Wanted: City official with sense of humor

By From page A5 | July 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Politically savvy. A good sense of humor. Easygoing.

Those qualities – and at least six years of progressively responsible administrative experience in municipal government – are among qualifications the city of Fairfield seeks in a new assistant city manager position that pays $155,000 to $175,000.

An Aug. 1 deadline looms to apply at Los Gatos-based Avery Associates for the position vacant after assistant city manager David White was named to the top post in Fairfield after Sean Quinn’s retirement.

Councilwoman Pam Bertani said the recruitment language about humor is a legacy to Quinn.

“Those are some adjectives that really describe Sean and his leadership style,” she said. “Sean had a way of really leading – not taking himself so seriously.”

“It really embraces a lot of who Sean Quinn is,” she said of the descriptions included in the recruitment. “I like it.”

Councilman John Mraz said the easygoing, sense of humor references reflect Fairfield’s interest in a manager who is fair and accessible.

“Our employees have gone through a lot,” Mraz said of the past five years and financial challenges the city has faced.

“I’m not going to be sitting in some room trying to find out if the guy likes jokes,” the councilman added of assistant city manager candidates.

The recruitment brochure, linked to the city’s website, describes Fairfield in part as a city with “a range of housing from workforce to executive” and refers to “the intimate 380-seat Fairfield Center for Creative Arts” with entertainment ranging from comedy to high drama.

“The city embraces a collaborative, inclusive, open-door management style,” adds the description. “The successful candidate will demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to try new things.”

Along with the six-figure salary for the assistant city manager position are a $200-a-month car allowance, 21 days of vacation and 13 paid holidays.

City Manager White said the pay and benefits reflect in part the demand for municipal managers.

“Certain positions have been very difficult for us to recruit,” he said.

Retirements and years of cutbacks in California contribute to the challenge, White said.

He said the sense of humor and easygoing nature noted in recruitment for an assistant city manager reflects Fairfield “in the sense we chose those qualities.”

“Do other organizations use that same language?” asked the city manager. “I don’t know.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 8 comments

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  • boomJuly 12, 2014 - 12:32 am

    How about this for the headline; Wanted city official with half a brain. And if you're interested in listening to Pam the Scam, you're automatically disqualified.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 12, 2014 - 8:11 am

    How about some of our Conservative columnists? They write funny stuff all the time! OH it has to be accurate? Never mind.

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  • FairfieldJuly 12, 2014 - 10:50 am

    Pam get a life.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogJuly 12, 2014 - 2:27 pm

    CD why don't you run for the position you always say funny things and always claim to know all of the answers to all of Fairfield 's problems.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 12, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Salty Dog, I don't have the qualifications. I have given plenty of quality advice but people in charge have “no funds” (extortion) and certainly no desire to take care of business. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him swim on his back! ;)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogJuly 12, 2014 - 5:29 pm

    CD sorry I hit the wrong button I did not want to report an abusive comment. We may not always agree. You do have ideas that I do not think would work.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 12, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    Salty Dog, no offense taken I don't worry about that kind of stuff. Give me an example of what I've said that might work and why you disagree.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rudy MadronichJuly 12, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    How about city officials that will do what is best for the people of fairfield and help make fairfield a better and safer place to live, not just do what is best for them self.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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