Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 13, Issue No. 7
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.
Former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is serving as Interim Assistant City Manager in the City of Healdsburg. He is filling in for the former Assistant City Manager Joe Irvin, who accepted an appointment to the City Manager post in the City of South Lake Tahoe. Dave is a resident of Healdsburg. In 2019, he served as Interim City Manager in Huntington Beach.
Encinitas City Manager Karen Brust will retire in mid-June, after 35- years in public service. Karen previously served as City Manager in San Juan Capistrano and the City of Del Mar. She has been the Encinitas City Manager for nearly 5-years. Karen is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.
Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole announced on the City’s website that he is stepping down as a response to the City’s budget crisis. Rick was appointed Santa Monica City Manager in June, 2015. He previously served as Deputy Mayor in Los Angeles (2013-2015); and as City Manager in Ventura (2004-2012), and Azusa (1998- 2004). He began his public service career as a Member of the Pasadena City Council, where he served a term as Mayor (1983-1995). Rick earned a BA from Occidental College and a Master’s degree from Columbia University. He received a 20-year ICMA service award in 2019. He currently serves on the ICMA Committee for New Partners for Smart Growth.
Manteca Interim City Manager Miranda Lutzow has removed the “Interim” to become the Manteca City Manager. Miranda became Interim City Manager in December, 2019 when City Manager Tim Ogden was placed on administrative leave.
Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg is the new Interim City Manager replacing Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, who submitted his resignation. Rick said that he is stepping down due to the challenges of attempting to balance the budget amid a significant reduction in revenue due to the coronavirus shutdown. Lane has served as the Santa Monica City Attorney since 2017. Prior to joining the city staff, Lane served as a Senior Counsel to UCLA, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Public Corruption & Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Lane is a graduate of Yale Law School. Encinitas City
Manager Karen Brust will retire in mid-June, after 35-years in public service. Karen previously served as City Manager in San Juan Capistrano and the City of Del Mar. She has been the Encinitas City Manager for nearly 5-years. Karen is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.
Anaheim City Manager Chris Zapata was terminated, and Deputy City Manager Greg Garcia is the Interim City Manager. Chris was appointed to the Anaheim City Manager position in July, 2018. He signed a five-year employment agreement with the city. He previously worked as the City Manager in the City of San Leandro (2012-2018), and National City (2004-2012). Prior to that he worked for the City of Glendale, Arizona as Deputy City Manager (2002- 2004) and as Utilities Director (2000-2002). Chris also served as City Manager or Town Manager in: Eloy, Arizona (1999-2000); Superior, Arizona (1995-1999); Eloy, Arizona (1993-1995); and again Superior (1991- 1993). Chris earned a BA from Northern Arizona University. In 2016, he received a 25-year ICMA Service Award. Chris served as President of the ICMA Local Government Hispanic Network in 2007-2008.
McFarland Interim City Manager Larry Pennell has reported grave fiscal conditions for the city. California’s new law banning privately run prisons would cost McFarland $1.5 million in taxes and other fees, unless the owners can convert the facilities to another use.
Tim Rundell has been sworn in as the new City Manager in the City of Weed. Tim succeeds City Manager Ron Stock, who served 39-years in public service and as Weed City Manager since February, 2012. Tim began his public service career in 2001. He most recently served as the City Manager in Durant, Oklahoma (2016-2019). Tim earned a BA from Oklahoma State University and an MPA from the University of Oklahoma. Tim also served 6-years in the United State Air Force and the Oklahoma Air Nation Guard.
Michaeil T. Uberuaga, after working a couple of positions in Nebraska and Wyoming, came to California and served as Administrative Assistant to the City Manager in Claremont (1973-1975), and Assistant City Administrator in South El Monte (1975- 1976). In 1976 Mike took the Executive Assistant to the City Manager in Compton post, before accepting the City Manager appointment in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (1976-1983). In 1983 Mike became the City Manager in Milpitas, and he moved to the Concord City Manager position in 1986. Surf City was Mike’s next job as he became the City Administrator in Huntington Beach in 1990. Mike then served as the City Manager for the City of San Diego from 1997 to 2004. He earned a BA from University of Wyoming and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC). Mike received a 30-year ICMA Service Award in 2003. He was also the recipient of the ICMA Program Excellence Award for Innovation in Local Government Management in 2001, and the ICMA Carolyn Keane Award in 1998.
Rolling Hills Estates Assistant City Manager Alexa Davis began her municipal government career as an Administrative Analyst for the City of Palos Verdes Estates in January, 2006. Alexa was promoted to Assistant to the City Manager in September, 2011. She took the same post with the City of Rolling Hills Estates in November, 2014. Alexa was appointed Assistant City Manager in July, 2019. She earned a BA in communications and English writing from DePauw University, and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.
Tom Westbrook is the new City Manager in the City of Ceres. Tom will retain is duties as the Ceres Director of Community Development. Tom has served as Interim City Manager since City Manager Toby Wells resigned to take the Turlock City Manager position. Tom joined the Ceres city staff in 2001. He started with the city in the Planning Division, as an Associate Planner. In 2012 he became the Director of Community Development.
Michael A. Oliver earned a BA and MPA from California State University, Hayward. He served as the City Manager in the City of San Leandro in March, 1992. He then served as City Manager in Citrus Heights (1996-1999) and the City of Oakley (1999-2005). Mike then worked as Director of Entitlements for a Danville holding company, and is currently President of a municipal resources’ consultant firm.
Wellington, Colorado Deputy Town Administrator Kelly Houghteling penned a piece published in the March, 2020 issue of Public Management. Featuring 1933 worker’s rights advocation Frances Perkins. Frances served as Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was the first woman to hold a Cabinet position.
Gary Milliman retired as the Brookings, Oregon City Manager in 2018, after a 45- year career in city management. The Brookings City Council made Gary their “City Manager Emeritus.” Gary has been named a Senior Advisor with the Oregon City/County Management Association, the State affiliate of ICMA. Gary previously served as the City Manager in South Gate (2003-2007), Fort Bragg (1979-1997), and Cotati (1977-1979). He served as the Southern California Director for the League of California Cities between 2000 and 2003.
Beverly Hills Chief of Police Sandra Spagnoli will retire effective May 15 following a 4-year tenure. City Manager George Chavez said that crime was reduced in Beverly Hills and department diversity and public outreach was improved during Chief Spagnoli’s service.
Joseph M. Tanner, Sr. served as the City Manager in Galt (1973-1984), Emeryville (1984-1987), Pleasant Hill (1987-2001), Pacifica (2003-2007) and Vallejo (2007-2009). Joe received a 35-year ICMA Service Award in 2008.
Williams City Administrator Frank Kennedy began his public service career as a Correctional Officer for the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.
Fran Mancia, Vice President of Government Relations MunicServices, an Avenue Insights and Analytics Company, is a Regent Emeritus of the Governing Board of the University of California system, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the California City Management Foundation (CCMF).
Detective Chelsea Wright works in the Investigation Bureau of the Police Department of the City of Pleasant Hill.
Guitar playing singer George J. Watts, who earned a BA from California State University, Long Beach and an MA University of Southern California (USC), became the City Manager of the City of Arcadia in February, 1981, and served in that post until May, 1992.
Simi Valley Deputy City Manager Samantha Argabrite reported that the city will not pursue pension obligation bonds at this time.
Eleanor Fowler, an op-ed writer for EDHAT Santa Barbara, using words like “bloated,” thinks the local City Manager should take a 30% compensation reduction.
Sandy Duchi is the City Clerk in the City of Weed.
Steven H. Kyte became the City Manager in Turlock in January, 1980.
In December, 1989, Douglas N. La Belle started his tenure as the City Manager in the City of Signal Hill.
Bonnie Gawf is the Information Director and City Clerk for the City of Monterey, and previously served as City Clerk in Mongan Hill (1994-1996) and San Luis Obispo (1996- 1998).