Committees, Council: Interview marathon for City Manager finalists
Published:  April 07, 2017

There will be an interview marathon Wednesday at City Hall when the members of separate employee and community citizens’ committees sit down to interview the final four candidates for Santa Paula’s top job.

Mayor Jenny Crosswhite said the April 12 interview of finalists for the position will be followed by another sit-down with the City Council.

The last day of Jaime Fontes, city manager since February 2010, is April 14. 

Crosswhite said, “Each of the two groups will meet with all four candidates,” individually, a process timed so “There won’t be a panel sitting idle for a session.”

There are about 10 members of the community citizens’ interview panel: “We tried to get a variety,” of residents said Crosswhite.

The city employees’ panel has an unknown number of members but they are usually comprised of department heads and union representatives.

“All their feedback then will come to us when we meet,” and Crosswhite said the council will “re-interview the four finalists that same night.

“It’s going to be a long day.”

Ideally though, the council will make a decision that same evening.

“Our goal is by the end of the day we will know who our next City Manager will be. That would be ideal,” but there are no guarantees.

“You never know, you might have two candidates that 

‘Wowed’ you!” 

In that case, Crosswhite said another council interview of the two finalists would be scheduled.

The council received 49 applications for the city’s top job occupied by Fontes. According to State Controller’s Office salary records, in 2015 Fontes made $191,214 in total wages and $43,136 in health and retirement benefits. That State Controller’s Office has not yet posted salary and benefit information for 2016.

The council initially interviewed a dozen candidates who passed the muster of a recruiting consultant at a special closed session March 13. 

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