Interim official takes control
Grass Valley’s new Interim City Administrator Jeff Foltz says he only knows how to go 110 mph in his professional life, and all indications point toward that as a necessity with an ambitious City Council agenda ahead.
Foltz, 59, wasted little time getting started. The former Yuba City manager was selected March 6 to lead Grass Valley and officially started two days later with a City Council and city staff goal-setting session.
“I’m here to try to help (council members) make this the jewel of the mountains,” Foltz said, who fidgeted in his chair during an interview with The Union this week.
Tuesday, council members formally agreed to Foltz’s contract terms: $75 an hour for a maximum of 960 hours. The city expects to pay him $13,000 per month.
“It is estimated that the interim position will last for as long as six months, resulting in an expenditure of approximately $78,000,” according to a report from Human Resources Manager Michael E. Lewis and Finance Director Carol Fish.
Foltz already has heard concerns about nearly 500 residences that previously have been approved but have yet to be constructed; $7 million in needed waste-water treatment plant improvements; plans to develop Berriman Ranch in the unincorporated area; and the need for city road improvements.
All this comes after being on the job for a little more than a week.
His role includes helping council members search for a top-notch city administrator to take over full time.
Foltz retired as Yuba City manager last June after 20 years in that post. He has about 30 years of experience in city government, including stops in Susanville and Clovis. The transitionary city leader is expected to serve only until a full-time administrator is in place, which could be August or later.
“My first charge is to put together a (request for proposals),” Foltz said for the city administrator search.
Another big piece for any city leader involves the budget. No troubles are expected there, Foltz said.
“The overall budget is fiscally sound,” Foltz said. He said he wants to help the city continue bringing balance to its budget.
With an improving budget and numerous housing developments in differing stages of consideration, Foltz said he also wants to look at how all the pieces will fit together.
The main question, he said, is, “What does Grass Valley want to look like when it grows up?”
“We can all have different visions of that,” Foltz said. But he said it’s more important that the city comes up with a “collective vision.”
There’s “a lot of great people in City Hall” to make sure that collective vision is reached, he said.
“I’m just here to coach and help provide support to get things done,” Foltz said.
He described his management style as open, adding that he’s “not afraid to make decisions and move things ahead.”
Foltz lives in Rocklin with his wife, Barbara. He has two grown children, Scott, 25, and Heather, 28.
He’s replacing former City Administrator Gene Haroldsen, who was fired Feb. 6 by the City Council after 15 years in that position.
To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@the union.com or call 477-4234.
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