By KAREN VELIE
The Arroyo Grande City Council has selected its community development director to be its new top executive. Council members are expected to formally approve the new city manager appointment on Tuesday.
Whitney McDonald has served as Arroyo Grande’s community development director since February. She previously worked in the San Luis Obispo County Counsel’s Office. McDonald is a licensed attorney who specializes in land use and zoning.
The city is offering McDonald a base salary of $189,948 annually and an additional $2,200 to a deferred compensation program.
On April 30, following a dust up with Mayor Caren Ray Russom, former city manager Jim Bergman resigned suddenly. The city council then temporarily moved Public Works Director Bill Robeson into the manager position.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the city council is also planning on creating a new position of assistant city manager and public works director for Robeson.
Robeson’s proposed $175,880 salary has two components: $154,380 for his work as the public works director and an additional $21,500 for performing assistant city manager duties.
The position and salary changes will cost the city $22,000 this fiscal year and $33,000 in the 2021/2022 fiscal year. Recently, the city voted to forego an election for write-in candidates in order to save $28,000.