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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | THOUSAND OAKS

Closed Session Set for Manager Selection

July 28, 1998|KATE FOLMAR

Behind closed doors, the City Council will get its first peek tonight at 15 resumes from bureaucrats and businesspeople interested in becoming the next city manager.

At a marathon closed session, search firm executive Robert Murray is expected to tell the five council members what his preliminary interviews with the candidates have revealed.

"I've interviewed 14 or 15," said Murray, vice president with the Sacramento firm DMG Maximus, which is receiving $20,000 to assist with the search. "I will recommend fewer than that. I typically recommend interviewing up to eight people."

Even though an unusually low number of people--about 30--applied for the job, Murray said council members will have a "very talented group of people" from diverse backgrounds from which to choose.

Councilwoman Judy Lazar said she is eagerly anticipating the closed session.

"I would assume that we have some really strong candidates--and some who will be of modest interest to the council," she said. "I don't think we'll have any trouble narrowing it down to a manageable number."

In early September, council members are expected to interview six to eight candidates to replace longtime City Manager Grant Brimhall, who retired in February.

Brimhall's top deputy, MaryJane V. Lazz, is interim city manager.

Hoping to keep the search confidential for all the applicants, Lazz has declined to say if she applied for the job.

"Everyone is dying to know if Lazz will be among the applicants," said Councilwoman Linda Parks, who worries that the search process is being rushed to seat a city manager before the November election. Three of five council seats are up for grabs.

"It just seems that, unless it's someone incredible, someone that everyone endorses, it's cause for concern to hire someone three weeks before we could have three new council members," Parks said.

The council could pick a new city manager by late September or early October.

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