Napa’s top appointed official will have his title shortened – and his term extended.
The City Council is poised on Tuesday to remove the interim tag from City Manager Steve Potter, confirming him in the role he has filled since July. A local lawman for more than three decades, Potter stepped into Napa’s head day-to-day role after spending three years as the city’s police chief, and had been scheduled to fill the position through August 2019.
Council members discussed Potter’s performance in a Dec. 4 closed meeting and sought to retain him as city manager on the same terms agreed to this summer – a minimum of $190,003, plus benefits, with a 3 percent raise due to take effect Dec. 29.
Potter last year announced he would retire as chief of Napa Police, only to stay on and fill in as the assistant city manager when Mike Parness, the city’s top appointed leader since 2006, missed several months recovering from knee replacement surgery. Parness’ retirement in July opened the way for Potter to succeed him, with Robert Plummer replacing him as police chief.
The former Napa lawman’s change of job has played out against a shifting landscape for local development. A four-story, $143 million combination city hall and police station championed by Parness has run into stiffening resistance by city workers over its expense and worries about disruptions during two years of construction, and the council on Tuesday assigned two members to discuss the project with city staff ahead of possible changes to the project.
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Meanwhile, city leaders and advisers are in the early stages of preparing a new general plan to guide growth and development through 2040, and the council in November endorsed a master plan to redevelop the northern downtown zone – once home to the since-razed Cinedome movie theater – with housing, retail space and a parking garage for more than 300 vehicles.
Later Tuesday, the Napa council will consider whether to retain two members of the city’s land-use authority for two-year terms.
Artist Gordon Huether and Michael Murray, chief financial officer for Napa Recycling & Waste Services, are up for new terms on the city Planning Commission. The only other applicant is David Aten, a local event planner.
Huether, who holds one of the two commission seats reserved for design professionals, has served since 2004, and Murray since 2010.