Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 47
SLO politician Andrew Carter is moving to Guadalupe
BY CAMILLIA LANHAM
Guadalupe officials announced on Jan. 23 that San Luis Obispo City Council member Andrew Carter will be stepping in as the new Guadalupe city administrator.
Carter will leave his SLO City Council position to replace Guadalupe’s interim city administrator, Tim Ness, on Feb. 20. Carter is leaving in the middle of his second term; his last council meeting will be on Feb. 19.
Ness said the Guadalupe City Council chose Carter over at least 20 other applicants because of his six years on the SLO City Council and his management experience in the private sector.
“The transition from elected official to appointed official, we think, is going to be easy for Andrew Carter,” Ness said. “He’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get into spreadsheets.”
Carter said he ran for City Council because of issues with affordable housing and neighborhood quality in SLO. But when he was elected, he started looking into the city’s finances and became more and more interested in financial management.
Making the move from council member to city employee mid-term is something Carter said was both financially motivated and for his future career. He will be earning a salary of $80,028 in his new position.
During his tenure on the SLO council, Carter was credited with spearheading a campaign against binding arbitration, something he said would save the city money in the upcoming fiscal year by lowering pension payouts to public safety employees.
Ness said that effort was one of the factors Guadalupe City Council members looked at when they appointed him, because it shows a vision for community and the ability to see something through to the end.
“His work ethic was extremely impressive,” Ness said. “He’s got a tremendous amount of drive and perspective.”
The scheduled start date is contingent upon completion of a background check and contract negotiations; the final version of the contract will be presented before Guadalupe City Council at its Feb. 12 meeting.
The council also appointed Gary Hoving as its interim director of public safety at $37.50 an hour. Approval of Hoving’s employment contract is also scheduled for the Feb. 12 meeting. He retired from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department in 2008 as the chief deputy after serving 29 years.
Guadalupe’s last city administrator left the position for a similar position in Fortuna last summer. Ness stepped into the position in August after a short period of retirement from his 16 years as Santa Maria’s city manager.
As Ness heads back into retirement and Carter switches from policy setter to policy administrator, Carter said his main focus will be helping the city of Guadalupe realize its “big dreams.”
“The city is in tough financial shape because of lack of revenue,” Carter said. “It’s very unique that this city’s primary revenue source is property taxes.”
As he sees it, part of his job is going to be finding other sources of revenue for the city. And while he’s going to miss making the policy decisions and serving the people of SLO, he said he’s looking forward to the move.
“I’m just truly excited for this opportunity,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started.”