A plan is now in place for Clovis City Council members to select a new city manager after longtime administrator Kathy Millison departs on Oct. 1.
The council Monday night accepted Millison's resignation and adopted a plan to hire an interim city manager before Millison leaves and a new city manager by early next year.
The temporary city manager could come from inside Clovis City Hall or be one of the city's recent retirees who meets city requirements. The naming of an interim city manager is expected in mid-September.
The interim manager will likely hold the position into early 2011.
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Hiring an insider will keep the city running more smoothly, Mayor Harry Armstrong said.
"If you bring someone in from the outside [as interim city manager] it will take quite some time for them to get up to speed," he said.
Millison is leaving to become city manager of Santa Rosa, which has 164,400 residents. Clovis has a population of 97,000.
Council members also voted Monday night to hire an executive search firm to find Millison's permanent replacement. The cost is expected to be $25,000 to $30,000, said Jeff Cardell, the city's personnel manager.
He said his department could conduct a search for about $7,000.
But council members voted 5-0 to use the executive search firm because it will allow the city to receive applications from a larger candidate pool.
"They have contacts and a pool of people already seeking employment," Armstrong said. "Nothing against staff, but it would be wise to hire a search firm."
The search should begin at the end of September.
City Council Member Lynne Ashbeck said the city also needs to consider raising the city manager's salary. Millison earns a base annual salary of $140,000 and it reaches $155,000 with perks, which is lower than many smaller surrounding cities.
In Santa Rosa, Millison will earn $215,000.
Millison, 58, was Clovis city manager for more than 19 years.
She has worked in Clovis since 1983, starting as an assistant to the city manager before serving as assistant city manager.