Almanac

News - October 27, 2010

Atherton names a 'transitional' interim city manager

by Renee Batti

Nadine Levin, who retired in June as Mountain View's longtime assistant city manager, took on the post of transitional interim town manager of Atherton at noon Friday, Oct. 22 — Jerry Gruber's last day on the job as city manager.

Ms. Levin was appointed Oct. 20 on a 4-0 vote by the City Council, with Councilman Charles Marsala absent, She will oversee operations in Town Hall until the council appoints a longer-term interim town manager early next month.

Ms. Levin's contract is effective for 65 days, unless extended by the council or terminated earlier, with three working days' notice. She will be paid $3,700 per week for a 32-hour week.

The council had already been seeking applications for a longer-term interim manager, and had counted on Assistant City Manager Eileen Wilkerson's taking the reins from Mr. Gruber until the interim manager was appointed. But on Oct. 15, Ms. Wilkerson unexpectedly announced her retirement, effective Oct. 21, giving the town only one week's notice.

Background

Ms. Levin worked as second in command in Mountain View City Hall for just over 20 years, according to an article in the Mountain View Voice. Hired in December 1989, she came on board during unsteady times: The city manager resigned in January 1990 after serving only seven months in his position. Ms. Levin was then appointed interim city manager after only one month on the job, serving in that position for seven months.

Ms. Levin is an adjunct member in the master's of public administration program at the University of San Francisco, according to information released by the town. She earned a master's degree in public administration from Wayne State University, and a certificate in urban executive management from the Sloan School at MIT.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Kathy McKeithen said: "We feel very fortunate to have such a highly qualified person available to step into this position on short notice. Nadine has a strong background in local government, handling the full range of issues, from human resources to capital improvement projects. She's a hands-on administrator who gets stellar reviews for the work she does with residents, elected officials, and employees."

Search continues

The council hopes to have a longer-term interim city manager in place by Nov. 8 or soon after. That person will oversee Town Hall until a recruitment process finds a permanent manager. The town has set a 5 p.m. Oct. 29 deadline for applications for the interim manager position.

The council decided in late September to appoint an interim manager so that the town could take its time in finding a permanent manager in a process that will include appointing a citizens committee to help interview the council-chosen finalists among candidates.

With the departure of Mr. Gruber and Ms. Wilkerson last week, three of Atherton's top management positions are vacant. Former building official Mike Wasmann left his position as head of the troubled building department in August, and the council is seeking applications for a replacement.

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