A permanent city manager will likely be appointed next week by the South San Francisco City Council after a contentious last minute choice and months of having an interim fill the role.
Mike Futrell, an attorney who has executive experience in local, state and federal government, is set to be appointed to the role at the council’s Wednesday, March 12 meeting. He was the chief administrative officer for the city of Baton Rouge; served on staff in the U.S. Senate; was an elected member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Baton Rouge City Council.
“We were very excited,” said Councilman Mark Addiego. “The nice thing is we all agreed. We started off with 38 people and whittled that down to eight. We’re excited to have someone with that kind of a background to lead our town. I think it’s a bold move and I’m glad we landed on him.”
The whole search began when former city manager Barry M. Nagel announced he would retire in November and the city vetted former city manager Jesús Armas for the job. The council decided not to go with Armas after all. The original pool was small and weak, said Addiego. Addiego previously said he found Armas to be a star in his work in Hayward and said it would be hard to find a candidate of that caliber. Addiego was disappointed with the focus on alleged past “sex escapades,” rather than Armas’ qualifications. Since, City Attorney Steve Mattas has been filling the role in an interim capacity. The city hired a firm to launch a fresh search following its decision to not go with Armas. Futrell brings a fresh perspective and has a good idea about how he wants to do things, said Vice Mayor Richard Garbarino.
“It was a sort of long search,” he said. “There were several excellent applicants. We were impressed with pretty much all of the applicants. Mike exuded a confidence I didn’t see in the others. He strikes me as a take charge, self-assured individual. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Mayor Karyl Matsumoto is in agreement with the other councilmembers.
“We are very pleased at the prospect of having Mike as the next city manager for the city of South San Francisco,” she said in a press release. “Mike was our unanimous choice and his experience and leadership will be a valuable asset in moving the city forward into a new era.”
More recently, Futrell worked as the executive vice president of a public utility company. He also served as a Navy reservist, rising to the rank of captain. He received his law degree from Louisiana State University Paul M. Herbert Law Center, holds a master’s in business administration from University of Massachusetts and a bachelor’s in business and public administration from Louisiana State University.
“I am very excited about joining the South San Francisco team of city professionals and working with the council, staff and residents to continue building a strong, safe and attractive city,” he said in the release. “My wife Susan and our son James and I look forward to making new friends and neighbors and becoming active members of the South City community.”
The council will vote on approving his appointment 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 at Council Chambers, 33 Arroyo Drive in South San Francisco.
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