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May 9, 2021

Jimmy Forbis appointed as Gilroy’s city administrator

Mayor says Gilroy should have conducted nationwide search

The Gilroy City Council appointed Jimmy Forbis as city administrator Oct. 5, shedding the interim label he held for the last seven months.

Mayor Roland Velasco cast the lone dissenting vote, saying a nationwide search for a new administrator would have been beneficial for Gilroy.

Forbis, who had served as Gilroy’s finance director since 2016, was appointed to the interim position in March following Gabriel Gonzalez’s resignation.

Originally from Wichita, Kan., Forbis has lived in California for nearly 20 years. Prior to being hired by the City of Gilroy in 2016, Forbis worked as finance director in Monterey, utilities business and budget manager for Morgan Hill, and as a management analyst in San Mateo County. 

He is a Certified Public Finance Officer through the Government Finance Officers Association accreditation program. He has a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University and performed his undergraduate work in recreation administration at the University of Kansas/Missouri Western State University.

Per the terms of his contract, Forbis will be paid an annual salary of $220,716. However, that salary will be temporarily reduced by 9.23 percent through June 30, 2022 due to Covid-19-related cuts approved by the council earlier this year.

A subcommittee consisting of councilmembers Marie Blankley, Dion Bracco and Peter Leroe-Muñoz negotiated the terms of the agreement.

During his first day as interim city administrator, Forbis issued a local emergency declaration, which shut down many city programs and canceled most governmental meetings in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It’s pretty crazy to have a new boss on the first day of a global pandemic, and there’s no manual for that,” he said, thanking city staff, his family and community members for supporting him over the past seven months. “We made it up as we went along, and I think we got a lot of things right.”

Forbis said he’s a “lucky dude” to be working for Gilroy, adding that he hasn’t “had a bad day at work yet.”

“It’s certainly been crazy, but it’s been very rewarding,” he said.

Velasco wished Forbis “all the best as he moves forward,” but said an open competitive process to find the next city administrator “would be in the best interest of the city.”

“What would serve Gilroy best is to have a full and thorough recruitment and find out what candidates are out there,” he said. “Of course, Jimmy would be able to compete against those candidates. He would have a leg up in the competition because he knows Gilroy.” 

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