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City manager search in Lathrop precursor to 2 council seat races
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LATHROP – With the retirement of Finance Director Terry Vigna and the pending departure of City Manager Cary Keaton, Lathrop’s municipal management is gearing up for some big changes.

And with two city council seats up for grabs in the November election, the makeup of those who shape the future vision for the city could be altered as well.

When the council meets tonight at Lathrop City Hall at 7 p.m., discussion will likely focus on the appointment of two council members to a subcommittee charged with overseeing the search to replace both of the administrative positions. Options include taking their pick from one of five executive search firms recommended by staff or going in a different direction.

The cost of the service won’t be known until proposals are submitted by the firms. Such services can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Because the council hires the new city manager, the decision on how to proceed once a firm is selected will include input from each of the five sitting members.

Steve Salvatore – the current public works director – has served in the past as the assistant city manager. The council offered him an interim position until a permanent solution could be sought.

Vigna retired from her position at the helm of Lathrop’s finances several months ago. Keaton’s last day on the job is April 24.

Keaton has accepted a position as the general manager of the Solano Irrigation District in Vacaville.

Once a new city manager is hired, the pursuit of a new finance director will intensify – especially with the end of the fiscal year looming less than three months away.

Cari James is currently serving as the acting finance director.

The administrative shakeup could end up serving as a precursor to the November elections where two council seats – held by Vice Mayor Christopher Mateo and Councilwoman Martha Salcedo – will be up for election.

Mateo has thrown his hat in the ring to run for California’s 12th Assembly district – newly formed under the realignment from the 2010 census data. It appears he’s focusing all of his energy on that race.