By JEREMY HAY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A retired city manager from San Luis Obispo is likely to be named Rohnert Park’s interim city manager tonight, stepping into what has become somewhat of a revolving door position at the head of a city with severe budget problems.
Should the Rohnert Park council approve his contract at its regular meeting tonight, John Dunn — who also ran city governments in Monterey and Sunnyvale — will be hired as a consultant for one year, Mayor Pam Stafford said.
“The economy and the budget issues are the biggest things we have to deal with as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “He understands the issues that we have and he seems to have the right temperament to deal with them.”
Dunn, who retired in 2000 as San Luis Obispo’s top government official, would be paid $15,900 a month, plus $2,000 a month for housing and a car allowance, according to a copy of the consultant agreement. The housing allowance, of $1,500, would be included only if Dunn lived in Rohnert Park.
His contract would contain a guarantee of six months salary, the agreement said.
Dunn could not be reached for comment.
“He’s a terrific guy. He’ll be, I think, an outstanding interim manager,” said John Ashbaugh, a San Luis Obispo councilman. “John’s very much a professional. He’s calm, level headed and well organized.”
Dunn is originally from Clinton, Mo., according to his biography on the website of San Luis Obispo’s Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, where he is president of the board of directors.
He was assistant city manager of Sunnyvale from 1961 to 1965. In Monterey, he served as assistant city manager from 1967 to 1978 and city manager from 1978 to 1987. He was San Luis Obispo’s chief administrative office from 1987 to 2000, when he retired.
In Rohnert Park Dunn would become the city’s fifth top administrator in five years. The position is currently filled by Darrin Jenkins, the city’s engineer and development services director. He was named acting city manager in April after the former interim city manager, Dan Schwarz, left for Larkspur.
Schwarz, who had been assistant city manager since 2006, was named interim city manager in October 2008. He stepped into the shoes of Steve Donley, who left for active duty with the Coast Guard.
Dunn would join the city at a time when it is facing a steep budget deficit, projected to be about $6 million in the fiscal year that begins in July. The city has been sawing at its $26.5 million budget — it’s cut 27 workers in the past nine months — and officials are now campaigning for a half-cent sales tax measure on the June ballot.