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Council stays mum on replacing McKinney 

Though there’s a clear front-runner, no official word came down at the June 11 Atascadero City Council meeting on the city’s choice to replace departing city manager Wade McKinney.

City Clerk Marcia McClure Torgerson said that no reportable action came out of the closed session agenda item titled “Public Employee Appointment—City Manager.”

However, at the city council meeting, Mayor Tom O’Malley showered Rachelle Rickard—the city’s current administrative services director—with praise. O’Malley repeatedly commented on how “smart” Rickard was and mentioned that she “always has all the answers.”

Notably, Rickard took the reins for the lengthy presentation of the 2013-15 Atascadero Operating and Capital Budget. McKinney, seated next to Rickard, was silent.

On June 7, the city’s executive management—including Torgerson, the Atascadero fire and police chiefs, Public Works Director Russ Thompson, and Community Development Director Warren Frace—sent a letter to the mayor and City Council saying they “strongly support and recommend” Rickard for the soon-to-be-vacant city manager position.

The letter reads: “Rachelle’s skills, knowledge and professionalism would make her an excellent city manager while providing a smooth transition and guarantee our success in keeping the Team strong.”

McKinney’s last day on the job will be June 28.

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