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7/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Three finalists named for Kingman city manager spot
Two are from California, one is from Michigan; community forum planned

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


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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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Looking For Business, Leadership

What specific ways would he reorganize or structure the management of city hall for maximum efficiency with minimum cost. Also which candidate speaks most passionately about Kingman - remember this is the city manager - one of the first people business owners speak with when considering Kingman.

Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Article comment by: Warne - Really?

Warne - Really? Look up his history. He appears to be a bully that won't listen to anyone, citizens or council. He sounds just like another Ron Walker. The other two seem more reasonable, but this guy should never have made the cut.

Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Article comment by: Be Careful Kingman Residents

Be Careful Kingman Residents.

The FORMER City Manager of Twenty Nine Palms and the FORMER City Manager of Livingston, left both posts under a cloud. He now pulls a full California pension, and is coming to Arizona to continue to milk the system.

Do your research and see all of the issues. Don't make the same mistake these other communities made. Do not be swayed by the slick talk. Also, look at his personal background, is this what you want for YOUR community?

The real question is, How did he even make the SHORTLIST ??

http://www.examiner.com/article/richard-warne-finds-greener-pastures

http://www.hidesertstar.com/the_desert_trail/news/article_980ddbde-b821-11e2-9367-0019bb2963f4.html



Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Without knowing much about any of the candidates...Mr Warne seems like the kind of person I'd choose. Experience in a similar town with similar issues and apparently is his own man, willing to buck the prevailing wind. Though having the base nearby and that large influx of money must have made the money side of things a little easier.

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

I surely hope that this council really checks these individuals backgrounds before they decide on a new city manager. Our city needs no more problems with what we have had in the past. I encourage the public to come and attend the forum.

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

Oooo, ooo - let me guess... All white males?

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

I still do not understand why this whole process was not done a month ago. The new manager could have overlapped Jack's last month and been ready to go July 1. There was plenty of time to get this all set up. Hopefully when the council sorts out how to replace a resigning mayor it will lay out out to replace a city manager.



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