The Turlock City Council on Tuesday evening appointed Bob Lawton as its next city manager.
The council vote was 5-0, and Lawton will start July 12. His salary will be $215,748. He currently is county administrator of Yates County, a rural county in upstate New York. He's had the job since September 2016.
Lawton has about 30 years of public sector experience, including about 20 years of working for county governments in New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and California.
"I'm very excited to have Bob join us in Turlock," Mayor Gary Soiseth said in a news release. "His depth of experience, long list of past achievements, and fresh set of ideas are all reasons we chose him to be our next City Manager."
Turlock has been without a city manager since Gary Hampton left in mid July, about six weeks sooner than he had planned. He later filed a claim against the city claiming some city officials had bullied him. The city settled his claim for $39,000 in January.
Turlock also has been without a city attorney since City Attorney Phaedra Norton resigned in March after being on leave for several months.
The Meyers Nave law firm has been serving as interim city attorney, and the council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to continue the firm's services on an interim basis. Councilwoman Amy Bublak cast the "no" vote.
She said the law firm has provided Turlock with excellent legal representation but said the city pays the firm roughly $80,000 a month for city attorney services, and Turlock needs to explore whether there are less expensive options.
"They are amazing," she said, "but I'm not sure we can afford these expenditures without at least looking at the alternatives."