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Lincoln tries city manager search again

No finalists in first round
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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A search for a new Lincoln city manager has ended without a candidate and the city will try again in December, according to city attorney Kristine Mollenkopf.

Three final candidates were interviewed by three panels and the Lincoln City Council in October. The finalist did not accept the job.

“The consensus candidate withdrew their name from consideration,” Mollenkopf said Monday, adding there was no consensus on the remaining two.

City Councilman Peter Gilbert said the delay might work out in the city’s favor, pointing to the hiring of Police Chief Doug Lee and Mollenkopf. The city went through two rounds of searches for the police chief and the city attorney before hiring them.

“Nobody should be bothered by the delay,” Gilbert said Wednesday. “When we searched for a new police chief, we ended up with Chief Lee, who is probably the best candidate for police chief I’ve seen in 40 years.”

“Obviously we didn’t find a candidate in the first round that was acceptable to the council,” Gilbert said. “There is no reason to rush. Now we will have two new council people for the two to three interview sessions, as well as community involvement. It will be good for the new council people to be part of it.”

The new council members will be Alyssa Silhi and Holly Woods-Andreatta.

The city will place ads for the recruitment mid-December with a closing date of Jan. 25, according to Mollenkopf.

“It is currently advertised on Bob Murray & Associates’ web page,” Mollenkopf said. “It will then take a few weeks to vet the applicants and schedule interviews. I’m generally guessing at a first round of interviews by the end of February 2019.”

Interim City Manager Bob Adams’ last day will be Jan. 11.

“That’s the day I will reach the 960-hour restriction under California retirement law,” Adams said. “Hiring a new interim city manager can definitely wait until the last day. There was no overlap between (former City Manager) Matt Brower and I. We have a very competent staff and I will be available by phone if there are any questions. I will also leave information for the new person.”

A City Council closed session is scheduled for Dec. 18 at which a decision on a new interim city manager might be made. Adams said the permanent city manager should have some breadth of experience dealing with good and bad; some experience with economic development and dealing with revenue challenges; and be able to deal with whatever comes out of the state audit in a positive way.

The California State Assembly Joint Committee on Legislative Audit voted May 16 to conduct an audit into the city of Lincoln and its’ administration of public funds. State Sen. Ted Gaines requested the audit in an April 11 letter to the committee describing “a distinct pattern of mismanagement among some at the upper echelons of city government in Lincoln.”