After three months without a permanent city manager, Rio Vista's City Council might fill the position this week.
The matter is listed as a closed-session item on the agenda for Thursday's meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Main St.
The finalists are Bob Gorson, who resigned in February as the city manager of Taft, a community in Kern County, and Regan Candelario, city administrator of Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County. The city of Fortuna confirmed Tuesday that Candelario was hired as its city manager late last week, but Rio Vista officials would not confirm he was no longer a candidate for its position.
The council decided in November not to renew the contract of former City Manager Hector De La Rosa when it expired April 9. Interim City Manager Roger Wong, who retired as city manager of a community in Monterey County, has been handling the day-to-day business of running the city since then.
The city hired a Los Gatos executive search firm to advertise the position, which attracted 64 applicants.
The company winnowed that pool first to five candidates and then to two, which a group of residents the City Council had appointed then interviewed at a public meeting June 19.
Wong said it's unusual to have public interviews of prospective city managers.
"I've never heard of one before," he said. "It's very odd."
Two days after the public question-and-answer forum, Rio Vista council members themselves
Although Wong declined to say whether they're both still candidates, Fortuna's recent hiring of Candelario could leave Gorson -- who abruptly stepped down at a city council meeting where his evaluation was scheduled to be discussed in closed session -- as the only remaining candidate.
Several months earlier, a Kern County grand jury report had criticized Gorson for violating city policy when he paid an employee for vacation she had accrued, a right reserved for the city council.
An earlier grand jury report in February 2010 concluded that Gorson broke state and city rules by giving managers raises without the council's approval, although there were conflicting legal opinions on the matter.
Gorson could not be reached for comment, and Mayor Jan Vick did not return phone calls.
Meanwhile, the council is missing one of its members. Fred Kogler resigned June 10, 18 months into a four-year term that expires in December 2014.
Council members have decided to appoint a replacement and will be accepting applications until July 19; they plan to start interviewing candidates in public session July 25.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141.