Deputy city manager plans to stay put

Modesto Deputy City Manager Judith Ray will not return to the Public Works Department next month as she had planned.

Ray was appointed acting assistant city manager in October 2004 but kept a clause in her contract that would allow her to return to her previous position as deputy public works director.

In March, Ray indicated she would move back to Public Works. She chose that path after City Manager George Britton announced his intent to retire.

But in the past week, she and Britton agreed she would stay in her current post, where she works with Modesto's Finance, Personnel and Information Technology departments, in addition to working with Public Works.

Ray earned $137,495 last year. She has worked for Modesto since 1982.

Britton plans to retire in January. The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to discuss how to recruit his successor.

Allen Lagarbo is working as an interim Public Works deputy director in Ray's place. Ray said the city might be able to fill that position on a permanent basis despite a hiring freeze because the revenue that supports it comes from enterprise funds tied to utility charges.