Arroyo Grande council eyeing local planner for city manager job

March 24, 2017

Jim Bergman

Following a nationwide search, the Arroyo Grande City Council has tapped Arroyo Grande resident Jim Bergman to be the city’s top executive. The council will consider formally hiring Bergman as its city manager at a meeting on Tuesday.

Bergman is currently San Luis Obispo County’s planning and building director. He previously worked worked for the city of Arroyo Grande, filling several planning roles, the last of which was planning manager. In between his time with the city of Arroyo Grande and SLO County, Bergman worked as community development, planning and building director for the town of Windsor in Sonoma County.

The Arroyo Grande Council is currently considering hiring Bergman at a base salary of $179,000, the same amount the city paid former executive Dianne Thompson.

Thompson took over as city manager in 2015 after an alleged city hall sex scandal brought an end to Steve Adams 14-year term in the position. Thompson lasted less than a year as Arroyo Grande city manager. Amid complaints from the public and staff, the council voted 5-0 to fire her last June.

Following the termination of both Adams and Thompson, the Arroyo Grande council hired Robert McFall to serve as interim city manager.

In recent months, Teri Black and Company, an executive search firm, conducted a nationwide hunt for a new Arroyo Grande city manager. The city received more than 50 applications for the position.

Council members interviewed the highest-rated applicants and ultimately determined Bergman was the most qualified candidate and the best fit for Arroyo Grande, according to a city press release.

Bergman, a Cal Poly grad, was named Kiwanian of the Year by the Arroyo Grande Kiwanis Club in 2007.

If the council hires him, Bergman is expected to begin work asthe Arroyo Grande city manager on May 1.

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I Think Jim is a Good Man, I worked with him when I was on ARROYO GRANDE,ARC. I think you can trust him. He has a history with the city , he knows the past I think he will steer clear of trouble, having seen and knows all the dirty laundry.

thanks Jim,

your elite design ,buddy

Ahhhhh! An “unapproved contract” is in the council packet!!!!

—- Call the Brown Act Police!

(Sarcasm intended).

He’s getting $179,000 base salary, plus $2,200 a year in a deferred compensation fund, a $150,000 life insurance policy, cell phone allowance, 33 days paid leave (plus holidays) and PERS of course, and (the zinger for me) $400 monthly car allowance? — He lives in AG. He can use a city vehicle, mileage per diem or Enterprise rental car at the city’s expense if he must travel and distance. (Wonder if he knows that’s taxable income?)

They have backflushed the swamp. What in the world justifies all of the percs like the deferred comp, life insurance, cell phone, huge starting holiday and the car allowance? Oh I forgot, he is a new employee with no city manager experience. I guess this would be considered the starter kit from the city’s welcome wagon.

It is the new “starter” kit I guess. Sorry Mayor Hill and Councilmember Brown, you have lost my vote if you vote for this guy at this salary package. Even though we know Harmon, Barneich, and Ray will vote to approve him, since they never meet taxpayer money that didn’t need to be spent.

You people paid Steve Adems to walk around with his pants off half the time ..I mean shhh..wake up jungle boy!

He may be a very nice guy and a good planer. Although there appears that he has no experience as a city manger which is an entirely different job description than a planner. Why these city’s pay these people these salaries and benefit packages when they are hired with no experience is beyond me. It’s just another case of fleecing we the tax payer. If he gets the high pay then everyone else will demand similar pay. Remember they have to pay them that much or they might leave. Wouldn’t t be a better idea to hire them a a much lower rate and place expectations in place that they have to meet in order to ascertain if they really are qualified for the job or not?

These “nationwide searches” are a joke when they pretty much know from the beginning who they are going to hire. Happens all of the time.

Does the Governor even make that amount? Insane.

Just one guy, right? How could it be so bad?

They ALL make that kind of money. Just reprehensible.

The right man for the right job at the right time in AG.

Arroyo Grande is fortunate to land Jim. He lives there, he loves the town, and he is the visionary the town needs and deserves. The question is now what will happen to the County Planning and Building Department. Good luck Jim!

Here is an idea for the AG city council, and clearly one they have not thought of, hire someone at a max plus benefits of $125,000. An outrageous salary doesn’t guarantee quality.

Wish Jim well whichever is the result.