The small San Joaquin Valley town of Buelton hired a longtime police officer to become its new City Manager.

John Kunkel will begin his new job on Dec. 15, after working as a police officer and sergeant in Madera and as Police Chief in Exeter.  He was Exeter’s city administrator since 2004.

Kunkel will replace former City Manager Steve Thompson, who retired in August.

Kunkel will earn an annual salary of $140,000 in this three-year contract.