Howard Caldwell, acting city manager in Compton for the past five months, was unexpectedly named city manager Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote of the City Council.
Caldwell has worked for the city 17 years, holding a variety of jobs including labor relations officer and personnel director. He has been assistant city manager for nearly a decade. Caldwell was named acting city manager in June when the council fired City Manager James Goins.
The council action came as a surprise to some people, although Councilwoman Jane Robbins said Wednesday morning that she had been trying for a month to get Caldwell named to the post. "I think he's shown in the interim (city manager's job) that he is capable."
Councilwoman Bernice Woods said Caldwell was a "worthy" choice. "He knows more about the city than anyone," she said.
Councilwoman Patricia Moore was the only person to vote against Caldwell's appointment. She could not be reached for comment, but it is known that she favored a search to recruit applicants for the city manager's job. The council was scheduled Tuesday to take up that issue but voted instead to put Caldwell in the permanent post.