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.

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