Culbreth-Graft’s move to the bigger city isn’t for a bigger salary, which will actually drop $16,000 to $210,000 a year in the new position.
She said she was looking for a new job for some personal family reasons as well as because she felt she had accomplished her major goals in Huntington Beach.
She has repeatedly said she enjoyed working in communities looking for a major change, and has held managerial positions in Chino, Riverside and San Diego city governments as well as for the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians in San Diego County.
“I’m really excited about this,” she said of her new move. “Of course I love this community, but I also love that community too.”
The city administrator gathered high marks from council members over her three-and-a-half year tenure. Council members said last week that they were ready for the news, and they expected strong candidates to come forward in any new job search.
Council members did not discuss a plan to replace Culbreth-Graft, short term or long term, at Monday’s council meeting because open meeting laws require more notice to put an item on the agenda. They are expected to discuss that issue at the next meeting, Nov. 19.
“That gives us a chance to work out a transition plan,” Culbreth-Graft said.
Councilwoman Jill Hardy, who had said earlier she wished Culbreth-Graft would choose to stay, also had no fears about her replacement.
“Having gone through the process of selecting a city administrator when we chose her, I’m confident we will find someone,” she said. “There were some great candidates when she interviewed.”