OAKDALE -- The City Council has picked Hughson's top administrator as its next city manager.
Hughson City Manager Bryan Whitemyer starts Feb. 4. Oakdale has not had a permanent city manager since April 2011, when the council fired Steve Hallam. Oakdale has relied on a series of retired government managers as interim city manager.
The City Council voted 5-0 Thursday to hire Whitemyer, one of more than 30 applicants for the job. He will earn $160,500.
Whitemyer "is the right person at the right time to be Oakdale's permanent city manager," Mayor Pat Paul said in a news release.
Whitemyer, 37, lives in Oakdale with his wife and their three children and is a graduate of Oakdale High School. He also has extensive experience with several Stanislaus County cities.
His résumé includes more than two years with Hughson, three years as Patterson's assistant city manager (the last seven months as interim city manager), four years with Modesto as a management analyst in the city manager's office and two years with Ceres as a code enforcement officer-assistant planner.
Whitemyer said his experience gives him the big-picture view of the regional issues facing Stanislaus County, such as transportation and revenue sharing. It also gives him a network to tap into for answers to problems.
Whitemyer said his accomplishments in Hughson include helping restart the Chamber of Commerce and ending the deficit spending for the city's roughly $2 million general fund, which pays for law enforcement and other basics. He said Hughson's general fund will have a $100,000 surplus this fiscal year.
Hughson Mayor Matt Beekman said he's impressed with Whitemyer's attention to detail, work on city finances and ability to keep city workers' morale high.
"He's been an excellent city manager," Beekman said.
Whitemyer said the first issue he'll tackle in Oakdale is gaining an understanding of the city's finances.
"I've heard it has financial issues," he said. "But I want to see firsthand, see the documents, and then make a recommendation to the council. That's my top priority: Where do we stand financially?"
Oakdale has been dealing with several financial problems in the past year. For instance, the city's sewer fund does not have enough money to make the annual $844,000 debt payments on the roughly $12 million it borrowed to upgrade its waste-water treatment plant.
Whitemyer has a bachelor's degree in international studies from Brigham Young University and a master's in public administration from California State University, Stanislaus.
He said he plans to meet with Hughson council members in the next week or two to discuss how to fill his vacancy.
Retired Waterford City Administrator Chuck Deschenes will serve as Oakdale's interim city manager from Jan. 1 until Whitemyer's arrival. Deschenes will replace interim city manager Stan Feathers, whose tenure started July 1 and ends Dec. 31.
Deschenes will be paid the same as Feathers: $74 an hour without benefits.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2316.