Tony Santos is spending most of his time these days writing his memoirs and volunteering.
But the former mayor and veteran political figure took time out this week to circulate a letter chiding his successors in city government for depriving San Leandro of day-to-day administrative leadership.
"This City Council is taking too much time in hiring a new city manager," Santos wrote. "It is creating a deep vacuum at City Hall, which must be remedied soon."
Former City Manager Stephen Hollister resigned last December while Santos was still mayor.
But Hollister delayed his departure until June 30, by which time new Mayor Stephen Cassidy had been in office six months.
Santos said that head start should have given Cassidy and the new council enough time to choose a successor.
When asked, Cassidy countered the criticisms.
He said city officials initially tried to run the hiring process themselves. They in the spring to ask residents what qualities they wanted in manager.
But when council members reviewed the applicants for the post, they failed to reach agreement, Cassidy said.
Now the city is using an outside recruitment firm to broaden the search. Cassidy estimated that has cost about $25,000.
He said the application period ended Sunday. Now the search firm will help the council narrow down the prospects and decide which ones to interview.
He said the hiring process should be completed in the next two months.
Meanwhile, Cassidy said the city has a balanced budget. It is pushing projects like the that the council approved Monday night.
"I think Interim City Manager Lianne Marshall is doing a fantastic job," Cassidy said.