The Menlo Park City Council is working to decide how to fill the city manager's position now that City Manager Alex McIntyre has announced plans to leave for Ventura.
He hasn't announced a final day yet, but it's expected to be at the end of October, according to Administrative Services Director Lenka Diaz.
The council is scheduled to discuss the matter at its meeting tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 9) both in its closed session starting at 6 p.m. and during the public portion of its meeting, starting at 7 p.m.
Among the considerations, according to a staff report, are whether the city should pick an interim city manager from among existing employees, or look instead to someone on the outside.
Should the city not choose someone to take the reins by McIntyre's departure, Diaz said, the council could appoint a member of the city’s executive team to serve as an acting city manager.
Diaz noted in the staff report that if the council picks an existing city employee, it would on the plus side be a faster process, since the employee would probably understand how Menlo Park works, and the council members would probably know more about the top manager they're working with.
On the negative side, such a candidate is probably already in a leadership role that would also need to be back-filled, and could leave an open position in an already-sparse management tier of city employees. Currently, seven of 24 management positions are vacant in the city, according to staff.
If the council picks an outsider, on the other hand, existing managers would be less affected, but the search process would take longer. According to staff, if the council chooses to look outside the city for an interim city manager, the city might be able to pull things together as soon as Nov. 13. Also, if the person chosen has retired through the state pension system, limitations might apply to how much time he or she can work and be compensated for.
In finding a permanent city manager, staff recommends that the council put together a subcommittee to oversee the process.
It should decide whether to either contract with a professional recruiting firm or work with a recruiter to take a more hands-on approach to the selection process by coming up with an ideal candidate profile, drafting the recruitment announcement, developing a recruitment timeline and deciding on the selection process. It generally takes cities six to nine months from when the recruiter is selected to when the city manager starts, Diaz reported.
The city is seeking proposals from recruiting firms; a subcommittee could have recommendations prepared as soon as Oct. 23, Diaz said.
She noted that the city should expect to spend about $28,500 or more for the recruiter.