ANTIOCH -- Residents will have a chance to weigh in this week on what they would like to see in a new city manager.
With City Manager Jim Jakel retiring at the end of the year, Antioch has retained Peckham & McKenney to conduct a search for his replacement. Recruiter Phil McKenney will give an update at Tuesday's City Council meeting about the process up to this point and walk city leaders and residents through the next steps.
There also will be a chance for residents to give their two cents on "what kind of skill set they want their next city manager to have," McKenney said.
"I would encourage people to come out," he said.
Mayor Wade Harper agreed, emphasizing the city manager selection is "one of the most important decisions the council will decide on.
"All politics aside, we are selecting the CEO of a multimillion dollar organization -- the city of Antioch," Harper said. "It's important that we include the community and have that transparency."
McKenney said residents' desires "kind of kick in" as he screens potential candidate applications. Also, the council will consider public feedback and characteristics the community seeks when making its final decision, Harper said. The deadline for candidates to apply is Sept. 30.
Jakel, Antioch's city manager since December 2003, says feedback is important because residents may want an administrator with expertise in a particular niche, such as economic development or law enforcement, given the city's recent heavy emphasis on public safety.
Harper added that residents may put more weight on factors such as a city manager living in the community or being a regular at community events. Rita Geldert, executive director of the California City Management Foundation, said it's "becoming increasingly more prevalent" for cities to ask residents what they want in a city manager.
"More and more communities are reaching out to make sure city leaders have as much input and information as possible," Geldert said. It's also important that there is a wide sampling of residents, she said.
To this point, McKenney said he has met with staff and City Council members individually and as a group to talk about the city's challenges and assess the current organization.
After all the applications are received, McKenney will pare down the pool so the council has a few candidates in late October to consider for the final interview process. That would take place in early November. The position's salary is being advertised with a range of $190,000 to $240,000.
According to Antioch's advertisement, "The new City Manager will possess excellent interpersonal skills and will be able to provide the leadership necessary to help the community shape its future and move it forward as it rises out of difficult economic times."
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.
What: Antioch City Council meeting
When: 6:15 p.m. Tuesday
Where: City Council chamber, 200*St.
More information: Call 925-779-7009 or visit www.ci.antioch.ca.us. Those who cannot attend Tuesday's meeting but would like to submit comments about Antioch's new city manager can email Phil McKenney at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also email members of the City Council.