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Hughson hires new manager
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Hughson has had a rough year with code-violating council members, sexual harassment claims in City Hall and an empty city manager position to lead the city out of the mess. But at the special City Council meeting last week, council members voted 4-0 to appoint a new city manager.

After months of interviews - during which Thom Clark held the position of interim city manager while also maintaining his responsibilities as director of planning/building and director of public works/city engineer - Bryan Whitemyer will become the new Hughson city manager on Nov. 15.

"I am really excited about the opportunity," Whitemyer said. "Hughson is a small, fabulous community and that is what attracted me to the position. I look forward to continue on the success of Hughson."

Whitemyer currently works for the city of Patterson as their interim city manager and has held that position since May. His last day in Patterson will be Oct. 29. Before becoming the interim city manager in Patterson, Whitemyer was the assistant city manager for Patterson for three years and prior to that he worked in the city manager office for Modesto for three years.

One of the things he is most looking forward to is working with the community as a whole - from the school district to the fire department to local community organizations - to work together to help better the city of Hughson and keep the small town feel, he said.

"There is a tremendous amount of potential in Hughson," Whitemyer said.

And Whitemyer isn't the only one excited about joining the Hughson team. The entire council was in favor of his contract with Jill Silva absent from the vote.

"I am just excited that we are moving in the right direction," said Jeramy Young, Hughson council member.

Young is also thrilled that their new city manager is someone local after the council did an extensive search across the country to find the perfect match for the small town of Hughson.

Whitemyer will come in six months after council members voted to not renew the contract of former City Manager Joe Donabed in May with a 3-2 vote. Those council members who dominated the leading vote - Doug Humphreys, Thom Crowder and Ben Manley - have since been recalled from office in August after they were found in violation of the Brown Act, Fair Political Practices and Regulations and the Hughson Municipal Code in the Stanislaus Civil Grand Jury's December 2009 findings.

They were also accused of "orchestrat(ing) the attempted firing of the City Manager, City Clerk and City Engineer," according to the Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury report.

Now, with a new council and new city manager, Hughson has a fresh start.

Whitemyer will be introduced at the next council meeting on Oct. 11.