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Council to vote on extending one-year term to Adam Pirrie

The Claremont City Council will consider appointing Acting City Manager Adam Pirrie as the City’s permanent City Manager for a term of one-year at the February 23 City Council Meeting. Mr. Pirrie was appointed Acting City Manager on October 22, 2020 following the resignation of Tara Schultz.

Over the past four months, Mr. Pirrie has served as both the Acting City Manager and Finance Director, resulting in a savings of $95,886 for the city. Given the demanding nature of both positions, continuing this arrangement is not sustainable for the long term.

On January 26, 2021, the City Council met in closed session to discuss the process and timing of hiring a permanent City Manager. The City Council recognized that Mr. Pirrie has performed exceedingly well as Acting City Manager bringing a sense of calm, continuity, and competence to the role. The Council also recognized that it is beneficial to the organization and community to have stability and institutional knowledge in the position over the next year while the city faces unprecedented challenges like the ongoing pandemic and undertakes several significant projects. These projects include the State-mandated Housing Element Update and Village South Specific Plan. Given these factors, the City Council decided to not pursue an external search for a new City Manager at this time.  In addition, Mr. Pirrie’s performance, qualifications, and ties to the community make him an ideal candidate. By not hiring an executive search firm, the city will save approximately $30,000.

The City Council directed the City Attorney to draft a one year employment agreement with optional extensions for the City Council’s consideration at its February 23, 2021 City Council meeting.  The employment agreement sets forth the City Manager’s compensation, certain duties, and other conditions and terms of employment. The proposed terms of the agreement are comparable to previously approved City Manager employment agreements and in line with compensation awarded to City Managers in the region.

Prior to accepting the Acting City Manager position, Mr. Pirrie was the City’s Finance Director for 10 years and has worked for the city since 2003. Mr. Pirrie has successfully navigated financial challenges including the economic downturn in 2008, the recent structural deficit, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed employment agreement contemplates that Mr. Pirrie will continue to serve as both the City Manager and Finance Director for the first one year term but will hire or enlist support to assist with his day-to-day work as Finance Director.  This arrangement would result in continued salary savings for the city. For the first one year term, the proposed agreement would give Mr. Pirrie the option to return to the position of Finance Director if that is his preference and/or if the City Council decides to initiate a search for a new City Manager.

The February 23 City Council meeting will be conducted via Zoom and the public may submit written comments prior to the meeting by emailing contact@ci.claremont.ca.us. Public comments will also be taken at the meeting. To view the meeting agenda and instructions for participating, please visit this link.

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