Garden Grove Seeks Public Input for City Manager Search

Former Garden Grove City Manager Matthew J. Fertal at his last city council meeting in December.

Garden Grove officials are seeking public input in their ongoing search for a permanent city manager, after former city manager Matthew Fertal resigned in December, ending more than 25 years with the city.

Members of the public can give input on criteria for the selection of the new city manager at a public forum on Thursday, Mar. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the community center.

A survey is also available online:

Following Fertal’s abrupt resignation, former Costa Mesa city manager Allan Roeder was hired to manage the city as an interim and oversee the selection of both the top executive and a new fire chief.

Candidates for city manager have less than a month to get in their applications; the final deadline to submit an application is Mar. 23.

Frank Rojas of the firm CPS Consulting will conduct initial interviews and city council members will then select finalists based on his findings. Those finalists will then be subject to vetting and background checks before being interviewed by the council, according to the city’s recruitment brochure.

The brochure gives detailed expectations and criteria, emphasizing candidates with strong communication skills, diplomacy, technological savvy and ethics:

  • “A professional who can lead the organization with a commitment to uphold the values of Garden Grove, including valuing positive employee working relations and respecting the richness of cultures and diversity”
  • “Experience with identifying, engaging and collaborating with diverse stakeholders on economic development within the technology industry”
  • “A change agent, not someone who is interested in maintaining the status quo”
  • “A forward thinker with the willingness to make difficult decisions based on what is right and enforce not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law”