Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 13, Issue No. 78

Trackdown ManagementFor 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 Anaheim City Manager Dave Morgan of Ralph Andersen & Associates is conducting the recruitment for an Encinitas City Manager. City Manager Karen Brust announced her retirement effective June 12. She was appointed Encinitas City Manager in September, 2015. She is retiring after a municipal government career of 35-years. Candidates for the position should contact Dave Morgan at telephone number 916-630-4900.

Arroyo Grande City Manager Jim Bergman has resigned effective immediately. Details of his leaving are unclear. Jim came to San Luis Obispo in March, 2017. He had previously served as the Planning and Building Director for San Luis Obispo County. He replaced former City Manager Dianne Thompson, who left the position in June, 2016. Public Works Director Bill Robeson is Acting City Manager and Community Development Director Whitney McDonald is Acting Deputy City Manager.

Eureka City Manager Dean Lotter has been placed on Administrative Leave, and City Clerk Pam Powell has assumed the Acting City Manager role. Pam was appointed City Clerk in 2009. She has been a member of the Eureka city staff since 1993. Dean came to the city in December, 2019. He previously served as City Manager in New Brighton, Minnesota (2007-2019). In 2016 Dean received a 20-year ICMA Service Award.

Like many cities, San Mateo is facing a significant reduction in revenues due to the COVID19 pandemic. City Manager Drew Corbett is crafting potential actions to bring city spending and revenues under control. Spending cuts will likely come as a result of reductions in services and/or restructuring the manner in which the city pays its employees. It appears as if significant cuts will not be needed in fiscal year 2020-2021, but it will take a well-trimmed and leaner organization moving forward.

Grissel Chavez is the City of Norwalk Director of Public Safety. Grissel began her public service career as an Administrative Intern in Pico Rivera, and a Planning Intern in the City of Bellflower in 2001. She joined the Norwalk city staff in July, 2001 as a Management Analyst, and in 2008 she was appointed Public Services Superintendent. In October, 2013 Grissel took the Superintendent of Facilities and Maintenance in the City of Downey. She then moved to the City of Signal Hill as the Deputy Director of Public Works in October, 2015. Grissel returned to the City of Norwalk in July, 2018 as the Director of Public Safety. She earned a BS in public administration from California State University, Dominquez Hills and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).

Healdsburg City Manager David Mickaelian submitted his resignation effective in July, after 15-years with the City, nearly six as City Manager. He resigned in order to accept an appointment as General Manager of the Tahoe Donner homeowners in Truckee.

The most recent numbers released by Health Officials show no COVID-19 coronavirus deaths in Placerville. However, the city is faced with making severe service cuts in view of the revenue reductions caused by the pandemic. Assistant City Manager Dave Warren estimates that unemployment in the city will hit 10%. City Manager Cleve Morris anticipates the closing of the public pool, a city staff hiring freeze, strict overtime limits and other expenditure containment measures.

New Fontana City Manager Mark Denny is the former Dana Point City Manager (2017-2020). From 2008 until 2013 Mark worked as the Parks Director for the County of Orange, and he was the County’s Chief Operating Officer from 2013 to 2016. He joined the Dana Point city staff in 2016 as the Deputy City Manager, and was appointed City Manager in 2017. Mark earned a BA from California State University, Fullerton.

Former Long Beach Chief Financial Officer Mike Killebrew, who has been serving as Dana Point’s Assistant City Manager and Director of Administrative Services, is the new Dana Point City Manager.

West Hollywood Mayor Pro tem Lindsey Horvath is the new 2020-2021 President of the California Contract Cities Association.

When the late William J. “Bill” Stark resigned as the Cerritos City Manager in June 1970, he was replaced by Assistant City Manager John DeWeerd.

Mayrant “M. D.” “Mac” McKeown, born in June 1923, served as City Manager in Dairy Valley (1956-1961), Paramount (1961-1968), and Norwalk (1968-1970), before being appointed City Manager in Artesia in March 1972.

David N. Lund got his start as an Administrative Assistant in Norwalk in April 1970, and he was appointed City Administrator in Sierra Madre in September 1974.

Vietnam War veteran Frank G. Tripepi joined the City of Hawaiian Gardens staff in October 1971, and was appointed City Manager in the City of Rosemead in October 1974.

After working in Administrative Assistant positions in Walnut, Downey and Rosemead, Robert G. Gutierrez was appointed City Manager in La Habra Heights in April 1982.