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:

George Rodericks, 45, is the new City Manager in Atherton. George previously served as City Manager in Belvedere and Villa Park, and was an Assistant City Manager in La Mirada. He began his public service career in 1991 as an Administrative Intern in La Mirada, and held positions in Rancho Palos Verdes and La Habra Heights before returning to La Mirada.

Willows City Manager Stephen Holsinger was a major topic of public discussion at a recent City Council meeting with people calling for his termination. Steve will get a formal performance review by the City Council, two members of the city staff and two members of the public. This situation seems to be somewhat driven by inadequate city revenues and budget concerns.

Palo Alto City Manager James Keene has announced his selection of Eric Nickel to serve as the next Palo Alto Fire Chief effective November 13. Chief Nickel has been serving as the Deputy Chief for the Novato Fire Protection District for the past 5-years. He has more than 25-years of fire service experience. Former Palo Alto Fire Chief Nick Marinaro retired in June, 2010, and Chief of Police Dennis Burns has been serving as the Acting Director of Public Safety. Chief Nickel earned a BS from California State University, Long Beach.

Paul D. Cayler is currently the City Manager in Willits, the eastern terminus of the California Western Railroad; otherwise known as the “Skunk Train.” He earned a BA from California State University, Chico.

Greenfield has appointed Susan Ashley Stanton to be its new City Manager effective November 12. Susan, formerly named Steve Stanton, was the Largo, Florida City Manager for 17-years, and subsequently had a sex change, or gender-reassignment surgery.

On Monday, October 1 the Norwalk city staff, where Mike Egan is City Manager, discovered that a number of bronze dedication plaques and public art statues were stolen, presumably to be melted down to be able for the material to be sold. Norwalk estimates the value of the City’s loss at $67,000. Other cities should be aware of crimes relating to public art and metals theft. A Norwalk investigation is ongoing.

Retired La Verne City Manager Marty Lomeli was recently spotted at the Chateau de Versailles wearing a beret. He says that this pretty French place is cold and drafty, and a real fixer upper.

Palo Alto City Manager James Keene has announced the appointment of Peter Pirnejad as the new Palo Alto Development Services Director. Peter most recently served as the Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development in Daly City.

Simi Valley City Manager Laura Behjan addressed the Simi Valley Community Council at the Lost Canyons Golf Club last month.

An historical note: Bob Chavez resigned his position as the Whittier Director of Parks at the age of 47 in July, 2006 to become a consultant. MuniServices’

Fran Mancia is a new CCMF Board member.

Buena Park City Manager James B. Vanderpool was appointed to his current post in July, 2012, and is a Buena Park staff veteran of more than 17-years. He was originally hired in the Public Works Department, and later served as the City’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau administrator. He also served as the Internal Support Services Director, which include Human Resources/Risk Management and Purchasing. He was elevated to Deputy City Manager prior to his appointment to the Buena Park City Manager post.

Steve Robbins, 59, General Manager of the Coachella Valley Water District died last month of leukemia. He had been scheduled for a transplant the day before he died. Steve was a 25-year veteran of the CVWD staff. He was named General Manager and Chief Engineer in 2003.

Shasta Lake is negotiating with Assistant City Manager John Duckett, 50, to replace City Manager Carol Martin, who is retiring November 30.

Novato City Manager Michael Frank has introduced Chris Stewart, 62, as the city’s new Economic Development Manager.

Tom Evans has served as Interim City Manager in Lake Elsinore since the dismissal of City Manager Bob Brady in March. A new Lake Elsinore City Manager will not be selected until after the November City Council election.

California Lutheran University graduate Scott Smith, a Seal Beach resident, has been appointed Executive Director of the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Three retired City Managers attended Bellflower High School at the same time. Retired La Mirada City Manager Gary Sloan was a senior in 1963; retired Camarillo City Manager Jerry Bankston was a junior; and former San Dimas City Manager Don Pruyn was a sophomore.

Ashley Wallace, who earned a BS from Vanderbilt University and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC) is a Graduate Management Intern in Huntington Beach.

Veteran retired City Manager Anthony Bonilla Lopez had spinal fusion surgery in April and is hoping to be released to work sometime this month. Tony served as City Manager in Corning, Orange Cove, Hawaiian Gardens, and McFarland. He also served in varying capacities in other jurisdictions. He graduated from Long Beach City College, and earned a BS and MPA from California State University, Long Beach.


Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck has announced the appointment of Phillip Leclair to the Pasadena post of Chief Information Officer in charge of the City’s Department of Information Technology. He joined the Pasadena staff in 2008 and served as the Acting CIO and Deputy Chief Information Officer.

Another historical note: In 1986 Paramount Assistant City Manager Sanford M. Groves resigned to accept a similar position with the City of Richmond, Virginia. Paramount City Manager William Holt reorganized to eliminate the ACM post, and he appointed Finance Director Richard Leahey and Director of Human Services Patrick H. West to two new Deputy City Manager positions.

Chula Vista City Manager Jim Sandoval traveled to China with representatives of the Port of San Diego on a nine-day trip to urge Chinese investment in port facilities. The Port and the city have partnered for years on Chula Vista Bayfront projects. The delegation met with potential investment groups, including the China Investment Corp.

Gold Hill, Oregon has hired retired veteran City Manager Dale Shaddox an Interim City Manager. He retired from full-time public service in 2004. He previously served as the Interim City Manager in Brookings, Newport, Shady Cove, Phoenix, Talent and Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Dale began his career as an Administrative Assistant in Buena Park in 1975. He also worked in Chico as an Administrative Assistant and then Community Services Assistant before moving to Yreka as Assistant City Manager in 1995. Dale served as the Yreka City Manager starting in 1996, and then served as City Manager in Cotati and Hollister prior to moving to Eagle Point, Oregon. He has an AS from Cypress College; a BA from California State University, Fullerton; and an MPA from California State University, Chico.

CCMF’s “Meet Your City Manager” YouTube video program now includes an interview with San Luis Obispo City Manager Katie Lichtig, who says; “Cities make California better…day-in and day-out.” This CCMF series of City Manager interviews is supported by MuniServices.

A new earthquake early-warning system has been installed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to detect earthquakes seconds before the ground starts shaking to allow trains to slow in an effort to prevent derailments. The system was designed with the aid of University of California, Berkeley scientists and is similar to one already in serves in Japan.

Walnut Creek Assistant to the City Manager Matthew D. Huffaker earned a BS in political science from Point Loma Nazarene University, and an MPA from California State University, East Bay.

Milpitas City Manager Tom Williams has appointed Soledad Community Development Director Steven McHarris to serve as the Milpitas Planning and Neighborhood Services Director.

Vice Admiral David H. Buss relieved Vice Admiral Allen G. Myers as the Commander, Naval Air Forces, and is now considered Naval Aviation’s 6th “Air Boss.” The Naval Air Forces’ mission is to man, train, equip and maintain a Naval Air Force that is immediately employable, forward deployed and engaged. The change of command ceremony was conducted aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) October 4, while docked at the US Naval facilities in Coronado. Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Cecil E. Haney awarded Vice Admiral Allen G. Myers the Navy Distinguished Service Medal during the change of command ceremony.

Port Hueneme City Manager Dave Norman resigned October 8 at the request of the City Council after nearly 6-years on the job.

Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney, CCMF Board President, tells us that CCMF is inviting participation at “The New and Future City Manager Seminar” scheduled for November 9-11, 2012 at the Fairmont Hotel, Newport Beach (Near the John Wayne Airport). The Seminar registration cost of $325 includes: materials, hotel accommodations, and all meals. Those interested should make inquiries to Melissa Au-Yeung of Laguna Hills at telephone no. 949-707-2621, or email Melissa at: mau-yeung@ci.laguna-hills.ca.us

The next meeting of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities is scheduled for January 30-February 1, 2012 in San Francisco.