San Anselmo losing police chief. Corta Madera getting town manager

Central Marin police chief could become Corte Madera town manager By: Adrian Rodriguez (arodriguez@marinij.com) Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – 5:12 p.m. Central Marin Police Chief Todd Cusimano. (IJ file photo) Central Marin Police Chief Todd Cusimano could soon be trading in his badge for a suit and tie. Corte Madera officials have announced plans to tap the 22-year veteran of the police department as their new town manager. In a closed session, the Town Council discussed appointing a successor to longtime Town Manager David Bracken, who announced in March that he would step down from the post in September. The council concluded that Cusimano would be the best fit. “He is a smart, straight-shooter,” Mayor Sloan Bailey said. “He’s got excellent communication skills, he is local and has worked with our current manager (Bracken) for many years. “And very important for Corte Madera is that he is fiscally prudent,” he said. “He understands our community values.” Bailey said the deal is still under negotiation. No contracts have been signed and the appointment hasn’t been made. Cusimano’s salary for the town manager position has not yet been negotiated. Advertisement “I think that it’s fair to alert the community and our neighboring towns that this is the direction we are headed,” Bailey said. Cusimano, 44, who lives in Petaluma with his wife Megan and four children, joined the Twin Cities Police Authority in 1995, where he worked with his father, Gary Cusimano. The senior Cusimano retired in 2007 as a sergeant after 34 years of service. His son, who served as a patrol officer, detective, investigations supervisor – among a handful of other roles – became chief in 2010. Over the first three years, Cusimano led a merger with the San Anselmo Police Department, consolidating dispatchers and phasing in a crossover of patrol staffs. The merger culminated with the creation of the Central Marin Police Authority in 2013. As chief, Cusimano earns $189,000 annually. Employee added The police authority serves 35,000 residents and has 58 employees, 45 of whom are sworn officers. The department has an $11 million annual budget. Corte Madera is contributing $3 million, Larkspur is contributing $3.8 million and San Anselmo is contributing $3.3 million for police services for the rest of the year. By comparison, Corte Madera has 45 full-time employees and a town budget of $17.8 million. Bracken, who also serves as the public works director, civil engineer and sanitary district director, earns $225,368 annually, which comes to $212,973 after a 5.5 percent reduction he pays to the town’s California Public Employees Retirement System fund. George Warman, town treasurer, said there isn’t an existing salary range for a town manager. Also, when Bracken steps down from the top post, he will still be serving in his other three roles. This move is adding another employee to the payroll, Warman said. In 2007, Bracken was named town manager earning $160,000 annually. Before him, Jay Tashiro made $170,000 when he retired in 2006. When Bracken steps down in September, he will receive a pay cut that has not yet been negotiated. If Cusimano is named town manager, the move would leave the police chief position open. Next chief The Central Marin Police Authority has two captains: Michael Norton, 41, who is Cusimano’s cousin, and Jim Shirk, 54, both of Petaluma. Norton joined the department in 2001 and he has served in many roles including field training officer, crisis negotiator, detective and lieutenant. Shirk, a 30-year veteran of the department, has held nearly every position and has been a captain for more than nine years. With word that Shirk will be retiring soon, Norton has come up as a potential candidate to be tapped as chief. When asked if there were concerns of nepotism, Cusimano said, “Everyone in the Central Marin Police Authority has to earn their position,” explaining that the decision is a process. The police authority has a manager’s committee, represented by the municipal managers from Larkspur, Corte Madera and San Anselmo, which ultimately would appoint the next police chief. Additionally, the Police Council, represented by council members from the city and towns, would also be involved. Discussions are expected to begin in June. Norton grew up in San Anselmo, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of California, San Diego, and a juris doctorate from the University of San Francisco. He said he thinks he is a viable candidate for that reason. “The current police chief does not select the next chief,” he said. “Based on my education, my experience, where I was raised – I am a strong candidate.” Appointment The police authority does not have a policy on nepotism, Cusimano said. “Capt. Norton is qualified regardless of any relation,” said Council Chairwoman Diane Furst, who is also a Corte Madera councilwoman. Larkspur City Manager Dan Schwarz said: “It’s certainly reasonable to look at our two captains – Capt. Norton is an excellent officer. Capt. Shirk is an excellent officer. We are really fortunate to have such a great command staff.” Cusimano holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Kaplan University and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on public administration from Columbia Southern University. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Sherman Block Supervisory Institute, a state leadership program for California law enforcement front-line supervisors. David Nolen Swaim Owner Tam Realty Inc DRE-1070789 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 415-710-5504 www.tamrealty.com

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