With all the coming’s and going’s in California local government, it can be hard to keep track of where your friends are or what’s happening in your neighboring municipalities. But Trackdown Management helps keep the state up-to-date with their newsletter.

PublicCEO presents his Picking Up the Pieces:

Willdan Senior Vice President of Business Development Frank G. Tripepi, a retired veteran City Manager, serves on the Board of Governors of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government. The Rose Institute conducts and publishes research on California government and politics.

Fortuna City Manager Duane Rigge has served the city for 9-years. Before coming to Fortuna, Duane was the Blue Lake’s City Manager and the General Manager of the Manila Community Services District.

Hercules City Manager Steve Duran has announced the appointment of Nickie Mastay as the City’s new Finance Director. Nickie has been the Richmond Community and Economic Development Finance Manager for the past 6-years. Nickie will also serve as the Hercules Human Resources Director.

Oxnard City Manager Ed Sotelo has been placed on paid leave. City Attorney Alan Holmberg reported that the City Manager’s leave is unrelated to the Ventura County D.A.’s investigation into the city’s finances. Ed’s attorney said that the City Manager has been subjected to “continued harassment” by Mayor Tom Holden. Ed was appointed City Manager in 1998, and filed a harassment claim against the Mayor in 2010.

Martinez Assistant City Manager Alan Shear, a former Assistant City Manager in Huntington Park, is the primary point person to provide staff services to the Martinez Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission, among his many duties. The suggestion that the commission reduce the number of its meetings as a cost-reduction measure was ill-received and City Manager Phil Vince made a public apology to the commission.

Hanford City Manager Hilary Straus has resigned. Though highly thought of in city management circles, he found himself in the eye of a storm as he tried to get the city to realistically address the failing economy and budget revenue deficiencies. Criticism came on the heels of an independent study recommending cuts of up to seven patrol officers, three lieutenants and a detective for the Hanford Police Department.

Greg Cherry is the new Scott Jacobson, who has a new assignment with USC. He was previously the Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations in the Office of Development and External Relations.

David Childs, President of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Assistant County Manager in Washoe County, Nevada has been appointed City Manager in Palmdale starting in April. Dave will succeed City Manager Steve Williams, who is retiring. Dave has been working in local government since 1972.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe told the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce that the State’s action to eliminate Community Redevelopment Agencies is one more example of the State helping to balance their own budget on the backs of local government.

Long-time Rancho Mirage City Manager Pat Pratt, 60, has retired and will be heading to Las Vegas next month with a $500 Planet Hollywood gift certificate from the members of the Rancho Mirage City Council. He served 21-years as City Manager and 33-years as a Rancho Mirage employee.

East Palo Alto City Manager M.L. Gordon has announced that he will retire the first week in March. He has 37-years in public management as an Assistant City Manager and the last 19-months as City Manager.

Red Bluff is considering appointing City Attorney Richard Crabtree to replace the outgoing City Manager Martin Nichols. Marty says that an estimated $40,000 savings will help the local budget situation with the City Attorney and City Manager posts combined. Richard previously served as the Lassen County CAO and then County Counsel for 16-years. He lives in Chico but is considering a move to Red Bluff. Marty is leaving Red Bluff to accept appointment to the Lassen County Chief Administrative Officer position. Deputy City Clerk Cheryl Smith is the Red Bluff Interim City Manager.

Following a 40-year career in municipal government during which he served in La Mirada, Temple City and as the Bishop City Administrator from 1980 to 2010, Rick Pucci was elected to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors.

Governor Jerry Brown predicts that the California High-Speed Rail Project will cost far less than the current estimate of nearly $100 billion.

Costa Mesa Administrative Service Manager Anna Sanchez previously served as a Senior Management Analyst in Claremont. Anna began her current position this year (2012). Steve Mandoki, 52, a Lawndale native, who previously served as the Administrative Services Director in Costa Mesa, is the current Lawndale City Manager. Former Pico Rivera City Manager Charles P. “Chuck” Fuentes lives in Lawndale.

Justine Menzel is the Artesia Deputy City Manager and Financial Officer. She attended the January meeting of the City Managers-Administrators Committee of the California Contract Cities Association.

Greg Johnson, 50, was the highest-paid City Manager in the Coachella Valley at $262,000 annually when he resigned in October, 2011 from the Indian Wells City Manager post.

City Managers from throughout the State of California are scrambling to find ways to providing budgets that will continue needed local services, programs and facilities. Many are finding the sledging tough since the State has seen fit to close Community Redevelopment Agencies (RDA). Farmersville City Manager Rene Miller, explained that community leaders were counting on their RDA to pay off a loan in order that a new $1.9 million Fire Station could be built. She has been quoted as saying, “There will be no new fire station now.”

Marina City Manager Tony Altfeld may have his compensation reduced as a matter of “economic,” but his performance is still considered to high standards. The City has used the Oakland law firm of Meyers Nave with regards to the discussions of the City Manager.

Ukiah City Manager Jane Chambers served as the Interim Public Works Director in San Bruno prior to her Ukiah City Manager appointment to relieve Acting City Manager Pat Thompson about 4-years ago.

Adelanto Deputy City Manager Aaron D. Palmer is a former Assistant City Manager in Patterson, and previously worked in Big Bear Lake, San Carlos and San Bernardino.

City Manager Steve Kimbrough‘s 17-year tenure as the Corning City Manager will end at the end of the month due to his retirement status and CalPERS rules and regulations.

Retiring Chico City Manager Dave Burkland, 59, received many accolades upon leaving. Former Chico City Manager Tom Lando said he thinks Dave was a great asset to the community. Dave gave Assistant City Manager John Rucker, 50, somewhat of an endorsement for his application for the Chico City Manager post by saying that he is “absolutely” qualified.

Santa Maria City Manager Tim Ness retired at the end of 2011. He had served as City Manager since 1995. Assistant City Manager Rick Haydon, 49, has been selected to replace his retiring boss.

Former National City Assistant City Manager Leslie Deese was elevated to City Manager when City Manager Chris Zapata left National City to accept the San Leandro City Manager post. Leslie has worked for National City for the past 26-years.

Paradise Town Manager Chuck Rough (pronounced “row”) retired last year early in order to help the town try to balance its budget. He continues to serve the town as an hourly employee without benefits. The town is watching the Legislature closely as they have no intention of violating the law, but they want to retain Chuck’s good services. He has served as Paradise Town Manager for 15-years.