Kevin Valine

Kevin Valine: Modesto hires consultant for city manager search

Modesto has hired the executive search firm Bob Murray & Associates to help find its next city manager.

The contract calls for the Roseville-based firm to receive as much as $18,500 for its work and as much as $6,900 for expenses, such as travel, advertising and conducting background checks on candidates.

Jim Holgersson has been serving as interim city manager since Greg Nyhoff left Modesto more than a month ago to become city manager of Oxnard in Southern California.

Mayor Garrad Marsh said he expects Modesto could have a permanent city manager in several months. He said Bob Murray & Associates will recruit candidates primarily throughout the western United States.

Marsh said Holgersson has performed well in his short time in Modesto, and he would like Holgersson to apply for the job. Marsh said he’s received positive feedback from council members regarding the interim city manager.

Holgersson, 63, said he’s enjoyed his time in Modesto but has not decided whether he will apply. He has 37 years of experience in the public sector, including serving as city manager in Arlington, Texas, and as deputy city manager in San Jose.

Marsh said it’s important for Modesto to conduct a thorough search for its next city manager because it needs to ensure that it finds the best candidate for the job. He added that if Holgersson applies for the job and is the top pick, it’s important the city arrive at that conclusion by doing its due diligence.

Bob Murray & Associates has worked with such cities as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento and San Diego, according to its website. It helped Oxnard with its recent city manager search.