Garden Grove City Council members are expected to appoint former Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder as interim city manager at a last-minute council meeting next Tuesday, as they rush to find a top executive to lead the city when current City Manager Matthew Fertal retires Dec. 31.
Fertal abruptly announced his resignation in November, just a day after former Mayor Bruce Broadwater called off a recount over 15 votes and conceded the race to Mayor Bao Nguyen.
Roeder worked for the city of Costa Mesa from 1975 until the time of his retirement in 2011. As city manager, he oversaw a $130 million budget and more than 660 employees, according to a city statement released late Friday.
Roeder, who grew up in Garden Grove and attended Ranchos Alamitos High School, will start on Jan. 1 and will serve until the city completes its national search for a permanent city manager.
Roeder’s will be paid $150.00 an hour, not to exceed $115,200 for 960 hours of work, over the six-month term of his contract, according to a city staff report. He is not eligible for any other compensation or benefits.
Nguyen said Roeder was selected for his experience and connections to the city.
Asked why the city did not select a current employee to fill the interim position, Nguyen said, “We want our nationwide recruitment process to be fair for all qualified applicants.”
Just a week after the new council was sworn in, the city council has held marathon closed session meetings to appoint an interim city manager before Fertal’s departure.
The city received 13 applications for the interim position, according to the City Clerk’s office. Roeder will not be eligible to apply for the permanent job.
The city is also in the middle of a search for a permanent fire chief to replace former chief David Barlag.