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

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. 

Merced City Manager Steve Carrigan has been dismissed, and Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz will serve as Acting City Manager until another individual is appointed. No reasons leading to the dismissal were immediately forthcoming. Steve came to Merced in 2013 after serving as Assistant City Manager in Sanger between 2011 and 2013. Prior to that he worked as the Economic Development Administrator in the City of Lathrop (2009-2011), and the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stockton (2001-2009). Steve earned a BA from the University of Arizona.

Steve Rudolph, City Manager of Rocklin since May 2018, has announced his retirement in September of this year. Steve came to Rocklin in February 2017 as the City Attorney. He has worked in public service assignments for the past 30-years, including in Folsom, Galt, and Sacramento County. According to Rocklin Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer, Michael Young, the city wants to have a new City Manager selected by September.

Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan was appointed in 2017, after serving a time as Interim City Manager. Howard hired the current Sacramento Chief of Police Daniel Hahn. The Sacramento Black Lives Matter chapter is demanding that the City Manager be removed from office. They point to a number of police shootings as the reason. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has investigated but has never brought charges against a city police officer since her election in 2014.

Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana is California’s highest-paid City Manager for the second year in a row. State Controller Betty Yee’s revised June 30 Government Compensation report shows the City Manager compensation comparisons.

City of Santa Rosa Senior Administrative Assistant Gioia Garner worked for the County of Sonoma more than six years before joining the city staff in Santa Rosa in January 2019. Gioia studied marketing and communications at the University of Arkansas. She served as the President of the Junior League of Napa-Sonoma in 2018-2019.

Menlo Park Chief of Police Dave Bertini announced his plans to retire. The City will work with an executive recruiter to help fill the position. Menlo Park City Manager Starla JeromeRobinson noted that a public recruitment process may limit the applicant pool. The city will include the community in the recruitment process.

Former Chief of Police and Interim City Manager Alan Piombo, 51, is the new City Manager in the City of Mill Valley. Alan has been the Interim City Manager since January, following the retirement of City Manager Jim McCann. Alan worked for the San Rafael Police Department for 28-years before coming to Mill Valley. He earned a BA and a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s College.

Lakeport has named their new Community Center for retiring City Manager Margaret Silveira. Margaret served 10-years as the Lakeport City Manager. Before coming to Lakeport, she served as City Manager in Gustine (2007-2010) and Director of Housing & Economic Development in Riverbank (1998-2007). Margaret earned an AA from Modesto Junior College and a BA from Chapman University.

Leland J. Horner served as the Ventura Assistant City Manager from December 1962 until November 1973 when he was appointed City Administrator in the City of Millbrae. Lee began his public service career as an Administrative Assistant in South Gate in June 1960. He earned an AB from San Jose State University and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is looking to increase his political authority over the day-to-day operations of the city organization. The Mayor has introduced a ballot measure that would overhaul the City’s Charter and establish a “Strong Mayor” form of government where executive leadership is decided at the ballot box not necessarily based on professional qualifications. The Council-Manager plan was partly established to take the organizational management away from the political leanings of Boss government. The “Strong Mayor” systems puts political consideration into each hiring or appointment, and city planning and actions.

Dr. Brian S. Nakamura, a native of Lodi, and Assistant Professor at The Bush School of Government at Texas A & M, is a former City Manager in the California Cities of Rancho Cordova (2014-2015), where he followed the retirement of the City’s founding City Manager Ted Gaebler; Chico (2012-2014); Hemet (2009-2012); Banning (2008-2009); Reedley (2005- 2008); and Sutter Creek (1996-1999). Brian also held positions in Winters, Riverside and he served as the City Manager in Oregon City, Oregon (1999-2003). He earned a BA in economics from California State University, Sacramento; and an MPA and DPA from the University of Southern California. Brian received a 20-year ICMA Service Award in 2013.

Meno L. Wilhelms, born in June 1924, served as the City Manager in Santa Fe Springs (August 1957- September 1962) and Hawthorne (January 1953- June 1957). After working in private business for a time, he served as the Assistant City Manager in San Diego (1967-1971). Meno earned a BS in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska.

Baker, Oregon City Manager Fred Warner, Jr. will retire at the end of the 2020 year. He has served as the City Manager in the City of Baker since June 2016. The city is in the process of recruiting a replacement for Fred. Baker has a seven-member city council.

Barstow City Manager Nikki Salas, Assistant City Manager Cindy Prothro and Chief of Police Albert Ramirez, Jr. voluntarily chose to have their salary and benefits subject to an executive-level plan of a two-year freeze on pay increases. The effort is being made in an attempt to avoid furloughs and layoffs due to the financial impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is for members of the Barstow Management Employees’ Association, and the three volunteer executives.

It is reported that 33-Huntington Beach city employees have tested positive for the coronavirus since internal testing began in March.

Former City Manager in Sonoma and La Palma, Pamela Gibson is a Romance Author with two different publishing companies.

Dr. Camille Cates Barnett, who last worked as a Managing Director in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2008-2010), worked in Sunnyvale as an Administrative Assistant (1973-1975) and as Intergovernmental Relations Officer (1975-1977) before going on to serve as City Manager in Austin, Texas (1989-1994).

Colton High School graduate Guy Huffaker, a retired Porterville City Manager, graduated from San Diego State University.

Former City Manager Don Duckworth is a native of Coronado.

Risk Analyst II Maili Madsen of the Cty of Vallejo, previously work for Vacaville (2007-2017) and Fairfield (2003-2007), and earned an AS from Solano Community College, and a BS from the University of Phoenix.

Corie Stocker, Management Analyst in the City of Half Moon Bay since May 2018, earned a BA in psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Michael Young, Rocklin Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer, is a former Sports Editor of the State Hornet Student Newspaper as Califonria State University, Sacramento.

Amador City, in California’s Gold Country, where the famous Imperial Hotel is located, is the State’s smallest incorporated city (June 1915), with an estimated 2019 population of 190.

Aaron Laurel was appointed to serve as the West Sacramento City Manager and the Port of West Sacramento Chief Executive Officer in July 2018.

Since March 2006, Amber Todd has served as a Special Assistant to the City Administrator in the City of Oakland.

Among the women working for the City of Seal Beach are: Jennifer Robles, Kelly Telford, Alayna Hoang, Nancy Ralsten, and Denice Bailey.

Donald L. Russell served as City Manager in Covina (March 1973-July 1976), and Alhambra (July 1976- February 1977), before he was appointed City Manager in San Pablo in September 1978.

David R. Rowe, born in October 1938, was appointed City Manager in Daly City in August 1969.

Antelope Valley High School alum, Dennis Davenport, who studied at California State University, Long Beach and UCLA, worked as the Assistant City Manager in Cypress and with the City of Lancaster before his retirement.

Sharon Denney, Management Analyst II in the City of Benicia, earned an AS in physical geography from Diablo Valley College.