Dunsmuir hires new city administrator

Ami Ridling
The Dunsmuir City Council recently approved an employment contract with Jim Lindley of San Bernardino County. He is scheduled to begin work in Dunsmuir June 1, 2010.

Dunsmuir’s new city manager is a former mayor, city council member and  chairman of water district board of directors responsible for water and sewer operations for more than 88,000 people.

The Dunsmuir City Council approved an employment contract with Jim Lindley of San Bernardino County during its meeting Thursday. He is scheduled to begin work in Dunsmuir June 1.

While this will be the first time Lindley has worked as a city administrator, he has held a steady stream of public-sector supervisory positions for the past 12 years and private-sector managerial positions for more than 25 years.

Lindley’s employment agreement is for an initial three-year term at a $90,000 annual salary. He will also receive a $4,000 reimbursement for moving expenses. After the three-year term, his contract will be amended to reflect salary adjustments.

“The position of city administrator is not a policy-making position,” Lindley said while introducing himself during the May 20 council meeting. “I will present options to the council for them to make decisions.”

He said he looks forward to joining and serving the community as the new city administrator while enjoying the beauty that the Dunsmuir area has to offer.

“I hope that this administrator will give us visions and abilities that we cannot even imagine,” planning commission member Richard DuPertuis said before the council.

Nick Mitchell, who was among those chosen to participate in the community panel interviews during the hiring process, praised the council for selecting Lindley. “I look forward to working with him in the future,” he stated.

L.B. Hayhurst & Associates, a professional search firm hired by the city to recruit qualified applicants, received 63 applications for the position of managing city affairs.

Nine candidates were interviewed by the council last month. The three finalists were interviewed by community panels. Ultimately, the council voted to offer the position to Lindley during a closed session meeting on May 1.

Acting city administrator Alan Harvey was scheduled to resign from his position on May 18. However, he agreed with the council to enter into a week-to-week part-time employment contract with the city until Lindley takes over the reins.

Managing experience

Lindley holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in public administration.

From 1998 to 2006, he served as Mayor of the city of Hesperia for three years, Mayor Pro-Tem for three years, and an elected city councilman for two years. During this period he supervised 323 city employees.

While serving on the city government, he was chairman of the Hesperia Water District Board of Directors. He also chaired the fire department district board, the redevelopment agency board, and the Hesperia Financing Authority. He supervised all debt management, budgeting, and financial reporting activities of each city jurisdiction).

He went on to accept the position of Director of Legislative Affairs/Intergovernmental Relations during which he served directly under the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

Lindley administered all state and federal legislative programs, managed contracts with federal and state advocacy firms, and directly engaged with legislators on behalf of the county.

More recently, Lindley served as San Bernardino County’s logistics officer and supervised all purchasing for 44 county departments, followed by a position as the county’s public health director where he was responsible for managing a $109 million departmental budget.

Goals in Dunsmuir

Lindley said that he looks forward to engaging in lobbying efforts to bring state and federal dollars to Dunsmuir.

“I intend to apply myself,” he added, noting that in his former positions, securing grant funding and regularly communicating with legislators was a crucial part of his responsibilities.

“I will develop a legislative platform for the council to consider for adoption,” he said. “It is important to access everything available on any other level of government – otherwise you are being remiss.”

Regarding his methods of communicating with the public, “My approach is that I prefer clarity to agreement,” he said. “Not everybody will agree on anything.” However, providing clear and accurate information to the public is effective when it comes to controversial decisions, he explained.

During his off hours, Lindley said he will be taking full advantage of the fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping opportunities in the area.

He noted that he has fond memories of summer vacations in Dunsmuir with his father when he was a child.

 “I have wanted to move to Northern California for a number of years now, and I have also wanted to serve as a city administrator,” he said. “When the opportunity presented itself to relocate for this job, I wanted to grab it.”