AMERICAN CANYON — It took a marathon closed-door meeting Friday night, but the City Council finally came to terms with Jason Holley, appointing him as American Canyon’s permanent city manager.
Holley, 41, who was at one time the public works director, was elevated to interim city manager in October, following the announcement that Dana Shigley would retire from her post.
After conducting a six-month search for Shigley’s replacement, the council decided to take the “interim” off Holley’s title and give him a three-year contract to serve as city manager.
“I’m excited to continue on this journey with the council, and where we’re going,” said Holley Friday night after councilmembers unanimously approved his appointment.
“I’m excited to be here and to grow with this community, and I’m grateful for the opportunity that the council has given me. I think I’ve shown my abilities in the last six months and in the time previously as public works director.”
Mayor Leon Garcia said to Holley: “Good to have you on board, sir.” He added that the city is in good hands under “Mr. Holley’s very capable leadership.”
The council had originally planned to appoint Holley as city manager during its regular meeting on April 3.
But the two sides failed to complete their negotiations in closed session over Holley’s contract, and decided to meet again Friday beginning at 5 p.m.
Also, Councilmember David Oro was absent from the April 3 meeting. He was present Friday, when the five councilmembers, Holley and City Attorney William Ross spent three hours huddled in a conference room on the second floor of City Hall hashing out details and terms.
Shortly after 8 p.m. they filed into the council chambers, which was almost entirely vacant, and spent less than 15 minutes meeting in open session to approve Holley’s appointment and his employment agreement.
Holley’s base annual salary will be $198,598.40. That figure is higher than the interim city manager’s salary of $189,389, according to the city’s salary schedule for public employees approved in October.
But it is lower than the listed salary for the permanent city manager of $204,835, per the same salary schedule.
Holly’s contract also calls for annual 2 percent cost-of-living-adjustments each July, and he is eligible for a one-time 3 percent bonus if he meets certain criteria spelled out in his contract following performance reviews conducted on a periodic basis with the City Council.
“I’m grateful for everything, their faith in me and giving me this opportunity,” said Holley when asked if he was satisfied with his new contract. “It’s everything I’ve asked for, and I think I’ll deliver on their expectations.”
Holley later clarified that he did not mean to say that he received everything he sought during negotiations, but characterized the contract as “a fair compensation package” and that “both parties are happy” with it.
Another person who may soon be happy is Steve Hartwig, who has served as interim public works director since October.
Hartwig was Holley’s top deputy in public works when Holley moved into the city manager’s seat.
Holley said Friday that he is inclined to make Hartwig the permanent public works director based on his performance.
“He’s been doing an amazing job,” Holley said. “We’re not going to be making any radical changes right now. He’s the perfect person to bring into that role and do it full-time.”
Hartwig served as deputy public works director since joining the department in April 2016.
Prior to joining the city of American Canyon last year, Hartwig was the director of public works/city engineer for the city of Vacaville, where he worked since 2013.
While with Vacaville, he oversaw the operation of the Public Works Department, including administration, engineering, development, capital projects, and operations and maintenance.