The City Council is expected to discuss behind closed doors Tuesday how it will find Modesto’s next city manager.
This is nearly six months after City Manager Jim Holgersson and Modesto parted ways March 30. Deputy City Manager Joe Lopez has filled in since then, first as acting and then interim city manager.
Councilwomen Kristi Ah You and Jenny Kenoyer said it’s time for the council to make a decision on how to fill the position. “We need to do so something,” Kenoyer said. “It’s gone on too long.”
Ah You said filling the job permanently will help bring stability and direction to city government and the community.
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Some council members —including Kenoyer —support hiring Lopez, while others —including Ah You —want a recruitment. Lopez has said he would apply if the city recruits. Modesto recruited for the position when Holgersson served as interim city manager before hiring him for the permanent job in late 2014.
Council members will meet in closed session ahead of their regular, public meeting to discuss the city manager and city auditor positions. (The new city budget include’s Mayor Ted Brandvold proposal to replace the consulting firm that serves as auditor with an in-house auditor.)
The closed session agenda states the council will consider the appointments of a city manager and an auditor. City Attorney Adam Lindgren said that includes discussing the process to be used to fill those positions.
Councilman Doug Ridenour confirmed he asked for the closed session discussion., adding he wants an update. “My intention is it’s time for us to hear something about these open positions,” he said, “(to) talk about the process.”
Council members also will be asked during their regular, public meeting to approve Brandvold’s request to appoint him, Ridenour and Councilman Mani Grewal to what a city report calls the City Auditor Recruitment Ad Hoc Committee. The three serve on the council’s Audit Committee.
Lopez, 42, came to Modesto in January 2012 to become the city’s human resources director. He later served as administrative services director, and was named an acting deputy city manager in February 2015 before getting the job on a permanent basis.
Lopez worked for Sacramento County from May 2001 through January 2012, starting as a personnel analyst, then senior personnel analyst and human resources manager I and II, according to Modesto’s Human Resources Department.
He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State Univesity, Chico, and a master’s degree in industrial, organizational psychology from California State University, Sacramento.
The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.