It’s official, Eureka. Miles Slattery is now your city manager.
During last night’s meeting the Eureka City Council unanimously voted to execute an employment agreement with Slattery — who has served as Eureka’s interim city manager for over five months — and he was sworn into the permanent position by Mayor Susan Seaman.
The council’s decision followed a surprisingly lengthy discussion on the matter, after the resolution authorizing Slattery’s employment agreement was pulled from the consent calendar — meaning it was originally slated to be passed in one motion without discussion.
Several of the council members said that they had heard concerns from their constituents about the plan to offer Slattery the position and that some people felt there was not a lot of transparency from the city or effort to involve the public. “I think there was a bit of frustration that during COVID we would be [making] a lot of changes,” Councilmember Heidi Messner said.
There were also concerns about the timing. Initially the council was going to start the process in February, when the new council members would be able to weigh in on the decision. This was the last meeting for councilmembers Messner and Austin Allison and the newly elected councilmembers Kati Moulton and Scott Bauer will be sworn in on Dec. 15.
The suggestion to offer Slattery the full-time position was made by the outgoing councilmember Allison, who brought up the subject at the end of the council’s Nov. 3 meeting. The council then discussed the matter further in a closed session — as is usual for personnel matters — on Nov. 17.
Allison explained during last night’s meeting that he made the suggestion because he believes Slattery is the best person for the job, adding that he believes the council should hire someone from within the city, rather than spend more time and money on another nation-wide search. (The city conducted an extensive search and interview process to find previous city manager Dean Lotter, who left the job after barely four months.)
“That’s why I want to do this one last thing, because I think it would be a good thing for the city,” Allison said.
The other council members agreed that Slattery has proven himself to be the right pick for the position. He has, after all, already been doing the job for months amid the pandemic. Slattery has worked for the city of Eureka for years as Parks and Recreation director and, most recently, Community Services director. Several council members also pointed out that Slattery did already go through a rigorous public interview process, as he was one of the top contenders for the position before Lotter was selected.
Slattery’s employment contract includes an annual salary of $162,000 and there is no end date for the position.
During the meeting Slattery expressed his thanks for the job and encouraged any community members with questions or concerns to reach him on his cell at 707-599-2053.
“If there’s any interest in talking to me about my vision for Eureka or how I plan to lead the city of Eureka going forward, I’m more than willing to have those conversations,” Slattery said.
In other business, the council voted down a settlement agreement proposal pertaining to the syringe exchange program operated by the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR). The vote was 2-3, with councilmembers Leslie Castellano and Natalie Arroyo voting in favor of the proposal and councilmembers Austin Allison, Heidi Messner and Kim Bergel dissenting.
Council then voted unanimously to hold a continued meeting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. to allow for a reconsideration of the vote.
The Outpost will have more on this later.
- Four-Month Wonder Dean Lotter to Officially Resign at Special Eureka City Council Meeting Tomorrow
- Dean Lotter Receives $129K Severance Package as Part of Resignation Agreement With the City of Eureka
- Slattery Named Interim Eureka City Manager; Community Services Director Will Serve as City’s Top Staffer Until February 2021
- Eureka Council Set to Give Interim City Manager Miles Slattery the Full-Fledged Gig