The Town Council of Woodside on March 3 voted to hire a recruiter to find a new town manager, and the firm that the council hired -- Sacramento-based Peckham & McKenney Executive Search and Consulting -- offered a guarantee: if the new manager leaves within two years, the company will find a replacement at no cost other than expenses.
The council's decision was unanimous, with Councilwoman Sue Boynton absent.
To be fair, such guarantees came from most of the 10 recruiting firms that responded to Woodside's request for proposals.
The council was acting in response to Town Manager Susan George's Jan. 25 announcement that she'll be retiring in January 2012 after 18 years heading the Town Hall staff.
The search for Ms. George's replacement will cost the town $16,000, plus expenses not to exceed $6,500, according to Peckham's proposal, which is posted on the town's website under the link Current Issues & Events.
Peckham & McKenney has found managers or assistant managers for several Bay Area cities, including Belmont, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and Redwood City. In its proposal, the recruiter said it specializes in finding "hidden" candidates, including those who may not be considering a new position.