Council hires Newton as city administrator

At its Wednesday Aug. 5 meeting, the Susanville City Council unanimously approved an employment agreement with interim city administrator Dan Newton making him the city administrator.

Kevin Jones, former interim city administrator and chief of police, said Newton was the right person for the job.

Gary Bridges, Lassen County district 2 supervisor, said he didn’t think the council could fill the city administrator’s shoes any better.

Newton received a standing ovation from most of the public gathered at the meeting after the council’s vote.

The term of the agreement runs through Aug. 1, 2025. If the city fails to notify Newton of its intention to not renew the agreement, the term is extended fore one year until Aug. 1, 2026.

Newton will receive 240 hours of vacation time annually and 80 hours of management leave yearly.

He will also receive sick leave “as set forth in the Employee Manual.”

Newton’s starting annual salary will be $160,597.84.

According to the agreement, Newton will serve as an at-will administrator. If he is terminated by the city prior to the expiration of the agreement, he will be paid 18 months salary in a single, lump sum, but he will not receive any amount or benefit if terminated because of a crime of moral turpitude or a violation of statute or law consisting (of) misconduct in office.

Councilmember Kevin Stafford said he wanted the public to know the agreement included a $245,000 severance package.

Newton thanked the council and the community for its kind words and support and said he loved the community and hoped to serve for many years.

 

Closed session

The council took no reportable action but gave direction to staff during closed session. The closed session items were public employment of the city administrator and two property negotiator conferences regarding the price, conditions and terms of sale of two parcels — the Community Garden and John Fitzgerald.

 

Consent calendar

The council unanimously approved its consent calendar items individually but removed the approved position list.

The items include the minutes of the June 30 and July 7 meetings, Resolution No. 21-5909, amending Resolution No. 21-5892, amending the project list of street related maintenance, repair and improvement projects for 2021-2022.