After 18 years of local government service, the city of San Gabriel has terminated the contract of City Manager Michael Paules.

Mayor Juli Costanzo said the change will take San Gabriel in a fresh direction during a time in which every city in California is facing different budgetary issues.

Costanzo stated the decision was purely a business decision and was positive and “amicable.”

It is almost unheard of for a city manager to remain in this capacity for so many years, claimed Costanzo.

“This says a lot about San Gabriel,” Costanzo said.

“Paules was a great manager, we admire him,” Costanzo said. “It was nothing he did. He has been a very good leader.”

Costanzo said it was time to bring in new blood and related the city’s decision to that of a bank choosing a new CEO in order to get to the next level.

The city has asked Deputy City Manager Steve Preston to take over as interim city manager until the city finishes its search for a permanent replacement.

The search process will take anywhere from four to six months. 

“It is a very open process,” said Costanzo.

The new city manager will have to deal with new economic development issues.

Costanzo stated local government can’t rely on the state or federal government for funding.

“When the economy gets better, we want to be in a position to get out of the gate.”

Lous Dettorre can be reached at