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Town seeks input on new manager

Public invited to share ideas at committee meeting May 24
By: Elizabeth Speth, Loomis News Correspondent
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Loomis residents are being invited to share their ideas for a new town manager. Residents can voice their opinions at the upcoming Parks, Recreation and Open Space Committee meeting, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday May 24, at the Loomis Depot. Wes Herman, vice president of Bob Murray and Associates, the firm hired to conduct the town manager search, called the hiring decision “one of the most important decisions a council undertakes.” Perry Beck, outgoing town manager, has served Loomis for eleven years. He said he anticipates the public will be looking for traits like “approachability, and availability” when it weighs in on his replacement. “They like to think they can talk to a manager without having to wait a month,” he said. Originally, from Chandler, Oklahoma, Beck said the Loomis political scene “was bit of a roller coaster, when I first came here. Everyone was trying to develop everything in sight.” Now, things have slowed down, partly due to the economy, partly because developers know we’re going to choose our development carefully, at a pace that can be sustained,” Beck said. Beck called the growth rate in the community a “big challenge” for Loomis in the future, but said the town also has a big strength – its solvency. “We’re in fairly good shape. We took our time, paid our bills along the way. We didn’t bite off more than we can chew,” Beck said. Herman predicted there will be five to seven final candidates for council consideration, with a final selection to be made by the middle of August. The council has budgeted $25,000 for the search. The council is also in the process of searching for a new city attorney, and agreed to interview five legal firms on Friday, June 3, in an all-day, closed session. In other town business, the council decided to link the town website to that of the Placer County Water Authority, so residents can get current information on rolling outages. Council voted to erect a sign near Interstate 80 on Horseshoe Bar Road declaring Loomis to be in a state of water emergency, and urging conservation. During the meeting, council was briefed on the April 19 Bear River canal break by PCWA Director of Technical Services Brian Martin, who called the resulting water emergency a “very stressful time for us.” Martin said the break occurred along a stretch of canal that dates back “150 years, to the Gold Rush,” and affects more than 34,000 water users, including Loomis’ nearly 6,500 residents. Serviced by the Foothill Water Treatment Plant, Loomis residents are asked to cut their usage by 25 percent until mid-to late June. Canal water users are asked to cut usage by 75 percent. “These are voluntary measures, because we’ve found in the past that mandatory doesn’t work as well,” Martin said. PG&E expects to bypass the broken canal by early June, which should increase water flow to Loomis. Complete repairs are expected by the middle of June. The final repair is two weeks head of original projections, according to PG&E spokesman Mike Jones.