The Coast News Group

Council mum on city manager finalists

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas City Council emerged from its closed session meeting regarding the narrowing of its field of finalists for the city manager position with not much to report.

Monday’s closed session gave the council a chance to review the finalists selected by the consultant hired to conduct the recruitment for the position, which is currently held by Larry Watt, until the council can name a permanent replacement to former City Manager Gus Vina, who resigned in January.

The recruitment firm Avery Associates whittled the field of 61 applicants down to seven finalists for the council’s consideration. The council did not say if they chose to accept the finalists, narrow the field further, or look at other names from the applicant pool.

The finalists will be interviewed over the next few weeks, with the hope that the council will choose a new city manger before the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, Mayor Kristin Gaspar said.

The council will determine after the interviews whether to hire someone from the field or continue the interview process.

Vina stepped down to take the city manager position in the Northern California city of Brentwood.

The council then selected Watt, the city’s former public works director and an Olivenhain Water District board member, to replace him on an interim basis.

State law only allows retirees from the state’s public retirement system to work for six months, so Watt’s service must end by July 1.