Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 10:07 pm | Fair 53º


Guadalupe Crafts Plan for Recruiting Police Chief Candidates

City staff to handle process to fill job now held by Gary Hoving, who plans to leave later this year

Guadalupe Public Safety Director Gary Hoving talks to City Attorney Phil Sinco on Tuesday night before the City Council meeting where officials discussed how to replace Hoving, who plans to leave this year. Click to view larger
Guadalupe Public Safety Director Gary Hoving talks to City Attorney Phil Sinco on Tuesday night before the City Council meeting where officials discussed how to replace Hoving, who plans to leave this year. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Guadalupe will use in-house staff to recruit candidates for the next police chief rather than hiring a headhunter firm, City Council members decided this week as they also expressed sadness about Gary Hoving’s pending departure from the post.

Hoving said he plans to leave when his contract expires July 1, but agreed to stay a few months longer if the position had not been filled by then.

Hoving, a retired San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy, began leading the small city’s police force approximately five years ago.

“It’s been a great opportunity, but you have to realize, I have to realize, that I started in this business full-time in 1975 …” he said. ’We’re getting close to the end.”

He said he doesn’t have a firm date to leave.

“I love this place. I wouldn’t leave it hanging, that’s for sure,” he said. “So we’ll find a suitable candidate or I’ll just hang around a little bit longer.”

After hearing the options, council members for the cash-strapped municipality agreed the recruitment should by handled by city staff.

“It’s just a real important position, and I know we can’t get another Gary Hoving because he’s done an excellent job,” Councilwoman Gina Rubalcaba said. "That’s why I’m a little anxious about this."

While staff could get the search launched for approximately $3,500, hiring an executive management consultant would cost $25,000 to $30,000 or more, according to Amelia Villegas, human resources coordinator.

She said staff conducted an in-house search that concluded with the appointment of George Mitchell.

When Mitchell retired, Hoving was named interim police chief and 6 months later agreed to accept the permanent job. 

Hoving actually serves as director of safety having direct responsibility over the police, and administrative oversight for the fire department.

But the job requirements call for someone who meets the guidelines established by the California Peace Officers Standards and Training.

To recruit candidates, Villegas said she intended to advertise the opening on assorted websites, some of which will cost money.

Fliers also could be developed and sent to departments to seek candidates, she said. 

Staff would analyze candidates to ensure they meet the minimum requirements, but an oral board would include police chiefs and city management staff from other agencies.

“So the selection process is out of staff’s hands and it would be out of the executive search firm’s hands, too,” Villegas said.

The oral board would interview finalists, but the ultimate selection of the next police chief will be up to the City Council.

“In my opinion, we should try to stay to that format,” Mayor John Lizalde said.

Councilman Ariston Julian called Hoving’s looming departure “sad news” 

Saying it wasn’t a bribe, the mayor jokingly offered the chief months of Nardo’s Restaurant tacos and diet soda to stay.

“You can keep the Crown Victoria,” Julian added to sweeten the deal.

“I thought you liked me?” Hoving responded.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >