San Bernardino Seal

Steve Scauzillo and Ryan Hagen, Staff Writers
Posted: 01/16/2013 06:27:58 PM PST

Special Section: San Bernardino

San Bernardino will find out Thursday whether Acting City Manager Andrea-Travis Miller has been hired away from the city to become executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

Travis-Miller accepted the job after a search committee from the regional planning agency recommended her, but it must be approved at a Council of Governments meeting that begins at 6 p.m.

For officials in San Bernardino, the vote represents the potential loss of an administrator credited with discovering many of San Bernardino’s financial problems and guiding it through the bankruptcy process, although her eventual departure was expected.

“I can’t blame anybody for looking for a better opportunity and a better job, but it certainly is going to put a strain on us,” said Councilman Fred Shorett. “I think it’s a loss for the city of San Bernardino. My concern, of course, with her departure is the possibility of others she’s worked with maybe also feeling the need to leave.”

There has been a steady flow of departing workers since the city announced in July that it intended to file for bankruptcy, but San Bernardino officials say there has not been any acceleration or high-profile departures since it was reported last week that Travis-Miller was a finalist for the position.

Travis-Miller declined to become permanent city manager when then-City Manager Charles McNeely left in April 2012, after serving as assistant city manager since June 2011.

While some in San Bernardino are worried that her absence could slow the complicated process of the city’s bankruptcy filing, officials with the Alhambra-based agency said her experience in San Bernardino was part of an impressive resume.

“Her qualifications are incredible,” said Alhambra mayor and COG President Barbara Messina on Wednesday. “She will bring our organization back to new heights.”

The vote follows months of uncertainty and even murmuring among members as to whether the agency should even exist.

The COG is made up of 30 cities, the county and local water districts and has worked on building railroad overpasses with its subsidiary, the Alameda Corridor East, as well as helping cities meet the state’s new AB 32 rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency proposals.

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