Modesto closing in on city attorney, interim city manager

kvaline@modbee.comMay 5, 2014 

The Modesto City Council tonight could appoint an interim city manager and a city attorney, which would close some of the gaps in the city’s top management created by recent and impending departures.

The council is expected to meet in closed session before the start of tonight’s meeting to discuss the two positions.

The meeting agenda includes the possibility of appointing an interim city manager and a city attorney. The city could make an announcement about the positions at the start of the regular meeting.

City Manager Greg Nyhoff is leaving Modesto after nearly six years to become city manager of Oxnard in Southern California starting June 1.

Modesto has been without a city attorney since Susana Alcala Wood resigned in November to become Stockton’s assistant city attorney.

Modesto hired the law firm of Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson to provide interim legal help and appointed the firm’s Adam Lindgren as interim city attorney several months ago.

Lindgren is the managing principal of Meyers Nave’s Sacramento office, according to the firm’s website. The city expected to pay about $20,000 a month for the services.

The council is considering hiring Meyers Nave on a permanent basis, naming Lindgren as city attorney and Meyers Nave attorney Jose Sanchez as assistant city attorney.

Human Resources Director Joe Lopez said several qualified candidates have expressed interest in becoming interim city manager. He declined to say more because the council is expected to discuss in closed session the position, as well as a contract and the potential of appointing someone.

Modesto also has been without permanent directors for its Public Works; Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods; and Utilities Planning and Projects departments for several months after two directors retired and one resigned to take a job with another city.

The city recently hired Larry Parlin – Lodi’s deputy public works director for utilities – to head up Modesto’s new utilities department, which is part of a citywide reorganization.

The reorganization is expected to take effect during the 2014-15 budget year, which starts July 1.

The City Council will meet in its basement-level chambers at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., at 5:30 p.m. To view the agenda, go to www.modestogov.com/ccl/agendas.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or (209) 578-2316.

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