Arroyo Grande to once again hire Bob McFall as interim city manager

Arroyo Grande’s City Hall on East Branch Street.
Arroyo Grande’s City Hall on East Branch Street. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

He just keeps coming back.

Former Glendale administrator Bob McFall is expected to once again return to Arroyo Grande as interim city manager, marking his second time replacing a city manager after their controversial departure.

The Arroyo Grande City Council approved an agreement with Regional Government Services for interim manager services on Aug. 9, choosing to bring back McFall, who served as interim city manager for the South County city from February 2015 to August 2015.

Since approving the contract, however, McFall raised some concerns with the city about contracting for his services through RGS, so the council will now likely bring back the item for discussion of a “more beneficial contracting mechanism,” acting City Manager Geoff English said Friday. English declined to say why McFall doesn’t want to contract through RGS, saying just that there were “complexities regarding public agencies.”

The council still intends to hire McFall, English said. Contract discussions will take place once McFall has returned from a vacation, either in late August or early September.

The now-moot contract stipulated an hourly billing rate of $125 — part of which would be paid to Regional Government Services — and a monthly housing allowance of $1,700. Though total costs will depend on the length of his service, city staff estimated it would not exceed 960 hours over eight months, for a total cost to the city of about $133,600.

McFall has 34 years of experience in the public sector, 22 of which were spent as the Glendale assistant city manager before he retired in 2010.

“Mr. McFall is very familiar with the city of Arroyo Grande, having previously assisted the city with several departmental assessments, executive goal setting and team building, facilitation of interdepartmental issues, and as the interim city manager in 2015,” staff wrote in a report. “His rapport with the department head team and other city employees will enable him to quickly come up to speed on issues and concerns and be an effective leader for the city. He is exceptionally well qualified to fill the interim city manager position for the city of Arroyo Grande.”

McFall is no stranger to filling in after a controversial city manager departure.

He first came to Arroyo Grande after former City Manager Steve Adams left the city amid public outcry over a July 2014 incident when he was found alone with a subordinate late at night in City Hall.

McFall was then replaced by Dianne Thompson, who was fired after less than a year. Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill at the time chalked up the decision to “differences in style,” saying there was no specific incident that prompted the termination.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie