Fountain Valley Council Vets Candidates for City Manager

While Fountain Valley won’t have a decision on its new city manager until late June at the earliest, what’s certain now is the new person won’t earn nearly as much as the city’s 28-year veteran manager Ray Kromer.

Kromer, whose salary and benefits totaled $383,916 in 2011, is among the highest-paid city managers in California, according to a database compiled by the Sacramento Bee.

David Morgan, project manager for the independent recruiter handling the hiring process, said the city anticipates employing the next manager at much less. The recruitment brochure for the position lists a salary of up to $18,000 monthly to $216,000 annually, excluding benefits.

“Ray was there for over 20 years. There’s a certain amount of compensation that comes with that tenure,” Morgan said.

Kromer, who retired in December 2012, has presided over $5.5 million in budget cuts that began in late 2007 and over the elimination of the city’s redevelopment agency in 2011. In April, Fountain Valley joined a number of other Orange County cities in suing the state Department of Finance over $14.6 million in property tax revenue.

Kromer continues to serve as city manager until his replacement is selected. While there’s no set deadline, the hope among city officials is to have his successor on board by the start of July.

Morgan said he contacted more that 200 California agencies and received about 70 applications, which was been narrowed down to 12 top-tier candidates.

On Wednesday, the City Council interviewed applicants who had made it past an additional selection round. Citing confidentiality, Morgan would not name the finalists or even how many there are.

The council is scheduled to meet June 4 in closed session to discuss findings from Wednesday’s interviews.

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