Job Search for City Manager, Or Just Hire That Guy We Already Know?

At the end of the last City Council meeting on April 5 Councilman Don Bankhead, supported by fellow Councilman Pat McKinely, requested that the agenda of the next council meeting on April 19 include an item to remove the term “acting”  from the title of the job currently held by Joe Felz.  Joe Felz was appointed Acting City Manager last December following the retirement of Chris Meyer.

Joe Felz certainly has a great deal of experience working for Fullerton.  According to the city’s December 2010 press release he began working for Fullerton while still in college.  He served as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in 2007 following a two year stint as assistant to Meyer when he was City Manager.

Is Joe Felz the right person to hire as City Manager, a position that currently pays $166,250.00 per year, plus benefits?  Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley seem to think so.  McKinley worked for the city for over 15 years himself as Chief of Police, and Don Bankhead has been on the city council for over 22 years and also worked for Fullerton’s Police Dept. for many, many years before that.

Is Felz a good candidate for the job?  Maybe, but is he the best person we can get for the money?  We may never know, because two city insiders on the council want to hire another one for one of the highest paid and certainly the most powerful position in the city government.  Shouldn’t the city conduct a search to find the best candidates for such an important job?  They did for the Chief of Police position after McKinley retired from FPD.

Bankhead seems to be in a big hurry to hire Felz permanently because he is “a little tired of using the term acting city manager.”  Is it possible that Bankhead is just tired in general and doesn’t want to bother with a job search?  Don’t we deserve to know that our City Manager is the best person for the job, and not just the one that has been around for the longest amount of time and knows the most people?

20 Replies to “Job Search for City Manager, Or Just Hire That Guy We Already Know?”

  1. Felz may prove to do a great job. Or maybe not. Reading about PUBLIC EMPLOYEE CEO’s pay around California, we may be getting our money’s worth!

  2. Chris Meyer, the previous city manager, got the job the same way. Just passing the torch. It’s easier without competition.

  3. I believe Joe will do a good job, he lives in Fullerton and seems to be a good listener. Not sure if he’s the best bang for the buck, but time will tell.

  4. Joe Felz is the right guy at the right time for Fullerton. Not only is he the best guy for the job but he is no doubt the lowest paid city manager in Orange County.

    The city of Fullerton is dealing with the recent retirement of the city clerk, city manager, maintenance services director, and the not so distant retirements of building services and redevelopment directors (yes, i understand you are queing the violins now). We need someone who has some institutional memory in this town, is respected by all sides and who has the ability to offer some time to the job.

    I had the privilege of working with Joe at the city for 8 years and I feel fortunate and proud he is our city manager. He is a humble, competent and intelligent man that will work his a%* off for this city. I will go to bat for this man any day. Give him an open mind and some support.

    1. “Not only is he the best guy for the job but he is no doubt the lowest paid city manager in Orange County.”

      Not for long!

      But wait! F. Paul Dudley is waiting in the wings if you really want some institutional memory. Hell, we can raise revenue by re-instituting Dudley’s Sidewalks for Sale Cheap program.

      1. How about we combine the jobs of City Manager and Redevelopment Director? Money is tight in Fullerton.

    2. Aren’t you the same Shawn Nelson that took an over-inflated pension for himself only to back-peddle like a cartoon character when your hand got caught in the cookie jar?

    3. Some of those institutional memories may be bad ones, Mr. Nelson. Are we really best served by not having a choice?

  5. well. we know abour rizzo, bell’s city manager. when rizzo get out of jail , fullerton may hire him using the same critieria of we know him.

    1. Nelson’s full of it. If that really is nelson.

      It’s pretty obvious that the Armstrong-Myers model is to be the new format. Myers started out in the mail room and never should have left. But he married Catlin’s duaghter and mover from Assistant to the City Manager to Assistant City Manager. Heir apparent.

      Now Myers-Felz. Really? What’s going on here is a controlled dynastic succession – like Syria or North Korea. Joe may be a nice guy but what we need is an ass-kicker, no-nonsense guy from the outside.

      Time for a clean sweep.

  6. I have known and worked with Joe Felz for many years. I am supremely confident that he will do an excellent job for the citizens of Fullerton.

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