R.C. council approves pact for new city manager
By Wendy Leung Staff Writer
Created: 07/07/2011 09:28:42 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – In a unanimous vote, the City Council approved a new city manager contract, clearing the way for Assistant City Manager John Gillison to lead the day-to-day affairs of City Hall starting Sept. 1.

Gillison, 43, will become the new city manager following the retirement of Jack Lam, who served as city manager for 22 years.

Gillison will receive an annual salary of $262,568 with a benefits package worth $67,440.

At the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Dennis Michael called Gillison a “financial genius” and said his skills were “second to none.”

When Lam announced his retirement last month and recommended Gillison as his replacement, Michael said he took Lam’s advice to heart.

“His recommendation to our council was absolutely emphatic – that this is the finest person who’s `way smarter than I am,’ and we think Jack Lam is pretty darn smart,” Michael said. “Jack Lam, I know for a fact, loves this city and would never leave this city if he wasn’t leaving it in good hands.”

Councilman Chuck Buquet said Gillison’s ability to represent the city in labor negotiations coupled with his experience as city manager for Sierra Madre help make him a top candidate.

“I’m very impressed with his exceptional management skills and his professional demeanor,” Buquet said.

During the public portion period of the meeting, resident Bill Hanlon chastised the council for promoting from within instead of opening a recruitment process.

“You were elected to get the very best city manager for our city,” Hanlon told the council. “Without comparison acquired from a job hunt, many feel you four have failed in the performance of your duty.”

Last month, the City Council voted 4-1 to promote Gillison and directed the city attorney to begin contract negotiations. Councilman Bill Alexander voted no.

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