Wade McKinney, Atascadero's city manager, takes job in Southern California

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comMay 31, 2013 

Wade McKinney

Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney is likely leaving to become a city manager in the Southern California city of Indian Wells, the city announced Friday in a news release.

McKinney has not resigned yet, according to the Atascadero city clerk, but is expected to do so if his contract is finalized by the Indian Wells City Council when it meets next week.

June 30 is expected to be his last day with the city of Atascadero, officials said. He has been city manager there for nearly 16 years, beginning in August 1997.

When submitting his resignation to the City Council, the news release stated that McKinney told the council: “This new opportunity, while taking me away from a community and friends that I love, will also bring me closer to my family and especially my baby granddaughters, so that’s a real plus for both (my wife) Cheryl and I.”

His base salary in Indian Wells would be $195,000, according to his proposed five-year employment agreement there. His base salary in Atascadero is $157,173, according to the city.

This month, Atascadero’s City Council is expected to discuss in closed session with the city attorney options such as whether to recruit or appoint someone else to that position, City Clerk Marcia McClure Torgerson said. They may also talk about the process of deciding who should serve on the interim, she added.

“Assuming the other council decides to go into a contract, our next agenda item would be to give staff some direction, hear some options and allow public input. That’s typically the process of what would unfold,” Mayor Tom O'Malley added.

He said that could happen at the council’s June 11 or June 25 meetings.

McKinney was selected for the job from a pool of 75 applicants and interviewed for the position in early May, according to the city of Indian Wells.

McKinney came to Atascadero from Shafter, near Bakersfield, where he had served as city manager for 11 years. Prior to that, he served as assistant city manager in the city of Taft, having been appointed to that position while serving as its planning and building director, according to the news release.

Indian Wells, a resort community near Palm Springs, has approximately 5,000 full-time residents and an additional 4,000 to 5,000 part-time residents during the winter months, according to the news release.

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