The Los Banos City Council has picked a recruiter firm for the eventual replacement for City Manager Steve Rath.
Earlier this month, the City Council unanimously hired Teri Black & Co., one of three firms to enter proposals for the job.
The firm's proposal will cost $17,500 plus estimated expenses of $7,000 to $8,500, for a total of $24,500 to $26,000. The competing proposals totaled at $23,000 and $22,000.
City Attorney William Vaughn and City Clerk Lucy Mallonee reviewed all three proposals and independently recommended the 6-year-old company and its president, Teri Black-Brann.
"She's really detail oriented and she's geared toward smaller communities," Mallonee said.
Teri Black & Co.'s recent recruitments include top officials for San Leandro, Del Mar and Tustin.
Vaughn said the firm's proposal gave off an air of professionalism and willingness to work closely with the City Council. He said Teri Black & Co.'s proposal was head and shoulders above the others.
"For me, it wasn't close," Vaughn said.
Vaughn said the city requested proposals from nine recruiters, but the six that declined cited already full workloads. He said the three submissions were adequate, because they spanned the range of available levels of service.
Teri Black & Co. is expected to begin advertising the position in about a month.
Rath announced in February that he would retire Oct. 31 after 13 years as Los Banos' top executive.
During the building boom of the early 2000s, Rath led the city through record-setting growth. He oversaw the development of the railroad corridor, the Los Banos Community Center and the construction and dedication of Henry Miller Plaza.
Measure P, which paid for additional police and firefighters in a growing city by way of a half-cent sales tax, also came to fruition during his tenure.
Rath's tenure has also had its share of downs.
In 2007, former city employee Rachel Solano was arrested on suspicion of embezzling $50,000 during her 20-year career, but she died before her case went to trial. In 2009, former city employee Mary Ann Jones pleaded no contest to stealing nearly $2 million from the city between 2005 and 2009.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or firstname.lastname@example.org>.