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Three finalists named for Kingman city manager spot

Two are from California, one is from Michigan; community forum planned

KINGMAN - The City Council winnowed its city manager candidate list to three finalists at a special meeting Tuesday.

Rick Howard, the general manager of Discovery Bay, Calif., John Michrina, city manager of Center Line, Mich., and Richard Warne, the former city manager of Twentynine Palms, Calif., were the council's top picks from an original list of 38 applicants.

The men will be in town July 31 to tour the community and city facilities, according to a statement from the city.

That evening, the men will participate in a community forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Council Chambers, 310 N. Fourth Street.

Council members will interview the finalists Aug. 1 and could make a decision by the time City Council holds its first regular meeting of the month on Aug. 2

"We are pleased to have three well-qualified candidates to interview for the position of city manager for Kingman," said Mayor John Salem in an email. "The council is anxious to meet them in person and introduce them to the entire community."

Attempts to contact the finalists on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Howard, 53, of Discovery Bay, located about 60 miles from San Francisco, has been at the helm since 2010.

Discovery Bay is a waterfront community in Contra Costa County, Calif.

The form of government is known as a Community Services District, which is used to give unincorporated areas the ability to provide certain services such as water and sewer without relying on county government.

The total land area of Discovery Bay is 7.4 miles and it is a new community, beginning as a planned subdivision in 1964 and getting its own zip code in 2007.

According to the 2010 Census, about 13,300 residents live in the community.

According to his biography, Howard has worked in the public sector for close to 30 years, having worked for San Diego County and the California cities of Mission Viejo and Poway.

Michrina, the city manager of Center Line, heads a city council-manager form of government similar to what exists in Kingman.

Center Line is a tiny, tightly packed town of less than two square miles that is surrounded entirely by the city of Warren, Mich.

The 2010 Census pegged the population at about 8,200.

Warne was the city manager of the Mojave Desert city of Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County. It is next to the Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center that goes by the same name.

Warne left his employment with the city under a cloud last April. According to conflicting Internet reports, he either resigned of his own volition or was forced out.

In either event, Warne was given a year's severance pay when he abruptly departed.

Attempts to contact Twentynine Palms officials were not successful.

Kurt Schauppner, the editor of The Desert Trail newspaper in Twentynine Palms, said Warne got sideways with city council members over a controversial redevelopment project, which forced his ouster.

"Overall he was a good city manager," said Schauppner. "Especially his fiscal policies. He always overestimated expenses and underestimated revenues and that helped keep the city in good financial shape."

Twentynine Palms also has a city council-manager form of government. According to the 2010 Census, about 25,000 residents live in the city of about 59 square miles.

The prevailing candidate will take over for Jack Kramer, who retired July 1 after nearly 34 years with the city, the last seven as city manager. Fire Chief Chuck Osterman is the acting city manager until Kramer's replacement is hired.

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