January 18, 2012 11:58 AM
Brooke Edwards Staggs

VICTORVILLE • Less than 12 hours after his contract was approved by the City Council, Victorville received notice that the man chosen to serve as deputy city manager overseeing finances had opted not to take the position.

“My family had serious concerns about the impact of the long commute on the family,” Valentine “Andy” Okoro, who has served as Norco’s deputy city manager, said in an email sent to the city Wednesday morning. “I had hoped that we (would) come to a resolution at the end. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.”

Okoro was chosen after a recruitment process to serve as deputy city manager in charge of administrative services. The contract included in Tuesday’s agenda called for Okoro to start at an annual salary of $80,153.

Councilwoman Angela Valles cast the sole vote against the new hire, stating she feels the city is already too management-heavy and financially strapped.

“He was well aware of financial challenges we are facing and was ready to take those on challenges,” City Manager Doug Robertson said in an email, attributing Okoro’s decision solely to the relocation issue.

Victorville hasn’t had a finance director since a round of layoffs two years ago. Robertson, who was serving as deputy city manager at that time, then took on overseeing the finance department. Since Robertson was promoted, Mayor Ryan McEachron had said it’s always been the city’s intention to fill that key position.

“I do not have another candidate I believe could fill the appropriate role at this time and will not be recommending another recruitment,” Robertson said. “I have some contingency plans that I prepared in the event we were unable to find a suitable candidate.”

Robertson said he wasn’t prepared to release details on those plans until he’d had a chance to discuss them with staff members who’ll be affected by the changes

Brooke Edwards Staggs may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.


Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, (800) 553-2006 or click here.