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  Richmond Hires A City Manager
December 8, 2004

Over a year after Isiah Turner resigned, the City of Richmond will have a new permanent city manager, Bill Lindsey, on board effective February 14, 2005. Phil Batchelor, the current Interim City Manager played a major role in the recruitment process, personally seeking out top qualified individuals and actively recruiting them. Batchelor will remain at the helm until February 14.


Bill Lindsey, currently City Manager for Orinda, comes highly qualified and highly recommended. He will be the first Richmond city manager hired in over two decades by the unanimous initial vote of the City Council.


The following article from today’s West County Times is a good summary of the high points of the action taken by the City Council in executive session yesterday and ratified by approving a contract at last night’s City Council meeting.

Orinda city manager takes Richmond post
Posted on Tue, Dec. 07, 2004


Orinda City Manager Bill Lindsay this morning accepted Richmond's offer to run that fiscally troubled city.

The Richmond City Council selected Lindsay, who's been Orinda's top executive for nine years, during a 21/2-hour executive session this morning.

Lindsay said he will give the Orinda council a required 60-day notice on Wednesday and start at Richmond City Hall on Feb. 14.

Lindsay, 48, who signed a three-year contract, will make a base salary of $200,000, a raise of nearly $40,000 over what he earns in Orinda.

The hire came more than a year after Richmond's last permanent city manager abruptly retired. During the intervening months, the city has been led by a series of temporary managers and weathered a $35 million budget shortfall.

It was interim City Manager Phil Batchelor who convinced Lindsay to seek the Richmond job.

"I am looking for a challenge," Lindsay said. "Phil says he wakes up everyday, he goes to work and feels like he is making a difference and I want to be able to do that as well."

He said Richmond has the potential "for being a great city."

"It has a good history and a good tradition," he said.

Richmond council members said they were impressed by Lindsay's strong financial background -- he holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University and a master's degree in business administration from UC Berkeley -- and his ability to bring diverse interests together to complete projects.

"Everybody we talked to was very complimentary about his ability to move things forward, to get things done," said Richmond Councilman Tom Butt. "He has very strong experience in working with staff and outside people."

Orinda council members praised Lindsay, but said they knew he would be moving up, and out, at some point.

"It is a sad day for Orinda but a very fortunate day for Richmond," said Orinda Mayor Joyce Hawkins. "Bill is a bright, creative and compassionate man who operates with great integrity. He has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the citizens of Orinda."

In June, Lindsay also was a leading candidate for San Ramon city manager, but when word got out that he was in the running, the Orinda council wooed him back with a $10,000 salary boost.

Lindsay oversaw the city during a round of budget cuts in 2003, and more recently weathered a storm over turning the city's old library into a homeless shelter, a brouhaha that resulted in threatened recalls of council members.