Victoria seeking assistant city manager


Dec. 16, 2010 at 6:16 a.m.

Charmelle Garrett

Charmelle Garrett

Victoria's deputy city manager may be getting help running the city on a day-to-day basis.

The city council has authorized Deputy City Manager Charmelle Garrett to hire an assistant city manager as soon as she can find a qualified person.

"She has just got no time to do anything right now," said O.C. Garza, the city's public information officer. "It's just a little bit overwhelming."

Garrett was unavailable for comment because of her schedule, but Garza said he has been designated to field questions for her.

In a statement relayed by Garza for Garrett, she stated that each department head has stepped up to help with the workload.

"The city manager's office is a two-person job, but I set priorities and count on support from our outstanding leadership team," she said. "The work does not slow down, and, as a team, we are meeting the challenge."

City Manager Charles Windwehen doesn't retire until the end of February, but he is taking vacation he has built up until that time.

Garrett doesn't take over as city manager until March 1, but the council has granted her the authority to act in that capacity. Until then, her title remains deputy city manager.

Cheryl Marthiljohni, the city's human resources director, said Garrett's compensation package has not changed.

Garrett makes $122,642 a year and receives $9,000 a year in deferred compensation. Her pay will jump to $163,000 a year with $15,000 in deferred compensation on March 1.

The starting salary for the assistant city manager's position is $130,000.

Council Member David Hagan said he has no problem with Garrett hiring an assistant because, for all effective purposes, Windwehen is gone.

"She could really use the assistance," he said. "Rather than wait for her to officially take the helm, I think it's wise and prudent to begin the search for who will take her place."

That way she may not have to rush through the hiring process, giving her time to select the best candidate, he said.

While Garrett's title is deputy city manager, Marthiljohni said the person she hires will have the title of assistant city manager.

"The responsibilities, tasks and those types of things stay the same," Marthiljohni said. The title change better reflects the role her replacement will play, she said.



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