The Anaheim City Council plans to discuss the appointment of a permanent city manager today and will probably name former fire chief and former deputy city manager Bob Simpson to the post.
Two of the five city council members--Mayor Pro tem Irv Pickler and Councilman Fred Hunter--said Monday that they would pick Simpson if a vote is called. Hunter said a third council member, William D. Ehrle, indicated Monday that he would also vote for Simpson.
It would take a simple majority vote of five-member council to make the appointment. No vote is scheduled, but Hunter expects one to be called after a closed session, at which the appointment will be discussed.
Simpson, 57, has been acting city manager since September, when he took over the post after the resignation of former city manager William O. Talley. Talley had held the position for 11 years.
The city has traditionally conducted national searches to fill top administrative posts, and council members said in August that they planned to hire a professional search team.
Pickler and Hunter said Monday, however, that Simpson has proven that he can handle the job.
Simpson, Pickler said, has insight into the problems in Anaheim, and "meets them head on." Everything he has heard from other council members about Simpson has been positive, he said.
Hunter said Simpson has "been doing an excellent job" and had already "established good rapport between the Angels and the Rams that has been lacking." The two sports teams share Anaheim Stadium.
Simpson, a former firefighter and Los Angeles County deputy fire chief, was named Anaheim fire chief in 1980. In 1985, while in the posts of fire chief and deputy city manager, he was appointed temporary coordinator of the city's convention center and two golf courses.
Changed His Mind
When he was named acting city manager in August, he said he did not want to be city manager permanently and expressed hope that the interim job wouldn't last long. He has reportedly since changed his mind but could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Hunter said Simpson has "absolutely not" campaigned to win the city manager's job.
"Not once did he ask for the job," Hunter said. "We just said why look for a city manager when we've already got a good one."
He said the council members and Simpson want a decision on the post before the end of the year so Simpson "can go on with his life."
Simpson makes $90,400 annually as acting city manager.