Arroyo Grande could have a new, permanent city manager by Aug. 1. The Arroyo Grande City Council on Tuesday will consider appointing Dianne Thompson, previously the city manager of Cotati in Sonoma County.
Her total compensation would be about $229,600 a year, including all salary and benefits, according to a staff report by Interim City Manager Bob McFall. That includes a base salary of $179,000 a year, a city contribution to a deferred compensation program of $2,200 annually, and a $400 monthly car allowance.
In addition, the city would provide up to a $10,000 reimbursement for moving and relocation expenses and up to $1,700 a month for up to four months as a temporary housing allowance.
Former City Manager Steve Adams received a base salary of $157,294 annually. Adams and the city parted ways in the aftermath of a July 3, 2014, incident in which he was found alone at night in City Hall with a subordinate.
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In addition, longtime City Attorney Tim Carmel of Carmel & Naccasha LLP plans to step down and be succeeded by Heather Whitham, a partner at the firm and a deputy city attorney for Arroyo Grande.
The city has a contract with the firm, which stipulates that partners are paid $170 an hour for regular duties.
Carmel said he’d been thinking about stepping down for about two years, since he passed the 20-year mark with the city, and the timing with a new city manager coming on board seemed ideal. He’ll continue to handle water and land-use issues for Arroyo Grande.
“I had a 2-year-old when I started; now I have three kids in college,” Carmel said. “Spending more time with my kids is truly at the top of my list, and shifting more of my workload to private clients.”
He said the Adams incident didn’t factor into his decision.
“I’m just grateful for the council members and staff and citizens who made the last two decades so meaningful for me,” he said.