Kerridge ready to take the helm as Roseville's new city manager

Roseville city council voted 4 to 1 Thursday to appoint Ray Kerridge
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
-A +A
Roseville’s new City Manager Ray Kerridge plans to “do nothing” during his first couple months in office. By “nothing,” Kerridge actually means he’s going to focus on his top priority: building relationships. “I’m going to sit down and talk to everybody — staff, council, neighbors, business people,” Kerridge said. “I need to establish relationships.” As the city’s top executive, Kerridge will oversee the administration of the city’s government, which includes departmental operations, the budget and future development. He’ll also be in charge of implementing policies established by the mayor and city council. “I’m very excited to be coming to Roseville,” Kerridge said. “You have a city that is full-service and on the move. We have a great downtown, we have a great auto mall, great schools. The quality of life is very attractive to me. I want to maintain and enhance the good things we have.” Roseville City Council voted 4 to 1 to appoint Kerridge to the position in a closed session meeting Thursday. Mayor Pro Tempore Pauline Roccucci cast the dissenting vote. Roseville Police Officers Association President Philip Mancini met with Kerridge for more than an hour and said he’s pleased with the council’s decision. “I’m excited about the city finally getting the opportunity to move forward,” Mancini said. “We wanted someone open, inclusive, someone interested in collaborating with the RPOA and creating an environment where personal relationships matter.” Kerridge worked for 25 years in Portland with the Bureau of Development Services. In 2004, he was hired as assistant manager of Sacramento and appointed city manager two years later. He resigned in March, following a scandal in the city’s Community Development Department last fall when the son of Sacramento councilman Robbie Waters approved permits to build homes in the north Natomas flood zone despite a construction moratorium. Roccucci voted against Kerridge’s hire because of concerns with the scandal in Sacramento. “We had a lot of good candidates, including (Kerridge),” Roccucci said Monday. “But a lot of things happened in Sacramento we don’t know about. I just wanted to make sure with whoever we have in place that we don’t have repercussions.” Some Roseville residents share this concern, including Friends of Roseville Chairman Phil Ozenick. “When we think of all the people they had — all very well qualified — they picked someone in the center of controversy,” Ozenick said. “We believe they picked the person who is for super development.” Mayor Gina Garbolino said more than three dozen of Kerridge’s former colleagues were contacted, which eased the council’s worries about his past. “It’s our job to do due diligence and we did,” Garbolino said. “We’re very comfortable negating the importance of that.” The hunt for Roseville’s top bureaucrat followed the dismissal of former City Manager Craig Robinson in November 2009, who had served in the position for six years. The city council placed Robinson on paid administrative leave last October before voting 4 to 1 for his dismissal in November. Mike Shellito has served as city manager since Robinson’s departure. The hire of Kerridge concludes a six-month nationwide search that attracted 63 applicants. The city approved a contract to pay local recruitment firm Bob Murray and Associates no more than $16,500 plus $6,500 for expenses to find potential candidates. The city undertook an extensive community and employee outreach to determine qualities to look for in candidates, Garbolino said. More than 200 city employees responded to a survey distributed through the city’s intranet system. The council began interviewing the top 13 candidates for Roseville’s top administrator in March, searching for someone with vision, leadership and good customer service skills. “Mr. Kerridge’s characteristics fit perfectly into what we wanted for a new city manager,” Garbolino said Thursday. The positive working relationship between Roseville’s city staff and council attracted Kerridge to the job, he said. “It’s all about the team and relationships with the manager’s office and council — it’s a fundamental relationship,” Kerridge said. “We get more accomplished when we work together. That is really the only way to make progress.” Kerridge wants to focus on making downtown Roseville more of a destination for business and tourism, and improving aging commercial centers. “Give him a chance, watch what happens for a while and hope he works out,” said Jack Wallace, a longtime Roseville resident and former city council candidate. Kerridge made $215,000 annually as Sacramento city’s manager. Robinson earned a salary of $273,000 and Shellito earned $250,000. The terms of Kerridge’s contract, including compensation and start date, are under negotiation. “I’m absolutely thrilled and excited about this opportunity,” Kerridge said. “It’s a great honor. I can’t wait to get started.” Sena Christian can be reached at ---------- Roseville City Council will determine Ray Kerridge’s start date and salary at the next city council meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, in Civic Center Council Chambers, 311 Vernon St.