10:00 PM PST on Saturday, January 22, 2011

By SANDRA STOKLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Six months into his tenure as chief administrator of the newly minted city of Eastvale, interim City Manager Robert Van Nort said he will soon give council members a status report to help them decide on a timetable for hiring his permanent replacement.

“It will be a report on the things I’m working on. I’ll ask them if they want me to complete those things or start the recruitment now,” Van Nort said. “It will be up to them.”

He said he would provide the report in the next month or so.

Council members last week were divided on whether the search should start sooner rather than later.

Residents of this community in northwest Riverside County voted in June to become the county’s 27th city. The incorporation date was Oct. 1.

Van Nort, who had served as first city manager for Big Bear Lake, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar, was hired as interim city manager by the Eastvale City Council in July.

Over the past six months, Van Nort has handled all aspects of getting the new city up and running: from renting City Hall space and finding a temporary council chambers to hiring a city clerk and negotiating the city’s first contract with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Councilman Ike Bootsma said he favored extending Van Nort’s contract for six months.

“I’d like us to take our time and not make any rush decisions,” Bootsma said. “Bob’s doing a fabulous job. So there’s no rush.”

Bootsma said he favored launching a search around June of this year, with plans to have a permanent city manager on board at the beginning of 2012.

Councilman Jeff DeGrandpre agreed that June would be a good point to launch a search.

“I think it would be good for him to finish the projects he’s started,” DeGrandpre said. “I’m very happy with his performance.

Mayor Adam Rush and Councilman Richard “Ric” Welch agreed that because the recruitment process could take as long as six months, they would like it to get under way soon.

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