Council decides to keep McClary as city manager

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
Steve McClary has been hired as Ojai's next city manager. The Ojai City Council was one vote short of unanimous Sept. 27 in approving him for that position. City Attorney Matthew Summers said McClary's contract was for $160,000 a year, for the next three years.
The vote followed an extensive period of public comment in which eight Ojai Valley residents expressed their concern over the Council's transparency in hiring McClary from within rather than selecting from a range of candidates established through open recruitment. Several complained he had been hired in executive session.
Ojai Valley resident Tom Francis summed up the sentiments of those opposing the Council's method. “In my mind this is simple,” he said. “There is a valid process concern being expressed here. You're making a major employment decision worth approximately $750,000 in a manner that is far outside the norm of best hiring practices, practices the city followed in hiring your former city manager, finance and public works directors.” Francis asked the Council to extend McClary's contract another for six months in which an open recruitment could be held.

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