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Newport picks city manager finalists, but does not name them publicly; next interviews are moved up to Monday

Newport picks city manager finalists, but does not name them publicly; next interviews are moved up to Monday
Newport Beach’s outgoing City Manager Dave Kiff, who plans to leave his post on Aug. 31. The city is in the advanced stages of selecting a replacement. (File Photo)

Newport Beach is closer to getting a new city manager after a round of interviews this week.

The City Council interviewed seven candidates in closed-door meetings Monday out of a pool of 72 applicants.

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“Three of the best and most experienced applicants” will advance to a second interview during a special closed meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall, the city said Friday. The interviews were moved up from Aug. 13, the date the city previously announced.

The city said the council will not appoint a new city manager at Monday’s meeting.

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The city has declined to name the three finalists, pending a formal public records request by the Daily Pilot.

The city’s contract with its executive recruiting firm, Rancho Mirage-based Roberts Consulting Group, has a confidentiality clause that says all documents “shall be kept confidential unless [the] city expressly authorizes in writing the release of information.”

Monday’s interviews were held away from City Hall, at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Newport Center, at Roberts’ suggestion to protect the identities of applicants, Harp said.

The city manager serves as Newport’s top administrative official at the pleasure of the City Council, overseeing about 900 employees and a budget this year of about $337 million. The job pays between about $188,000 and $282,000 per year, according to a recruitment brochure produced by Roberts.

The outgoing city manager, Dave Kiff, plans to leave his post on Aug. 31. He has worked for Newport Beach since 1998 and as city manager since 2009.

5:50 p.m. July 27: This article was updated with the city moving up the next round of candidate interviews to Monday.

This article was originally published at 12:30 p.m. July 26.

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