City Narrows Search for Top Administrator

The City Council has narrowed from eight to four the field of applicants vying for the vacated city administrator position, the city's top nonelected post.

In a closed meeting, the council also tentatively scheduled interviews with the four candidates for July 18. To narrow the field, the five-member council sat down Wednesday evening with Richard Garcia, president of RJA Management Services, an Arcadia search firm.

The council reviewed resumes presented by Garcia, who was hired to help find candidates, and ranked the applicants before cutting the field in half, said Howard Muira, interim city administrator, who also attended.

Councilwoman Joanne Baltierrez said Thursday that council members want an administrator with experience in economic development who can work well with the city's diverse population.

"My biggest desire," Baltierrez said, "is that we can get someone who will be professional in the way they work with all council members."

The identities of candidates are being kept secret, said Muira, who is also the director of the Community Development and Planning Department. Muira said he is not a candidate to permanently fill the administrator post.

Muira became interim city administrator in July 1997 after longtime Administrator Mary Strenn resigned in a move that was supported, and some said orchestrated, by Mayor Raul Godinez II and Councilmen Silverio Robledo and Jose Hernandez.

Baltierrez and Councilman Doude Wysbeek opposed Strenn's resignation. All members agreed thereafter on hiring criteria for the new city administrator.

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