Monday, 15 July 2024

Clearlake plans to appoint Neiman permanently


Clearlake Mayor Judy Thein said Saturday that the City Council believes Dale Neiman, former city manager for Fortuna, will be “the 'fit' that Clearlake has long been looking for,” and that they hope to have him on board as city administrator permanently within 60 days.

“He spoke with honesty and sincerity,” Thein said. “His portrayal of 'connecting' with our community stood out. His accomplishments portrayed a sense of pride that he possesses in his work.”

Thein also called Neiman's experience “impressive,” and noted his abilities in redevelopment.

Experience in redevelopment, particularly, Thein said, was a very important quality for the council.

Regarding the search for a permanent city administrator, Thein used a baseball metaphor. “In my personal opinion, we have been up to bat several times. I think we finally hit that ball!”

Neiman, in an interview late last week, said there are two reasons for his being named interim city administrator right now. The first, he said, is to make sure there's a good fit between the council and him; the second is to finish negotiating his salary.

Neiman said he worked for the City of Fortuna for 17 years before leaving in 2002. Since that time he's been semi-retired, but also has done some consulting work on redevelopment for Fort Bragg. In addition, he said he has worked on the 20-acre property near Miranda that he and his wife own.

His wife is now preparing to retire, he said. “We decided that it was time for her to retire and for me to go back to work.”

As he approaches this new position, Neiman said he first needs to sit down and talk further with the council about its expectations.

“I look at my role as helping the council accomplish what they want to for the community,” he said.

Neiman said he also needs to become more knowledgeable about the city. He met last Tuesday with Supervisor Jeff Smith as part of that effort. “We mostly talked about historically what's gone on,” Neiman said.

“I don't have any preconceived ideas,” he added. “The most important thing is to get a good understanding of the community.”

In addition to Neiman's hire, the council last week approved a proposed reorganization for the city's Community Development Department, Thein said.

“It will be back to us for a final approval after the mid year budget review,” said Thein. “Job descriptions and revised salaries will also have to be developed and brought back to the council prior to the final approval of the reorganization.”

Thein said over the past year, CDD has experienced “a dramatic increase in activity,” and during that time has operated mostly with either an interim or no department head at all.

She said that it's essential that the department's functions have corresponding responsibilities. “This will ensure order to facilitate the completion of the projects and activities,” she said.

The city's outgoing interim city administrator, Robert Van Nort, has said that CDD's reorganization is designed “to provide for equality of opportunity and consistency of outcome,” said Thein.

“It will create a culture that supports creativity and free thinking along with supporting the direction of the city,” she said.

In addition to that proposed restructuring, Thein said the council is still looking for a permanent Community Development director.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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