Trackdown Management’s City Manager NewsletterVolume No. 13, Issue No. 03

For over 13 years, Jack Simpson’s Trackdown Management has published the City Manager Newsletter. Jack is a retired city manager and former Willdan executive. His newsletter content weaves together the personal side of the profession in California and helps keep the city manager community, especially retired city managers, connected with each other. 

Monrovia City Manager Dylan Feik has named Lauren Vasquez to serve as Assistant City Manager, and Sean Sullivan to be the Monrovia Public Works Director. Lauren joined the city staff as Deputy City Manager in January, 2016. She earned a BS in environmental design from California State Polytechnical University, Pomona and a Master’s degree from the University of La Verne. Sean previously worked in Rosemead as the Public Works Manager and joined the Monrovia staff in February, 2016 in a similar post. He earned a BS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and an MPA from California State University, Northridge.

Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson’s employment agreement has been amended to require a 4/5 vote of the City Council to terminate the agreement without cause, and the term of the agreement now has not date certain, but rather “indefinitely.” Nathan joined the Lemoore city staff as the Public Works Director in November, 2015. He was appointed City Manager in February, 2018. Nathan work in the private sector before coming to Lemoore. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

Port Hueneme’s new City Manager is Brad “Brick” Conners, who previously served as the Commanding Officer in charge of Naval Base Ventura County. Brick entered the military in 1978. He is a decorated Navy fighter pilot, and provided leadership and instruction to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, known as “Top Gun,” and the Naval Strike Force Training Pacific. He finished his military career in 2009 as a Captain. After retiring from the military, he worked in the private sector, and founded a leadership consultant firm the works with private companies. He earned a BS from the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and an MBA from California Lutheran University, He also earned an MA from the College of Naval Warfare.

Chief of Police Andrew Salinas has been serving as Interim City Manager since City Manager Rod Butler left the city last December. Former Lafayette City Manager Steven Falk is the new Interim City Administration in the City of Oakland. Steve served as the Lafayette City Manager for 22-years before he resigned. Current City Administrator Sabrina Landreth announced last year that she planned to step down. Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County. The city, incorporated in May, 1852, has a 2018 population estimate of 428,827.

Former Costa Mesa Chief of Police Rob Sharpnack filed a lawsuit against the city claiming that city officials violated the State Labor Code, breached his employment agreement, retaliated against him, in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and violated his right to due process. The former Chief alleges that he was forced out of office after raising issues regarding the 2019 city budget process. He joined the Police Department in 1993 and was promoted to Chief in 2015. He claims that City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison and City Attorney Kimberly Barlow forced him to resign.

Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman invited the community to join her and Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Mikke Pierson at a City Manager’s Round Table. The meeting was billed as an informal round table discussion regarding city issues. Baseball is back in the City of Martinez where Eric Figueroa is the City Manager. A team representing Martinez will play in the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs, according to Andrew Dunn, the CEO and Commissioner of the League. The team will play 33-home games at the Waterfront Park between May 28 and August 1. The League will also field teams in Pittsburg and Santa Cruz this season.

Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra has served as the City Manager in the City of Willits since March, 2018. Stephanie worked as a Legal Aide with Alameda County in 1991-1994, and then as Risk Manager, Labor Relations Manager and Senior Economic Development Negotiator with the City of Oakland. She was appointed City Manager in Willits in January, 2018. Stephanie attended Santa Barbara City College and earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Sea Shelton is the Administrative Services Director for the City of La Palma. Sea previously worked as the Director of Administrative Services for the Orange County Vector Control District, and as a Senior Management Analyst in the City of Dana Point. Sea earned a BA in environmental analysis and design from the University of California, Irvine.

Community Development Director Ken Hiatt is replacing retiring Woodland City Manager Paul Navazio. Paul is set to retire on March 6. Ken will serve as Interim City Manager until a City Manager appointment is made. Prior to coming to Woodland, Ken worked as the Director of Community Development and Sustainability for the City of Davis. He came to Woodland to replace Director Nick Ponticello in April, 2013.

Highland City Manager Joseph Hughes received his first raise in more than 10-years, when a 10 percent increase was improved. Joe took the City Manager post following the retirement of City Manager Sam Racadio in July, 2006. Joe had been serving as the Assistant City Manager. Sam was elected to the Highland City Council in 2010, and announced in 2016 that he would not seek re-election.

Susan Paterson joined the City of Sausalito city staff in August, 2003 as a Recreation Specialist and magazine editor. In January, 2009 Susan was appointed Human Resources Manager for Sausalito. She continues to serve in that position going on a dozen years later. Susan earned a BA in communications and broadcast lass from Stephens College.

Dana Point City Manager Mark Denny is the new City Manager in the City of Fontana. Assistant City Manager Mike Killebrew may be the next Dana Point City Manager. Mark will take the Fontana position from Interim City Manager Mike Milhiser.

Former Durant, Oklahoma City Manager Tim Rundel is the new City Manager in the City of Weed, replacing retired City Manager Ron Stock. Tim earned a BA from Oklahoma State University, and an MPA from the University of Oklahoma. He served 6-years in the Air Force and the Oklahoma Air National Guard.

The smallest city in Sacramento County, Isleton is grappling with an annual budget problem. Despite a history of financial mismanagement and abuse, Isleton still does not have a written policy on how employees should be making purchases, such as requiring purchase orders or expense codes, according to City Manager Charles Bergson.

Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana, and Assistant City Managers Nadine Nader and Ruth Shikada attended the Internatoinal Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) annual confernece in Paris, France.

Adam Politzer is the City Manager of the City of Sausalito, and has held that position since 2007.

Marshall W. Julian was the City Administrator in the City of Lakewood from January, 1962 until November 1971 when he left to become the City Administrator in the City of San Bernardino.

Douglas Dunlap, who retired as the Pomona City Manager in 2007, served as the City Administrator in the City of Chowchilla starting in August 1976.

Executive search consultant Valerie Gaeta-Phillips, who has offices in Roseville, Seal Beach and Walnut Creek, is a member of the Local Government Hispanic Network.

John L. Taylor served as the Berkeley City Manager between February 1974 and July 1976.

Walnut City Manager Robert “Rob” M. Wishner is an alumnus of California State University, Fullerton.

The late Peter B. Feenstra, a former City Manager who served in the Cities of Artesia, Bellflower, South El Monte and Westminster, died in August, 2001 at the age of 70.

Hawaiian Gardens City Manager, since January, 2017, Ernie Hernandez previously worked for the Cities of Norwalk, Santa Ana, Long Beach and South El Monte.

Steve Rogers has served as the Yountville Town Manager since October 2007, and previously worked as the General Manager/CEO for the North Tahoe Public Utility District.

Penny Lilburn is the Executive Director of the Highland Senior Center and serves as the City of Highland Mayor Pro Tem as a member of the City Council.

Jack M. Joseph, former Cudahy City Manager, the Deputy Executive Director of the Gateway Cities COG, previously held positions with Garden Grove, and Cerritos beginning in 1974; earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Masters from the University of Notre Dame.

James Troyer, Angels’ fan and former Community Development Director in Fontana and Redlands, now works as a Public Agency Consultant with Willdan Engineering.