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W. Hollywood Search Narrows to 4 Veteran Administrators

April 04, 1985|JAMES RAINEY | Times Staff Writer

Surprised at its inability to attract qualified women and minority candidates, including homosexuals, for the job of city manager, a West Hollywood committee has recommended four veteran California administrators for the city's top administrative job.

The four men being considered for the job were interviewed by the City Council last week after being culled from a field of 170 applicants by the search committee.

Advertisements and other appeals for applicants were "unorthodox," according to one member of the search committee. "We discussed the social issues," said committee member Joseph Thompson. "We talked about the gay issues, rent control and senior citizens. It was like, if you are not going to be able to stand the heat, don't try to come into the kitchen."

Four Finalists

Seven semi-finalists interviewed by the committee were asked questions ranging from their management experience to how they would deal with a staff person who contracted AIDS, Thompson said. The field was cut to the four finalists after the interviews.

An estimated 30% of West Hollywood's residents are homosexual and 85% are renters, making both groups especially important to the City Council.

But despite the liberal social attitudes of the search committee, women and minorities gave way to white men with more experience as city administrators when the four finalists were selected.

The City Council is expected to make one of them the 4-month-old city's first chief executive officer within two weeks.

Seven finalists interviewed by the committee were asked questions ranging from their management experience to how they would deal with a staff person who contracted AIDS.

They finalists are:

- Perry Beck, 37, a full-time student, working toward his master's degree in public administration at California State Unviersity, Los Angeles, and former city manager of La Verne.

- Terry Belanger, 41, director of community and recreation services in Pasadena and former chief administrative officer in Brea.

- Paul Brotzman, 38, city manager of Martinez, a city of 28,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A source close to the council who spoke on the condition that he not be identified descibed Brotzman as the front-runner for the job.

- Larry J. Kosmont, 33, director of the Burbank Redevelopment Agency and former city manager of Bell Gardens.

Beck worked in La Verne for five years, three years as assistant city manager and the last two as city manager. He left the city in 1982 and enrolled in Cal Poly Pomona School of Agriculture to study animal science, saying at the time, "I've always wanted to be a rancher."

For the last year he has been attending California State University, Los Angeles.

Staff of 150

In La Verne, Beck administered an annual budget of $10 million and a staff of 150. Beck said in his application to the city that he had experience working with small businessmen in La Verne and had worked with homosexuals as a volunteer counselor. He was the only finalist to cite any previous experience working with homosexuals.

Belanger, in his Pasadena position, manages the Rose Bowl and recreation facilities and directs the city's insurance programs.

Interviewed by telephone, Belanger described himself as a political "moderate" but said that he did not plan to "bring any excess ideological baggage" with him if he gets the job.

"The social issues are going to be the purview of the City Council," Belanger said. "They are quite activist. My ideology is not nearly as important as being able to assist them from a management point of view."

While in Brea, Belanger helped write an analysis of rent control administration. Belanger said that experience would help him in West Hollywood, where rent control is a central issue.

Brotzman, also interviewed by telephone, said his work on a comparable-worth ordinance for Martinez city employees points to his dedication to the social concerns that are important in the city of West Hollywood. The Martinez ordinance, establishing comparable pay for men and women performing jobs of equal worth, was approved a year ago.

Pennsylvania Job

"I think that was an example of my personal commitment to deal with all people fairly," Brotzman said.

He also has experience working in the Pennsylvania township of South Whitehall that reorganized and formed its own planning and administrative offices. West Hollywood will be facing those tasks.

Brotzman described himself as a political liberal who supports rent control.

Kosmont has assisted the city of Burbank in attracting several large developments to the city's three redevelopment areas. He is currently negotiating with prospective tenants for the $250-million Media Center, which will include a luxury hotel and 600,000-square-foot office tower.

The $43.4-million budget that he administers is almost four times larger than the budget of any of his three competitors.

He was an administrative assistant to the Santa Monica city manager from 1975 to 1978 and assisted with budget decisions and labor negotiations.

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