RIO VISTA — The third time could be the charm.
Another attempt to find suitable candidates for the city manager position ended Friday, as the process closed with 38 applicants for the job, said Mayor Norman Richardson.
“I think it’s going to be the charm this time,” he said.
The search began in April 2012 when the City Council declined to renew then-City Manager Hector De La Rosa’s contract. The first search brought in 64 interested applicants and was winnowed down to the final two by search firm Avery Associates.
After a citizen’s committee interviewed the candidates in a June 2012 public forum, one accepted another job and the other was dismissed as a candidate. The second time, the candidate field consisted of five applicants and the position wasn’t filled.
“We couldn’t find anyone we were really ecstatic about,” Richardson said.
The council decided in May to start the third search.
During the process, the city has been under the care of three interim city managers: Roger Wong, Joseph Tanner and Tanner’s son, Joseph Tanner Jr.
The younger Tanner declined to talk much about the search, because his application is in the pool of 38 candidates. A couple of main reasons spurred him, he said, to try for the permanent position.
“I enjoy working in Rio Vista and with the council and other employees,” he said. “I have started on a lot of projects and I’d really like to see them through to completion.”
With a succession of interim city managers helping keep the city afloat, Richardson said the city hasn’t missed a beat. He called the younger Tanner proactive and said he’s worked to put together a professional portfolio to attract businesses to Rio Vista.
Tanner has already given one to Kaiser Permanente in hopes of attracting its business, Richardson said. Sutter Medical Foundation made an announcement recently that it could be leaving, or at least is realigning its services in Rio Vista. That could leave the city with no doctor.
Richardson said he’s looking for an open, honest individual who will deal fairly with all the council members “in the same manner.” And someone who can see the business opportunities in Rio Vista.
“I would like to have someone here who recognizes those opportunities and goes after them,” Richardson said.
A tentative special closed session meeting is set up for Sept. 20 with Paul Kimura of Avery Associates to present the candidates – most likely rated in tiers. Interviews begin Oct. 2 in closed session. Richardson hopes to have someone in place by December or January.
According to information on Avery’s website, the position pays between $120,000 and $130,000, but is subject to experience and qualifications. The city manager will receive 13 holidays and 12 days of vacation annually for the first three years.
Kimura declined to comment and referred the Daily Republic back to Rio Vista staff or officials for comment.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.