Council appoints new city manager

ENCINITAS — Out of a pool of approximately 80 applicants, Gus Vina was chosen as the new city manager on May 2. After five months of recruiting efforts, the City Council selected the former Sacramento interim city manager. His anticipated start date is July 1.
Vina, 50, will replace a controversial figure as the top administrator at the city. City Council voted June 23, 2010, to offer departing City Manager Phil Cotton a temporary contract as interim city manager. Almost one year ago, in late May, Cotton, 61, submitted his resignation, saying he was ready to retire after 12 years with the city.
Cotton took several weeks off after his scheduled retirement date but returned as interim manager in early August to resume his duties as outlined in a new contract.
The council offered Cotton a three-month, temporary contract with three, one-month extensions. All three contract extensions were activated and because the council took longer than expected to announce a new permanent city manager, having to turn to a national search firm to assist in the endeavor, Cotton received another extension.
According to the terms of Cotton’s contract, he receives $15,000 per month. The temporary interim manager’s contract does not include any pension payments, health care insurance or vacation accrual, or other items that Cotton had under his previous contract as city manager.
Vina recently resigned as interim city manager for the city of Sacramento in March after receiving a no-confidence vote from the council. He also served as assistant city manager, finance director and budget manager for the city of Sacramento over a 12-year period.
“We are pleased and very fortunate to have Gus join the city of Encinitas and look forward to his leadership,” Mayor Jim Bond said. Vina will be the seventh city manager in the 25 years since Encinitas incorporated. He is still in negotiations with the city on the terms of his contract.
As the city manager, Vina will provide top administrative leadership to Encinitas’ municipal government overseeing eight city departments, including the San Dieguito Water District, 237 employees and a projected fiscal year 2011-2012 operational budget of $88.6 million.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Vina,” Councilwoman Teresa Barth said after the appointment. “I particularly like his openness and his desire to keep the council, staff and community informed and engaged in a positive manner.”
Vina’s 30 years of public sector service was a plus in the competitive application process according to council members. Prior to the city of Sacramento, he served the city of Stockton for 10 years in various positions and the state of California for nine years.
Vina holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento with a concentration in finance.
“I am ecstatic and honored to be joining the city of Encinitas team as well as the community,” Vina said. “I am excited about this great opportunity and know that it will be both personally and professionally gratifying. I want to thank the mayor and city council for this great opportunity and look forward to working with the council, staff and the community.

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