The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

August 12, 2010
Ray Kerridge happy to be the heck out of Sacramento



A delegation of Roseville leaders came calling this afternoon to trumpet the city's efforts toward economic recovery and prosperity.

In September, the City Council plans to appoint an advisory committee of builders, engineers and others to look at development standards -- softening the city's reputation as tough on developers and making sure it's not putting itself at a competitive disadvantage. In October, the council plans to create a community development corporation to focus on infill development in downtown and older commercial corridors. Roseville is continuing to work on recruiting clean energy, medical and professional jobs, plus a possible satellite campus of Sacramento State University.

The Placer County city is "open for business," declared its new city manager, Ray Kerridge (shown in a Bee photo above).

He said he didn't want to dwell on his previous life as city manager in Sacramento. But with just a little goading from The Bee's editorial board, Kerridge also made clear how happy he is to be in Roseville -- and no longer in Sacramento. He resigned in February after a tumultuous four years, and started his new job June 17.

Kerridge said there's a different culture in Roseville, where the council and administrators have a good relationship and are all interested in moving forward. Of his leaving Sacramento, Kerridge said he decided: "This isn't a good environment to be working in, and I need to get out."

He even made a joke -- with a mischievous gleam in his eyes -- about the split vote by the Sacramento council last month on the latest K Street redevelopment proposal, when the four members of an ad hoc committee were outvoted by the council members not on the panel.

Kerridge's departure has remained somewhat murky. It was clear he was frustrated by the dysfunctional council, and that some council members were not happy with him. When he left, Kerridge talked about a private sector job, so it was something of a surprise when he landed nearby in Roseville.

He and Mayor Gina Garbolino provided much more of the back story today:

A headhunter hired by Roseville in November originally came up with 68 names. Kerridge was in a group of 13 that the consultant recommended for a closer look, then was one of four finalists who underwent intense vetting. He originally provided six references, but then was asked for more with both positive and negative views of him. He eventually offered 50 references, 36 of whom were contacted.

Kerridge wanted to leave after February budget work but before May, but eventually stuck it out until May when his hiring was announced. He is now the Sacramento region's highest paid city manager, with an annual salary of $237,700. But that's less than the $285,000 his predecessor was making.

Garbolino said she's heard little criticism of Kerridge's pay, even with the huge controversy started by the astronomical salaries in Bell. And she seemed confident that Kerridge is providing the vision, leadership and integrity the city wanted.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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