With $30K contract, search for new Truckee town manager underway | SierraSun.com

With $30K contract, search for new Truckee town manager underway

Public input sought

Peckham & McKenney and the town are seeking public input on what qualities local residents would like to see in the next Truckee town manager.

McKenney will host an open house Thursday, March 2, at Truckee Town Hall, 10183 Truckee Airport Road, from 4-6 p.m. to answer questions and gather input.

There is also an online survey hosted on the town’s website to gather public input.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The town of Truckee on Feb. 14 approved a $30,000 contract with Roseville-based recruitment firm Peckham & McKenney to find a new town manager.

The move follows current Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook’s January announcement that he is retiring in July.

Peckham & McKenney’s search, led by Chief Operating Officer Phil McKenney, is expected to take about four months to complete.

“We’re just in what we call the project organization phase.” McKenney said. “I act like a sponge, just trying to learn about the community and what they’re looking for.”

After that, he said they’ll begin the outreach phase, which includes advertising and reaching out to people who’ve been recommended. Once all the applications are submitted, they’ll start screening.

McKenney said no deadlines have been set yet, but ideally they’d like to have someone in place before Lashbrook’s last week.

A SOMEWHAT COMPLICATED PAST

Locally, the firm has also recruited for South Lake Tahoe’s Development Services Director position, as well as the North Tahoe Public Utility District’s General Manager position, but the most memorable local search was for Incline Village General Improvement District’s general manager.

His company had been hired to find a replacement for the position after Bill Horn resigned in 2013. But after narrowing down the candidates to two potential hires, things didn’t exactly go as planned.

The IVGID board’s job description required a bachelor’s degree, and one of the two candidates selected by McKenney’s firm did not have one.

McKenney said the candidate without the degree was a local resident, Eric Severance, who had significant experience, so McKenney planned to ask the board if they would consider him — but he said the story got out before he ever got the chance to present the information.

Ultimately, IVGID selected the other candidate, Steve Pinkerton, who had a bachelor’s degree. McKenney’s firm was left to deal with what was considered by some to be a major oversight.

“I guess the lesson would be that I should’ve shared the information sooner,” McKenney said. “I’ve never had as difficult a search in the 13 years I’ve been doing this as that one.”

THE ‘TRUCKEE WAY’

McKenney said that back in 2014, IVGID was in bad shape. He said that the current situation with Truckee is much better.

“It’s totally different,” he said. “There’s a much different dynamic, and I see Truckee as being very open and transparent.”

Prior to going into the government recruitment business, McKenney served as the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s first executive director.

In the past, he’s also been on the board of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and worked in Colorado as the executive director of the Summit County Chamber of Commerce.

McKenney said he feels confident in his firm’s process and his understanding of resort communities to help Truckee select it’s next town manager.

In an email, Lashbrook told the Sun, “Three different firms were interviewed by staff and two councilmembers, and significant reference checks were completed, which led to the hiring of (Peckham & McKenney) by the Town Council.

“To state the obvious, Truckee is not IVGID.”

He said although he wasn’t sure how IVGID handled its process, the town’s human resources staff plans to be actively involved.

“I have complete confidence in our ability to conduct appropriate background checks and reference checks,” Lashbrook said.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.