On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council approved the hiring of City Manager Tim Ogden in a unanimous vote, but not before they defended the hiring after public concerns.
According to the terms, Ogden is set to be compensated at an annual salary of $246,900. The contract also states Ogden is to be compensated a minimum 5% salary compaction above the highest paid Department Director. The agreement would begin on February 3 until terminated.
As part of the agreement, Brentwood will pay up to $8,000 for employees relocation costs within the boundaries of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. The city will also provide a housing allowance in the amount of $3,000 per month as soon as employee resides within the boundaries of the fire district for a period not to exceed 6-months.
Ogden comes from the City of Manteca which made headlines in November as Ogden, was placed on administrative leave in September while a November Press Release stated Jeri Tejeda who was the finance director and Jodie Estarziau who served as police chief were also placed on leave. Public Works Director Mark Houghton was terminated.
A week after being placed on leave, Tejada submitted her resignation according to a Nov. 21 press release. Community Development Director Greg Showerman quit in October for a job with the City of Modesto.
Vice Mayor Joel Bryant explained that during the nationwide search, there were several outstanding candidates who were capable individuals and in the end they had one who had selected.
“In the end, the one that had the highest mountain to climb in this trip, this vetting process, what was clearly Mr. Ogden. “I will say that those investigations had been completed, have been concluded and he was absolutely and totally exonerated of any wrongdoing whatsoever by an outside party that was looking for any possible wrongdoing. He absolutely was exonerated. It was an amicable, a mutual agreement of separation. And there are many other things in that you can research that are going on in that community.”
Bryant called hiring a city manager is the most important and greatest decision a council would make.
“I have more than a fiduciary responsibility to our community to watch out for the spreadsheets and the pennies and dollars being spent and the investments. I also have a duty to make sure that our families are well protected and to hire the person that can be most capable of fulfilling our general plan and the desires of our community. We want high paying jobs. We’ve got to have somebody that’s got very specific skillsets,” explained Bryant. “In the interviewing process, Mr Ogden brought to the table a set of very specific skill sets and a proven track record of doing some things that having, having some understanding of what it takes to get a County and every city in the County to say, we agree with your city’s needs and we’re willing and the board of supervisors are willing to say we’re willing to give you more money and reduce our budget because we agree that’s a skill set that is very rare and very important. And our community’s going to need someone who’s able to work on an area wide ability to bring in businesses to keep our local businesses and to protect not only as financially, but to move us into the future so that we can bring in the jobs and have the relationships at a statewide level and federal level to be able to maintain at least as good now the lifestyle that we have.”
Councilwoman Karen Rarey agreed saying when they went out to hire a city manager, they were looking for someone with a strong financial background and a background in economic development.
“That’s what we found in Tim Ogden. He’s got a quiet demeanor, but he gets the job done and that’s what we needed in the next city manager. That s why we hired him,” said Rarey.
Councilman Johnny Rodriguez explained that he was also going to be invested in our schools and in the community because his kids are going to be attending the schools.
“He’s coming in with also those values and morals that we’re hoping that as a parent, but also a community leader that he’ll be able to bring to our city. And also with everything else the rest of the council has say. So those are important qualities when it comes to making sure everybody’s represented but also being able to speak on behalf of the whole community,” stated Rodriguez.
Mayor Bob Taylor addressed concerns by stating the council had the ability to hire him, but they also can fire him.
Councilwoman Claudette Staton explained that Mr. Ogden was not a quick decision maker, instead he thinks it through and thought he was a good choice.
The council then voted 5-0 to approve the hiring of Tim Ogden.
Here is the press release via the City of Brentwood.
CITY OF BRENTWOOD APPOINTS TIM OGDEN AS CITY MANAGER
BRENTWOOD, CA – The City of Brentwood City Council, after an exhaustive national recruitment conducted by Peckham & McKenney Inc., have selected Tim Ogden as their next city manager, and will consider approval of an employment agreement with him on the January 28 City Council agenda. During the transition since the retirement of city manager Gustavo “Gus” Vina in December 2019, the city has gratefully been managed by assistant city manager Terrence Grindall and appreciate his efforts.
Mr. Ogden comes to the City of Brentwood with nearly 9 years of city manager experience and over 18 years of local government expertise. Having recently served as city manager for the City of Manteca for 2.5 years, he was previously the City of Waterford’s city manager for over 6 years. His experience also includes leadership roles at the cities of Riverbank and Modesto, with expertise in economic development and finance. In addition to having earned an executive MBA, Mr. Ogden qualified for ICMA’s Credentialed Manager in 2017, served as President of the League of California Cities Central Valley City Manager Division, and chaired several regional committees and boards over the years.
Mayor Bob Taylor shared the excitement of the Council in welcoming Mr. Ogden to Brentwood. “We interviewed a lot of great city manager candidates and are impressed with Tim’s specific qualifications and leadership experience, and are ready to put him to work in our dynamic community.”
According to former City of Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum, under Mr. Ogden’s leadership, the Great Wolf Lodge development was negotiated and is under construction, a significantly improved property tax sharing agreement with the county was negotiated, an Economic Development Strategic Plan was adopted and is being implemented, major progress was made on key multi-million dollar capital improvement projects including two interchanges, nine employee bargaining agreements were reached, balanced budgets every year, and major efforts with the local non-profit & faith based organizations.
“It would be an understatement to say how excited I am to work in Brentwood with the City Council, and staff in a city that has been well-managed and ripe with opportunity,” stated Ogden. “I appreciate the trust and confidence in being selected for the position and eager to get to know the community that I love already.”
Mr. Ogden is blessed to have been married to Heather for over 21 years, and have four wonderful children between the ages of 20 – 12. In his spare time, he enjoys leadership responsibilities with his church, plays basketball, supports his children in their sporting activities, loves kayaking and hiking outdoors, and plans to relocate to Brentwood. His first day in Brentwood will be February 3, 2020.