Coachella is among several California cities looking to a change in a new city manager.

Former City Manger Tim Brown left his position three months ago due to a medical condition requiring surgery.

Conducting the search for the new city manager is the founder and sole proprietor of Mathis Group, Dr. Bill Mathis.

Mathis said the city was undecided on whether to have an interim city manager or split the position between the assistant city manager and finance director.

Ultimately, the city decided to search for an untraditional manager. “Let’s have Dr. Mathis find us an interim that wouldn’t necessary be eligible for the position,” Mathis said.

The focus of the search was to find an interim who could deal with financial issues, “a big deal for us, and in every city,” Mathis said.

Coachella named Gene Rodgers Interim City Manager while the city searches for Brown’s permanent replacement.

The search will be approximately five months.

Mathis said some of the issues the new city manager will need to address would be growth of an economic development strategy to come out of the current fiscal turbulence.

“The state is taking away so much money,” Mathis said.

Every city is dealing with their financial struggles in a different way. Some cities have big reserves to fall back on.

“So many layoffs reconstitute services we can afford,” Mathis said.

The city of Coachella is a growing city, having seen a growth of 35,000 people in the past 10 years with 60 percent of undeveloped land needing financing, Mathis said.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at