Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 14, Issue No. 1

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 Merced City Manager Steven S. Carrigan is the new City Manager in the City of Salinas. Steve, a former City Manager in Los Banos, replaced the retired John Bramble in Merced. Steve worked for Lathrop in Economic Development; Vice President of Economic Development for the Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corp.; and as Stockton Director of Economic Development. Steve describes he and his family as “NASCAR freaks” and big San Francisco Giants fans.

Baldwin Park Executive Officer (City Manager) Shannon Yauchzee retired effective December 31, 2020 after serving in the CEO post for nearly 7-years. Shannon is a past President of the San Gabriel Valley City Managers Association. He earned a BS in civil engineering from California Polytechnical University, Pomona, and is a California registered civil engineer. He previously worked Willdan, and then served the City of West Covina for 18-years as the Building Official and the Director of Public Works. Shannon will serve as an Interim City Manager while the city conducts recruitment to replace him.

Retired Santa Ana City Manager David Ream passed away on December 26, 2020 at the age of 76. Dave suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. He was hospitalized for a time prior to his passing. Dave served 32-years with Santa Ana, becoming City Manager in 1986 and serving in that post until his retirement in 2011. He began his public service career as a Community Development Analyst in Long Beach in 1971. He then served as an Administrative Analyst in the City of Lakewood (1974-1978). He joined the Santa Ana city staff in 1978 as a Management Analyst. Dave earned a BA from Arizona State University and an MBA from California State University, Long Beach. In 2011, Dave received a 40- year ICMA Service Award. Funeral arrangements are uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lake Elsinore City Manager Grant Yates has announced his resignation effective in February. Grant has served as City Manager in Lake Elsinore since November 2012. He previously served in the Cities of Temecula and Carlsbad. No decision has been made on a replacement.

Charles “Chuck” E. Deschenes served as the City Administrator in Waterford, California from 1998 until 2011. He served as the Auditor & Controller and Mental Health Administrator in Shasta County from 1978 to 1986. Starting in 1986, Chuck worked as the County Administrator in Garfield County, Colorado. He earned an AA from Shasta College, a BA from California State University, Fullerton, and an MBA from the University of Southern Colorado. In 2008, Chuck received a 30-year ICMA Service Award. Since leaving Waterford in 2011, Chuck has been serving as a consultant.

Fairfield has its first female Chief of Police and 13th Chief in Deanna Cantrell.; appointed in October. Deanna served as the Chief of Police in San Luis Obispo starting in January 2016. She worked for the Police Department in Mesa, Arizona for 21- years to start her law enforcement career.

Berkeley internal auditor Tracy Yarlott-Davis, 41, a California native, will become Town Manager in Hartford, Connecticut. She will take over from Interim Town Manager John MacLean in mid-February. Tracy is a Mills College graduate, who prior to Berkeley served as a City Auditor in Oakland. Previous to that she was an auditor for the State of California. She is the first woman to serve as Town Manager in Hartford.

Former Chino Hills City Manager (1995-2009) Douglas La Belle serves as a member of the OC Fair & Event Center. Members are appointed by the Governor to four-year terms. Doug is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation. Doug also previously served as City Manager in Signal Hill. He began his public service career in 1964 with the City of Garden Grove. Since then, Doug has worked in various positions in the Cities of Cerritos, Huntington Beach, La Mesa and Marysville.

Former Stockton and Ridgecrest City Manager Kurt Wilson is the new Interim City Manager in Beaverton, Oregon. Kurt also served as a member of the Ridgecrest City Council. Former Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole was also a candidate for the Beaverton position. The City is in the process of changing its government from a “Strong Mayor” form to a “Council-Manager” form, which is most common in Oregon.

South Pasadena Interim City Manager Sean Joyce, who is a retired Irvine City Manager, expects to be in South Pasadena until approximately April. Sean was hired in September shortly after the dismissal of City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe. Bob Murray and Associates has been retained to lead the executive recruitment to help with the selection of a new City Manager. Thirty-one residents have been invited to sit on one of four focus groups that will offer input regarding the recruitment.

San Jose Chief of Police Eddie Garcia has been hired to serve as the 30th Chief of the Dallas, Texas Police Department. Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced the appointment on the day prior to Christmas Eve. Eddie has been the Chief in San Jose since 2016, and he has served as a member of the San Jose Police Department since 1992.

Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin is challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic’s devasting fiscal impact on the City. The City will not be able to fund essential services or respond to emergencies like an earthquake or other natural disaster if expenditure reductions are not immediately addressed. Oakland announced $29 million in spending cuts and other cost-savings that only begins to close the projected year-end $62 million deficit in the City’s general fund.

Dr. Peter Pirnejad is the new City Manager in the City of Foster City effective January 4, 2021. He served as a Planning Manager in Lodi (2005-2008) before becoming the Assistant Director of Economic & Community Development in the City of Daly City (2008-2012). He went to work for Palo Alto in 2012 as the Develoment Services Director, and then accepted the Assistant City Manager post in the City of Napain 2018. Most recently he has worked in the private sector (2018-2020). Peter earned a BA in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPP and a Doctorate in public policy administration from the University of Southern California (USC).

Former Healdsburg City Manager David Mickaelian has been the General Manager at the Tahoe Donner Association since July 2020.

Santa Monica Interim City Manager Lane Dilg will resign and leave her position in the Spring of 2021.

Dave Richards, City Manager in New Buffalo, New York, and former Hancock, Michigan City Manager, who also served cities in Alaska and California, passed away in December 2020 after being hospitalized with COVID-19.

San Luis Obispo City Manager Derek Johnson was awarded a compensation increase during the pandemic when professional management is most important.

Santa Paula City Manager Dan Singer, a former City Manager in Ojai, Goleta and Poway, earned two Masters degrees from Syracuse University.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Pasadena did not host a Rose Bowl Game or a Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2021.

Visalia Water Resource Manager Andrew Munn recommends that water conservation efforts be stepped up.