HUGHSON -- City Manager Joe Donabed this week will start looking for his successor.
City Council members Monday night unanimously approved moving ahead with finding a replacement for Donabed, whose contract expires in May.
Councilman Ben Manley, who asked to discuss the vote, wasn't pleased that Donabed will be involved in looking for his replacement. Manley was among the three councilmen who voted in January not to extend Donabed's contract.
"I don't trust Mr. Donabed," Manley said.
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But Councilman Doug Humphreys, who also voted for Donabed's ouster, said Donabed will have only a limited role in selecting a search firm to recruit his replacement.
"All he's doing is preparing a packet for us," Humphreys said.
Mayor Ramon Bawanan cautioned that the search likely will take four to six months. He and Councilman Matt Beekman said it's important the city follow the recommendation of the Stanislaus County civil grand jury to conduct a wide, transparent search.
The grand jury last year found that Manley, Humphreys and Councilman Thom Crowder conspired to fire Donabed and should resign.
In other action, the council:
Decided against hiring a second consultant to determine if personal information had been accessed during a hacking incident last year. "We are confident no personal information was released," Bawanan said.
Made changes to the way the city bills for water. Residents have been confused since the change from flat to metered rates. A mistake that overbilled some residents has since been fixed, Finance Director Debbie Paul said.
Asked for an investigation into comments made on a story on www.modbee.com. Crowder said it appeared a city employee was making defamatory comments during the workday, a violation of city rules.
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2343.