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Encinitas to announce new city manager hire in July

ENCINITAS — Encinitas is set to announce the hiring of its new city manager July 8, city officials said.

The City Council in late May announced that it had narrowed the field of candidates to one, but did not announce the candidate’s name citing ongoing contract negotiations.

Mayor Kristin Gaspar and Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear have composed a subcommittee that has been negotiating the contract on the city’s behalf. The subcommittee will bring forward the candidate and the contract recommendation for the entire council’s approval at its July 8 meeting.

Encinitas has been looking to hire a permanent city manager since Gus Vina resigned in January to take the same position in the Northern California city of Brentwood. Former public works director and current Olivenhain Municipal Water District board member Larry Watt is currently serving as interim city manager.

The nearly six-month-long process started when the city hired Avery Associates in late January to spearhead the recruitment. The Bay Area-based firm in April presented the council with seven finalists for the position. After preliminary interviews, the council narrowed the field to three finalists, which then interviewed with the council in May.

For Encinitas, the new hire will become the fourth manager the city has had in less than four years — Watt, Vina and former City Manager Phil Cotton, whom Vina replaced in 2011.