Council settles on new manager

Identification withheld until contract vote next month

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

The Hollister City Council has selected a new city manager to replace the outgoing Bill Avera, according to Mayor Ignacio Velazquez.

The council is expected to approve a contract for the new hire in the coming weeks, possibly at the Nov. 4 meeting. Velazquez said he could not name the new manager because the contract had not been finalized. 

Velazquez identified the new hire as a man who had served as a city manager for another municipality. Hollister outsourced the search for a city manager to a recruiting company in March. 

Avera’s last day is expected to be Nov. 14, which will give him time to work with the new manager. 

The rancorous council appears to have reached a consensus on the new administrator for the city of nearly 40,000.

“We went through the interview process, and this candidate was the top choice,” said Velazquez. “It was good for all of us to come together.”

Velazquez and Vice Mayor Marty Richman served on the ad hoc committee to find the next city manager.

Avera resigned after five years on the job and less than a year after he signed a three-year contract.

The former city development services director surprised the city council with his retirement decision in a January closed session. Then on Feb. 19, he passed along his resignation letter during a staff report. 

Avera’s contract was to expire in 2021. He told the Free Lance on March 26 that there was no one factor that led him to retire, saying he wanted time to start a second career outside of city government.

“I gave [nine months’] notice so that the council had plenty of time to consider options for my successor,” Avera told the Free Lance. He said the long notice period was to give the council time to thoroughly vet a new candidate.

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