Templeton's new general manager had been asked to resign from previous job

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comJune 7, 2013 

Jeff Briltz

COURTESY PHOTO

After a roughly five-month search, the Templeton Community Services District has hired a new general manager: the former city manager of Lemoore, who was asked to resign from that post in March.

Jeff Briltz, 41, served as city manager in Lemoore for nearly nine years. Overall, he had 17 years of employment with the city and about 24 years of experience in public service.

He takes the helm in Templeton on June 19. He will be paid a base salary of $135,000 per year, according to his contract.

He was fully vetted by the Templeton Community Services District’s board of directors after he told them he was asked to resign from his post in Lemoore in March, district president Judy Dietch said.

“We vetted him … and he had nothing but glowing reports,” Dietch said. “The upshot appears to be they had a change on the (Lemoore City Council), and they wanted to go in a different direction. And we feel very fortunate that we got him. We would not have hired him if there was a concern.”

Briltz told The Tribune that a majority shift on the Lemoore City Council looking to change business regulations in town likely led to the move. However, he was not given a formal reason for the council’s decision, he said. He also understood that as that city’s top executive, he served at the will of its election officials.

“It became kind of a controversial thing, and I ended up getting a lot of support,” he said. “And it occurred rather suddenly, but the council had that right, and you have to respect that.”

Specifically, previous city councils had adopted goals that set requirements on businesses, such as how tall signs could be and where businesses could or couldn’t be located, Briltz said.

After the November election, two new council members and an incumbent made up a new majority that wanted to ease those requirements, he added. Those council members couldn’t be reached for comment.

“As far as I’m concerned, he didn’t do anything that would merit him to leave Lemoore when I worked there,” said John Plourde, who served on the Lemoore City Council until late 2012, when he lost a bid for re-election.

He agreed that the election “tipped the balance” on the council’s majority, leading to those who had “a different philosophical view of the planning department,” he said.

The previous councils, on which Plourde served, “weren’t anti-business,” he said, but were looking out for the citizens. Much of that was tied into rules designed to protect citizens from businesses that would “come in, make their money and leave,” he said. One area the council regulated was in setting laws designed to make sure businesses paid their impact fees, which development pays to public roads and parks to offset impacts their projects could have to existing neighborhoods.

Templeton has been searching for a new permanent leader since former general manager Jeff Hodge unexpectedly resigned Dec. 18 and left in January. In February, interim general manager David Andres was hired. Andres didn’t apply for the permanent position, Dietch said.

Several major issues the district faces this year include establishing a sewer rate increase, discussing whether to purchase additional water from Nacimiento Lake, reviewing water conservation efforts, deciding whether to nix an agreement with the city of Paso Robles to treat its sewer flows, and implementing a new budget, Andres said.

Briltz, who was selected from a pool of more than 50 qualified applicants, has a bachelor’s of science degree and a master's degree in business administration from Sacramento State.

Briltz and his wife, Karen, have three children: Torie, 19; Jarred, 13; and Eric, 11.

“I’m at a spot in my life where I’m looking forward to moving on and meeting new people and working on new issues from a fresh perspective,” Briltz said.

The contract

New Templeton Community Services District general manager Jeff Briltz has several perks in his employment contact, including a district vehicle, moving allowance and a cell phone.

A closer look at his contract showed that, starting June 19, Briltz will make a base salary of $135,000 per year and get:

  • up to $5,000 in reimbursements for a moving company to transport his household items into San Luis Obispo County;
  • a cell phone or a $52 monthly cell phone allowance for business and personal use;
  • a district-issued vehicle for business travel and to commute to and from work if he lives within a 25-mile radius of Templeton. If the district’s board of directors doesn’t give him a vehicle, then the general manager would get a $400 monthly vehicle allowance;
  • a district-issued credit card for business travel, meetings and training programs — if such funds are approved in the budget;
  • lodging, meal and fee reimbursements for conferences;
  • paid vacation time as set by the district’s agreements for management personnel, as well as sick leave, paid holidays, and 10 days each year for administration leave;
  • medical insurance and access to the district’s CalPers retirement benefits; and
  • potential salary and benefit increases as deemed by the board of directors each year.

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