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 firstname.lastname@example.org.