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Interim City Manager Now Permanent

January 20, 1999|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

THOUSAND OAKS — Ending a nearly yearlong search, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously confirmed MaryJane Lazz as its top municipal executive.

Lazz, 50, who has served as acting city manager since last February, will receive a salary of $140,000 in the permanent position, which oversees the city's $113-million operating budget and its 475 employees.

This represents a nearly $13,000 increase from her current compensation package and is about $8,000 higher than the base salary of her predecessor, Grant Brimhall, who retired last winter after 20 years in the job.

"I want to thank the City Council for their confidence and support," Lazz said, "and I look forward to a very positive working relationship in the years to come."

Lazz, who served as Brimhall's top deputy for 18 years, said her duties will not differ much from what they've been--only expanded.

"I'll be getting involved in state legislative issues, working with the state Legislature, working with the local county organizations, the Board of Supervisors, that sort of thing," Lazz told the council. "Those kinds of things will be new additions to the work that I do, but it will just be involvement at a different level, from a more global perspective."

Lazz said a top priority will be developing a long-term financial plan for the city as it receives diminishing developer fees now that fewer sizable parcels of land are available for large-scale projects.

"Part of that is looking at our business community and seeing what we need to enhance our current businesses and finish out the remaining parcels that we have available in the commercial and industrial sectors," she said.

Additionally, Lazz said she will support construction of the Ventura County Discovery Center, a learning museum proposed for undeveloped land east of the Civic Arts Plaza.

"That's a personal goal for me," she said. "I feel that will be a finishing touch for our community, a perfect complement to the theaters being here, to City Hall being here."

Lazz said she has not decided whether she would hire an assistant city manager to succeed her.

"Grant and I were a very unusual and successful team--he was the vision and the creative person, and I was the more hands-on, follow-through type of person," Lazz said.

"If I do hire a new [assistant], it will not be in the same capacity. I'll be looking at different options, and there will be some different kind of position. I'll let things settle here for a while and see what the organization needs."

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