County CEO Stan Risin announced he will also be retiring come August.

The Turlock City Manager job description states the position is the City's chief administrative officer responsible for the efficient and effective management of City services in accordance with the directives and policies established by the City Council and federal, state and local laws.

The minimum qualifications for the position include five years of increasingly responsible administrative and managerial experience in a public or private agency involving strong executive level management. The City also required candidates to have at least three years of experience as a city manager, assistant city manager or CEO level of position.