GUSTINE — A former Escalon city manager and past police chief will shepherd the city through its budget process as interim city manager.
Greg Greeson was hired last week as Gustine's interim official after former City Manager Margaret Silveira announced her resignation to become the city manager of Lakeport.
Despite his hiring, the City Council plans to continue with a full search for Gus-tine's next city manager after the budget process is complete. Greeson said that as of now, he plans to apply for the job.
Greeson, 55, was city manager of Escalon from 2001 to 2009. The Escalon Times reported the City Council and Greeson parted ways over differing views.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
The Times quoted then- Escalon Police Chief Douglas Dunford as saying, "Greg had different philosophical views on where the city should go as opposed to the council." Dunford is now Livingston's new police chief.
Greeson joins the city this month when a new budget is needed before July.
"It certainly is a challenge. Even in a normal year that would be a challenge. Given these economic times, it's an even bigger one," Greeson said.
City Councilman Joe Oliveira said there were several qualities that council members liked in Greeson, including his police background and that he served as city manager in a similarly sized small town.
"He was probably the best choice we could get to make it seamless right now," Oliveira said. "The hammer is in his hands now. If he performs, it would make our choice (for a permanent city manager) a lot easier."