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Headhunter Sought to Find New Manager

January 22, 1998|KATE FOLMAR

Moving quickly to fill a crucial vacancy, the Thousand Oaks City Council has kicked off the selection process for replacing outgoing City Manager Grant Brimhall.

On a unanimous vote, city leaders agreed Tuesday night to send out letters this week soliciting bids from executive search firms interested in hunting for Brimhall's successor.

The action comes a week after Brimhall, the city's top bureaucrat for 20 years, said he would retire from city service on Valentine's Day.

The 60-year-old city manager is widely viewed as the architect of Thousand Oaks' growth from a small rural city to a bustling suburb with low crime rates, good schools and top-notch amenities. Recovering from open-heart surgery, Brimhall announced his retirement Jan. 13, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife and six adult children.

The letter that council members approved Tuesday asks headhunters to reply by Feb. 17 with a detailed proposal outlining how they would search for a city manager.

Specifically, firms are asked how they would locate qualified candidates, how long the search would take and what it would cost. The letter will be sent to more than a dozen executive search firms recommended by the League of California Cities.

Mayor Mike Markey said the city should pick a search firm in March.

Also at the meeting, the council deferred a proposal by Councilwoman Elois Zeanah requesting a discussion of qualifications for the next city manager. Markey said discussion would be premature until a search firm is selected.

Council members also agreed to set a Feb. 10 hearing on who should serve as the interim city manager once Brimhall leaves. The heir apparent is Assistant City Manager MaryJane V. Lazz.

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