Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 13, Issue No. 05

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. 

Vacaville has changed City Managers by not exercising the option to extend the employment agreement of City Manager Jeremy Craig, and appointing Assistant City Manager Aaron Busch to be Interim City Manager. Jeremy has been City Manager since July 2017. Jeremy succeeded City Manager Laura Kuhn when she retired. Aaron joined the Vacaville city staff as Assistant City Manager in 2017. He previously worked in Rancho Cordova as the Community Development Director. Before that he held position in Yuba City, Roseville and Rancho Mirage.

Sierra Madre has retained former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Commander Rodrick Armalin as their new Chief of Police. Rod spent more than 30-years with the Sheriff’s Department. The new Chief will be working with Sierra Madre City Manager Gabriel Engeland.

Corona Assistant City Manager and Administrative Services Director Kerry Eden joined the City of Corona staff in December, 1996 as the Finance Director. She was promoted to her current post in April 2015. Kerry is a University of Redlands alumnus.

Santa Barbara Director of Finance Robert Samario is retiring after working for the city 24-years. He was appointed Finance Director in July 2010 after he worked as the Assistant Finance Director for 14- years. From 1986 to 1996, Robert worked with the audit firm of Moreland & Associates. In addition to his city duties, he served as a Financial Consultant for ICMA from starting in 2011. Robert did course work at St. John’s University, and earned a BBA from California State University, Fullerton.

Ojai Mayor John F. Johnston retired as the Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Ventura. He previously served as City Manager in Artesia (October 1968-October, 1971) and City Manager in Ojai (October, 1971-June, 1974). Johnny earned a BA from California State University, Long Beach and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).

Philip Vince, former Point Arena City Manager, Moraga Town Manager (2004 –2008) and Martinez City Manager (July 2008 – October 2013), currently lives in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Phil earned a BA in European history from Saint Mary’s College of California, and an MPA from San Francisco State University.

Joe Tanner, Jr. is the new City Manager in the City of Lindsay. Joe’s father is retired Vallejo City Manager Joe Tanner. Joe Jr. started his public service career in the City of San Ramon in December 2005 as an Economic Development Intern. He worked there as an Administrative Analyst from October 2007 until June 2012. Joe served as the Interim City Manager in the City of Rio Vista in 2013 before he was appointed Director of Administrative Services in Desert Hot Springs. In April 2018 he became the Director of Administrative Services in the Town of Moraga. He worked as the Interim Deputy City Manager in Port Hueneme in 2019 and he spent a couple of months as the Interim Management Services Director in Monterey Park starting in January 2020. Joe earned an AA degree at Diablo Valley College, a BA from St. Mary’s College of California, and an MBA from John F. Kennedy University.

Community Development Director Tom Westbrook, 45, will serve as the City of Ceres Interim City Manager next month when City Manager Toby Wells steps down to become the City Manager in Turlock. Tom joined the Ceres city staff in January 2001 as an Associate Planner. He previously worked Yuma County, Arizona for two-years. He also served as an intern for the City of Patterson. Toby served 6-years as the Ceres City Manager and previously the Public Works Director.

Christina Crosby joined the South San Francisco city staff in October 2005 as a Management Analyst. Christina became the Financial Services Manager in March 2015. She served as the Interim Finance Director from January 2019 to July 2019. Christina earned a BS in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

Lafayette Assistant Administrative Services Director Jennifer Wakeman earned a BA from Boston College and an MPA from California State University, East Bay. She was the Finance Manager in the Town of Moraga from November 2002 until September 2006 when she took a Senior Accountant post in the City of Walnut Creek. Jennifer joined the Lafayette city staff in March 2014.

Laguna Niguel City Manager Tamara Letourneau, and Santa Barbara Assistant City Administrator Pamela Antil both serve as members of the Board of the League of Women in Government.

Jessica Balandran, an Administrative Analyst for the City of Vernon who previously served as a Senior Administrative Analyst in Cudahy, is from Harlingen, Texas.

South San Francisco Director of Finance Janet Salisbury, a graduate of the Unversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), previously worked as the Director of IT, Finance, Contractas and Administration in the City of Oakland.

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency Controller Amy Aguer served as Administrative Services Director in the City of Desert Hot Springs between July 2013 and August 2014.

Retired City of Cypress City Clerk Denise Basham (2006-2019) served as an Administrative Secretary in the City of Lakewood between 1983 and 1988.

Former Blue Lakes City Manager John Berchtold, who conducted the City Manager recruitment in Jackson, is currently living in Michigan and has a condo in Kentucky.

Retired City of Cerritos Director of Community Development (1971-2004) Ali Soliman is now an independent architecture and planning professional consultant.

United States Federal Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein issued a ruling staking out ground for bankrupt municipalities to alter their workers’ pensions, a contract that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System argues cannot be touched.

Manuel A. Rede was the City Manager in the City of Lake Elsinore in 1982.