Truckee nears hiring new town manager
Special to the Sierra Sun
The Town of Truckee hopes to make an offer to a new town manager this Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The search for Jeff Loux’s replacement began July 1 after he stepped down as town manager after three and a half years of public service, Town Clerk Judy Price said.
Mayor David Polivy said if the town council functions as the equivalent of an organization’s board of directors, the town manager is essentially the CEO.
“The town manager is the head of this entity, but still needs to answer to the board of directors,” Polivy said. “They balance the financial and physical realities of policy directives handed down by the majority of the town council.”
The town manager is appointed by sitting council members, who are themselves essentially volunteers, Price said.
“Because they serve at the pleasure of the council, it’s up to them to hire the Town Manager and Town Attorney,” Price said. “The rest of the town staff all report to the town manager.”
Because the manager is charged with executing and realizing policy that the council puts forth, the position is paid, Price said. Truckee’s website advertises the Town Manager’s annual salary as between $152,864 and $206,366.
According to reporting by Moonshine Ink, Loux will continue to collect his salary until February 2021.
Loux announced his plans to depart within weeks of former Chief of Police Robert Leftwich’s retirement announcement. Since, Truckee’s Public Works Director and Town Engineer Dan Wilkins has served as the acting Town Manager and Capt. Randy Billingsley as the acting Police Chief.
Once the town council hires the town manager, the police chief selection process will begin.
According to Mayor David Polivy, the town received over 130 applicants for the town manager position by the submission deadline Aug. 19.
“The recruiter pre-screens to make sure they have the minimum qualifications required to do the job, then picked a group of people for the council to consider,” Price said.
The applications were narrowed down by the recruiting team to approximately 30 people — three different tiers, 10 people each. In a closed session meeting on Sept. 2, the council narrowed their selection to seven people, with two to four alternates, Price said.
The next step in the process takes place Monday, Sept. 14, Polivy said. Two separate panels will conduct a full day of interviews.
“One is a community panel that represents a broad cross section of our community including people who work in the tourism industry and contractors,” Polivy said.
According to Polivy, former Town Manager Tony Lashbrook will serve on the community panel, which is comprised by community members selected by the town. Panelists sign a nondisclosure clause to preserve the privacy of the position’s contenders. The other panel is made up of the Town of Truckee’s department heads.
Polivy said the panels will report back to the recruiter the same day so the council members may spend all day Tuesday conducting the interviews necessary to choose a finalist by end-of-day Tuesday.
“We hope to put an offer to an applicant that day,” Polivy said.
Price said if the fit does not feel right, the council may opt out entirely.
“If they don’t elect somebody from that recruitment the position can still stay vacant until they find someone who is a good fit,” Price said.
Rebecca O’Neil is a reporter for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun based in Grass Valley.
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