Parker, who brings 30 years of management experience including years with financially distressed cities, replaces Acting City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller. She left Monday to become executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.
The council also agreed to give Parker $5,500 to move to San Bernardino from Beaumont within six months, satisfying council members who had said they wanted a chief executive who lived in the city.
Mayor Pat Morris said he was excited to have Parker on board.
"He has spent his life in public service managing interesting and complex cities, leading successful programs to rekindle economic vibrancy," Morris said.
The unanimous decision came five-and-a-half hours into the meeting, after a detailed and sometimes contentious discussion of a proposed development that would annex land north of the city to build 303 new homes.
As Parker and his wife walked down to briefly introduce themselves amid applause from the audience, officials said the meeting had given him a good introduction to San Bernardino.
"You didn't change your mind, did you?" asked Councilman Robert Jenkins.
Councilman John Valdivia, who at times criticized Travis-Miller and other departments as not being responsive to the council or residents, said he looked forward to working with Parker.
"I've reviewed and have understood the demands and need for a highly competent, no-nonsense city manager and have full confidence in Allen Parker to assist us in navigating the tough road ahead," Valdivia said.
Parker's pay does not include any compensation other than salary and benefits that are the same as the city's other management/confidential employees, except for a bank of 160 hours of vacation and administrative leave.
Either Parker or the city can end his contract with 60 days notice and no severance pay.
The resolution approving his contract includes an agreement that within three months the mayor and council will hold a workshop to set goals for the city and that the workshop will be repeated annually.
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