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City manager search on hold

ENCINITAS — City Council officially accepted City Manager Phil Cotton’s resignation. On May 24, Cotton tendered his resignation effective July 6.
Cotton’s contract called for a 90-day written notice. Because that provision was not met, the contract requires City Council to vote on whether to accept the resignation.
Deputy Mayor Maggie Houlihan voted against the acceptance of the resignation, asking Cotton to stay longer.
Mayor Dan Dalager motioned to create a sub-committee composed of Houlihan and Councilman Jerome Stocks to seek a qualified interim appointment. He further motioned to have an open-session discussion regarding the process for selecting a city manager.
The council agreed to have public input on the qualifications needed by the new city manager. “I think we’re doing the right thing,” Houlihan said. “I think we’re doing the public’s business.”
Although Dalager’s motion did not specify a timeline, the council seemed to agree that a permanent city manager should be hired after the election. “I think that was very respectful of you to say the next council should choose the city manager,” Stocks told Dalager, who is up for re-election in November.
C.J. Minster, an Encinitas resident, commended Dalager for calling for a national search to replace the outgoing city manager.
Bernard Minster also addressed the council calling for a transparent hiring process. The Encinitas resident said they should look for a city manager who has an expertise in technology, environmental issues and with skills in open communication.
Sheila Cameron, a former mayor and councilwoman, said the recruitment process should begin immediately. “I do want to see someone come in who is environmentally oriented,” she said. “I think you need to get someone interim, but it shouldn’t be a promotion from within.”