Compton rehires firm in search for new city manager

In its search to find a permanent city manager, the Compton City Council voted 5-0 to hire the company that selected the person they recently fired from the position.

The council, during its regular meeting on Sept. 12, gave the okay for Ralph Andersen & Associates to do its bidding to help recruit the right individual for the city manager’s job.

Thomas Thomas was terminated from his position as city manager in Compton not long after the council voted in favor of approving the city budget that he outlined.  The city approved its fiscal 2023-2024 budget on June 28. Thomas was let go from his city manager’s role on July 11.

When he first took the job as the city manager, Thomas identified three of his top priorities.

“The top three would definitely be the infrastructure issue,” said Thomas in an interview with the Compton Bulletin. “The second would be development and redevelopment, and the third is an outlier to all the other issues and trying to find a way to better deal with the public safety issues and how we’re going to address those issues.”

Thomas also looked at fixing those wicked potholes running throughout Compton as an issue of urgent matter as well.

“I’m going to start looking at our street assessment,” Thomas said previously. “In the past, in places I’ve been when I look at a street assessment, I don’t politicize it. I focus on the streets that are the worst and then fair and then good. I focus on the worst streets first. I focus my dollars on that first. Infrastructure-wise, street repairs will definitely be a top priority for me.”

After Thomas’ short tenure with the city, filling potholes and street repairs remain an issue for Compton. So do other issues like replacing the eyesore of abandoned buildings and property not used.

A new city manager could help in addressing those woes. Right now, the city has Jerry Groomes as the interim city manager.

Groomes is basically serving as a stopgap band-aid for the city as it moves away from Thomas to a new permanent choice. The council voted to pay Ralph Andersen & Associates $35,000 to find the right person for the city manager’s position.

The idea of having the same company that brought them Thomas was met with some trepidation by councilmembers Andre Spicer (District 2) and Lillie Darden (District 4). Despite the momentary hiccup, the council voted unanimously to use the company in its nationwide recruitment efforts.

According to the proposal submitted, Ralph Andersen & Associates are in the top tier of companies that successfully places individuals in city manager positions.

In its proposal, Ralph Andersen & Associates boasts of placing more successful recruits in city managerial positions than any other company in California since 1972.

Some of the local municipalities where Ralph Andersen & Associates have successfully placed a city manager include Artesia (2022), El Segundo (2022), Huntington Beach (2022), Orange (2022), Los Altos (2021), Riverside (2022), Santa Monica (2021), and Palos Verdes Estates (2023).

The $35,000 paid to Ralph Andersen & Associates for its recruitment of candidates does not include travel. That bill is on the city. The entire recruitment process is expected to last from 90 to 120 days, according to the proposal set forth by Ralph Andersen & associates.

Dennis J. Freeman Written by:

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