Firm will select city manager

Bill Avera's last day is expected to be Nov. 14.

Following City Manager Bill Avera’s retirement one year into his three-year contract, the City of Hollister has begun the process of selecting a new city manager.

Avera has said he will officially leave his position in November, which is how long he believes it will take to find a successor. Avera’s retirement was announced in February, although Avera said he had discussed stepping down in a closed city council session a month earlier.

In March, the council decided to outsource the recruiting process to a professional headhunting firm. Avera was expected to present a request for a proposal that would be sent to the firms at the April 22 meeting, but he did not have a letter to present the council. He said he hoped to send the request to the firms by the end of the week.

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and Vice Mayor Marty Richman were both selected to serve on the ad hoc committee to find the next city manager. Avera said he would send a copy of the request for proposal to the committee before he sent it out to firms.

Velazquez told Avera at the meeting that he believed the council should also be able to see the request for proposal before it is sent out.

“I always think it’s important for the entire council to be involved in that decision,” Velazquez told the Free Lance.

The council agreed on getting the request to proposal sent to them along with the Ad Hoc committee before it was sent to the recruiting firms. If the council had not decided to outsource the candidate recruitment process, they could have delegated the task to the city staff. Council members agreed the job should be given to a professional executive recruiting firm.

The ad hoc committee was created April 15 and  is made up of two council members which Velazquez appoints. He said it was standard practice to pick himself and the vice mayor, whoever that may be.

After the recruiting firm is selected the process of finding a candidate for city manager is expected to speed up.

“Once the requests released we will gather the proposals from those firms, the ad hoc committee will make their selection, I will come back with a services contract,” Avera told the council.

Avera previously told the Free Lance that he believed interviews with candidates would take place this summer with a selection sometime in early fall.

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