Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 13, Issue No. 15

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. 

It has been nearly a year since Finance Director Marcus Pimentel left the City of Santa Cruz. The new Finance Director is Kim Krause. Kim is formerly the Finance Director in the City of Placentia. Kim earned a BS in accounting from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, In addition to Placentia, Kim has worked in cities in California, Washington and Oregon.

Glendale City Manager Yasmin Beers will retire effective in October 2020. Yasmin is closing out a 33- year, She joined the Glendale city staff as an Administrative Assistant in 1995 and began working her way up in the organization. Yasmin was appointed City Manager in February 2018, after working as the Interim City Manager for about a year. She served as President of Soroptimist International of Glendale in 1999-2000. In 2011, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce recognized her as “Woman of the Year.” Yasmin earned a BA in political science from California State University, Northridge, and an MA in organizational leadership from Woodbury University.

An investigation into a failed $20 million City of Industry solar energy project regarding possible corruption is being conducted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. As part of the investigation, search warrants were served at the homes of former State Senator Frank Hill, businessman William Barkett, and Bell City Manager Paul Philips, a former Industry City Manager. The Cordoba Corp., that oversaw the proposed solar energy farm project for the city, was also served search warrants. Former District Attorney Steve Cooley is representing Paul Philips.

Alicia Velasco is the new Planning Director in the City of Cypress. Alicia has spent the past 13-years with the City of Lomita, serving as their Community and Economic Development Director since July 2018. Alicia earned a BA in geography from California State University, Fullerton, and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.

Torrey Contreras is the Senior Assistant City Manager in the City of Cerritos. He has worked for Cerritos for nearly 26-years; joining the city staff as an Assistant Planner in December 1994. He worked as a Planning Intern for Cerritos in June 1991 and he worked as a Planner for the City of Lake Forest after that (January 1993 – December 1994). Torrey worked is way up in the Cerritos organization after returning to the city in 1994. He served as the Director of Community Development between May 2005 and continues with the position’s responsibilities though he was also appointed Senior Assistant City Manager in March 2019. Torrey earned a BS in landscape architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MPA from California State University, Fullerton.

Maria Lara is the new McFarland City Manager. She joined the city staff in 2015 as Grants Director and was appointed Community Development Director in 2017.

El Cajon Principal Engineer Jeffrey Manchester reported on the Broadway Creek Improvement using about $2 million in grant money. The project is in the design and permitting phase with anticipated construction in early 2021. The primary focus of the project is to restore the creek vegetation and habitat along with improvements to reduce the risk of flooding.

San Diego River Park Foundation’s Sarah Hutmacher is serving as the Contractor’s Project Manager and volunteer coordinator. The project team includes the County of San Diego, Priest Development, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer are project partners.

Twenty-three year Chico Police Department veteran Matt Madden is the new Chico Chief of Police replacing the retired Chief Mike O’Brien.

Bobby Hatfield, who sang with Bill Medley as the Righteous Brothers, grew up in Anaheim and attended Fullerton Junior College and California State University, Long Beach, was a resident of Newport Beach at the time of his death in November 2003.

Fairfield’s elected City Clerk Karen L. Rees earned a BA in psychology from Sonoma State University.

Lemon Grove City Manager Lydia Romero, a California State University. Long Beach graduate, worked as a Staff Analyst for the League of California Cities (October 1995-June 1998).

Susan Stanton, former Greenfield City Manager, is among the finalist being considered for the City Manager position in Reno, Nevada.

Diana O’Dell, the Principal Planner for the City of Redwood City, who worked for the City of Sunnyvale for nearly 16-years, earned a BA from the University of California, San Diego, and an MPA from the University of San Francisco.

Kelli Lofing, formerly of the California Contract Cities Association, works as a Property Administrator at TNT Fireworks, as well as, serving as Executive Assistant at Olivito and Associates.

Eastvale Finance Director Amanda Wells is the city’s former Accounting Manager, who joined the city staff in July 2019, and she previously worked in the City of Rialto as Finance Manager.

Singer Debbie Gibson was born on August 31, 1970.

Sparks, Nevada Assistant City Manager Doug Thornley is the new Revo, Nevada City Manager.

Before he became Hawthorne in 1971, Don Mansfield served as City Manager in Camarillo and Rolling Hills Estates.