The Arroyo Grande City Council picks an interim city manager



After two months of searching, the Arroyo Grande City Council has finally tapped someone to guide the city through its leadership transition.

Robert McFall—a veteran city administrator who spent 22 years as the assistant city manager of Glendale—was appointed as the interim city manager of Arroyo Grande by a unanimous council vote on Jan. 13.

Administrative Services Director Debbie Malicoat estimated that McFall would be serving for about four months, during which his total cost to the city will be roughly $60,000.

As a point of comparison, the total cost of employing Steve Adams—the city’s longtime city manager—for that same period would have been about $70,600.

Adams had been on paid administrative leave ever since the council accepted his resignation on Nov. 19, but he’s no longer on the city payroll, as McFall’s first day on the job was Jan. 14.

“[McFall] is a great fit,” said Councilman Jim Guthrie. “I think we’re really lucky to have this work out for us.”

As it happens, McFall is actually fairly familiar with Arroyo Grande. Malicoat told New Times that McFall performed an assessment of the city’s public works department three years ago as an independent consultant, and also did an assessment of the administrative services department about 18 months ago.

“He’s familiar enough to come up to speed pretty quickly with things that are happening in the city,” 
she said.

During McFall’s tenure, Roseville-based firm Peckham & McKenny will continue coordinating the effort to find a permanent replacement for Adams. It’s unknown how long that process will take, but Malicoat estimated the city will no longer need McFall’s services by sometime in May.

“[McFall’s] résumé is incredible, and I’m thankful he’s here to help us through,” added Councilwoman Kristen Barneich. “I welcome him with open arms.”

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