By Henrietta J. Burroughs
East Palo Alto Today
Posted June 3, 2010
Starting from a large pool of almost 90 applicants, the search for East Palo Alto’s next city manager has now been narrowed to 8 candidates.
The East Palo Alto City Council’s closed door interviews with the 8 candidates were held over a three day period on May 13, May 14 and May 20.
The interviews took place in the second floor conference room at the East Palo Alto Municipal Building.
Now that the council has completed its first round of interviews with all of the candidates, the pool will be reduced again to 3 to to 4 finalists. The names of the finalists be might released at the city council’s next meeting on June 1.
Carlos Romero, the city’s vice mayor, said that in narrowing the field of candidates even further, the council is looking for a city manager who has specific qualities.
Romero said that he is interested in having a city manager who has management experience in the municipal realm.
He said that the council needs someone who has redevelopment experience and has completed redevelopment projects or has projects in the process of completion.
“I am also interested in having someone who has experience assembling and balancing budgets,” Romero said
The council is hoping to have the new city manager in the position by the end of July or the beginning of August.
The city manager position became vacant in East Palo Alto when Alvin James, who has served as the city’s chief executive since 2003, announced at the city council meeting last September 15 that he could not reach an agreement on renewing his contract and that he had decided to pursue other interests, including the possibility of retirement.
Once the finalists for the position have been selected, 15 city residents will be invited to sit on a community panel to interview the finalists. Each city council member will select three residents for the panel.
The finalists will also be interviewed by a technical peer panel which will be composed of local city managers.
The entire community will have a chance to meet the candidates at a community meeting which is scheduled for June 11. The City of East Palo Alto will issued more information about the community meeting soon.