Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 14, Issue No. 2

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. 

San Jose Deputy City Manager Kim Walesh will retire at the end of March. Kim joined the San Jose city staff in 2003 with the economic development team. She was appointed Deputy City Manager and Economic Development Director in August 2017. Prior to her San Jose service, Kim was a Governor’s Fellow in Indiana (1986-1987; Senior Policy Analyst for SRI International (1989-1993); and she co-founded an economic consulting firm (1993-2002). Kim earned a BA from Valparaiso University and a Master of Public Policy, Business and Government from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Santa Monica Public Works Director Susan Cline is joining the City Manager’s Office as Acting Assistant City Manager. Interim City Manager Lane Dilg requested Susan’s assistance to work with her and Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta. COVID -19 has peaked in Los Angels County requiring executive stability. Susan will serve a six-month term beginning January 18. Interim City Manager Lane will leave Santa Monica this Spring.

Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman has been dealing with policy regarding a member of the Council requesting special research and document searches taking substantial amounts of the staff’s time. The City Council is considering a policy to prevent a member from monopolizing the staff’s time. Reva served as Assistant City Manager before being elevated following the retirement of City Manager Jim Thorsen. A well-regarded City Manager, Reva is a member of the Board of Trustees for the California City Management Foundation (CCMF).

Morgan Hill longtime Economic Development Director Edith Ramirez is the new Assistant City Manager in Morgan Hill. She is replacing Assistant City Manager Leslie Little, who is retiring following a 43-year public service career. Edith worked for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency for 11-years prior to joining the Morgan Hill city staff in October 2011. She earned a BA in polictical science and an MA in public administration from San Jose State University.

Los Altos appointed veteran retired City Manager Brad Kilger as Interim City Manager following the resignation of City Manager Chris Jordan, after 4-years in the position. Brad is a past President of the League of California Cities City Manager’s Department. Since retirement, he served as Interim City Manager in South Lake Tahoe. Brad retired as the Martinez City Manager in 2019. He also served as City Manager in Benicia, Ceres and Yucca Valley.

South Lake Tahoe City Manager Joe Irvin recently earned the designation of Credentialed Manager from ICMA. Prior to coming to South Lake Tahoe, Joe served as the Assistant City Manager in Healdsburg starting in 2018. From 2005 until 2018, Joe worked for the City of Sequim, Washington as the City Planner (2005-2011) and the Assistant to the City Manager (2014-2018). From 2011 to 2014, Joe worked for the City of Marco Island, Florida as the Zoning Administrator.

Coronado City Manager Blair F. King is among the finalist for the City Manager position in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Blair began his city government career in 1983 as a Redevelopment Specialist in Eureka. Since, he has served as Soledad City Manager (1991-1994), and City Manager in Imperial Beach (1994-1996); Half Moon Bay (1997- 2001); Lodi (2005-2010). His City Manager tenure in Coronado started in 2010. In 2015, Blair received a 35- year ICMA Service Award.

Corcoran City Manager Kindon Meik has been selected to serve as the next City Manager in the City of Calabasas. He has been the Corcoran City Mangaer since November 2011. He will take over for Calabasas Interim City Manager Don Penman in March. Corcoran Chief of Police Ruben Shortnacy will serve as Acting City Manager until a new Corcoran City Manager is appointed.

Turlock City Manager Toby Wells was placed on leave on January 7 so that an investigation can proceed. The reason for the investigation was not released to the public. Toby began his public service career in 1994 as an Engineer for the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District. He worked in engineering capacities for Turlock, Livermore and Ceres, where he was City Engineer (2011-2012). He was appointed City Manager in the City of Ceres in 2014. Toby hired as the Turlock City Manager in April 2020. Toby earned an AA in civil engineering from Modesto Junior College, and a BS in civil engineering from California State University, Fresno.

Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig has announced his retirement. John has served as City Manager since 2010. He previously worked as the Assistant City Manager (2001-2010). Prior to working in Laguna Beach, he was the Deputy City Manager in Alhambra (1999-2001), Assistant to the City Manager and Budget Director in Riverside (1995-1999). He began his public service career in Riverside as an Intern in 1989. He was promoted to Financial Management Analyst (1990-1992) and then Administrative Services Manager (1992-1995). He earned a BA from Washington State University and an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. John will retire in June 2021.

Bell City Manager Paul J. Philips is a veteran municipal government executive. Paul served as City Manager in South El Monte, Lawndale, Artesia, Covina and the City of Industry, among other executive assignments. He also served for a time as the Deputy Executive Director for the California Contract Cities Association, and as Interim City Manager in Maywood (2009).

Following the resignation of Calabasa City Manager Dr. Gary Lysik in May 2020, retired veteran City Manager Ray Taylor was appointed Interim City Manager until November 2020. Another veteran City Manager, Don Penman, took over in November. Don served as City Administrator in San Fernando (1982- 1990), Baldwin Park (1990-1993) and Arcadia (2008- 2012). He also served in executive positions in Simi Valley. Since his retirement, Don has served in a number of “Interim” assignments, including Interim City Manager in San Fernando, Temple City, Azusa (twice), Covina, and Ventura. Don received a 35- year ICMA Service Award in 2010.

James Vanderpool has been the Anaheim City Manager since September 2020. Jim previously served as the City Manager in the City of Buena Park (2012-2020), and he worked in Buena Park for 25-years. He earned a BA from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Bellflower Deputy City Clerk (2004-2020) Karen L. Avery retired and moved out of State.

Elaine Andersen, Folsom City Manager, earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Hawaiian Gardens Finance Director Linda Hollinsworth is the Chair of the Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations Committee of the Fiscal Officers Department of the League.

Redding Assistant City Manager Sheri DeMaagd is an alumnus of California State University, Chico.

Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager, has updated the local disaster evacuation plan, including tsunami inundation maps, with emergency evacuation routes to aid local visitors in hotels and other places of public lodging.

Retired Director of Public Works in the City of Bellflower, William “Bill” McConnell has passed away at the age of 94.

Greg Larson, retired Los Gatos City Manager, served as Chief Deputy and Chief of Staff to California State Controller Steve Westly (January 2002-June 2006).

Former Tripepi Smith executive Karalee Darnell is currently the Government Affairs Manager for Disneyland and a member of the Yorba Linda Planning Commission.

Paso Robles Civic Engagement Coordinator Shonna Vear Howenstine joined the city staff as a Tourism Coordinator in March 2007 and served in that position until July 2017 when she was promoted to her current post.

Moorpark Administrative Specialist Valorie Flores (2017-present), previously worked for the Bank of America (1988-2005); leaving as an Assistant Vice President.

Annie Krdilyan has worked for the City of Calabasas for nearly 13-years and currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager.