Atwater City Council will be interviewing two candidates for the city manager job during a closed session meeting on Monday, the mayor confirmed.
Two closed-door meetings are planned, one at 1 p.m. and another at 5 p.m., before the regular meeting at City Hall, 760 Bellevue Road, according to records.
“It’s only interviews,” Mayor Jim Price said Friday, adding personnel matters restrict him from naming the candidates.
The city manager position was left empty when Frank Pietro retired at the end of 2016.
McBride has been serving in the office since the first of the year. The council unanimously appointed McBride, who was Atwater’s community development director, as interim city manager in December. He will make an annual salary of $142,248 plus benefits while serving as interim manager, according to the contract.
A former chief and public safety director in Ceres, de Werk was relieved of his duties in 2014 after 15 years.
De Werk was on medical leave for about two months beginning in April 2014 for treatment and surgery for a benign mass in his brain.
He returned to work on light duty in June of that year but went back on medical leave several days later after two closed-door meetings to discuss his “discipline, dismissal or release.”
Whoever steps into the Atwater city manager job faces difficult financial times. Atwater has struggled financially in recent years, verging on bankruptcy in 2012, and is dealing with a $2.8 million general fund debt, among other unfunded obligations, according to city staff.
Hiring the city’s next administrative leader was a major topic during the November election.
The Modesto Bee contributed to this report.