Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 14, Issue No. 4


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 Emeryville City Manager Sabrina Landreth is the first female and the tenth General Manager to served the East Bay Regional Park District during its 87-year history. Sabrina is also a former City Administrator in Oakland. She earned a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

New Marysville City Manager Jim Schaad, 56, began his tenure in March 2021. Jim has been working for the City of Fresno for the past 18-years in various roles. He most recently served as the Fresno Assistant City Manager. Jim earned a BS in industrial technology from California State University, Fresno, and an MBA from Portland State University.

Santa Cruz City Manager Martin Bernal will retire this year, probably at the end of July. Martin served as the Assistant City Manager in Santa Cruz prior to taking the City Manager position in July 2010. Martin earned a BA from Stanford University and an MPA from the University of Texas, Austin. He began his public management career in 1994 on the Mountain View city staff.

Former Claremont Finance Director Adam Pirrie, who has been serving as Interim City Manager, has been appointed Claremont City Manager. He has been the Interim City Manager along with his Finance Director position for the past four months. Adam has been the Claremont Finance Director for 10-years, and has worked for the city since 2003. Adam is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

La Verne City Manager Bob Russi announced that longtime La Verne Finance Director Richard Martinez will retire after 30-years in local government and 19-years with the city. He first served La Verne as Accounting Manager and was promoted to Finance Director 3-years ago upon the retirement of Ronald Clark. Richard’s last day with the city is September 14.

Hawaiian Gardens City Manager Ernie Hernandez is the new City Manager in the City of Lynwood. He will start there on March 22. Ernie has served as the Hawaiian Gardens City Manager for the past four-years. Previously Ernie served as Deputy City Manager in Norwalk. He also served previously in positions in Santa Ana, Long Beach and South El Monte. Ernie earned a BA from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.

Michelle Ramirez admirably served as Acting City Manager for the past several month since former City Manager Jose Ometeoti was placed on administrative leave. Both Jose and Ernie have been participants in the Proof of Life lunch program.

Former Kern County Sheriff’s Commander and California State University, Bakerfield Police Department Lieutenant, Kenny Williams is the new Chief of Police in the City of McFarland. Kenny started his law enforcement career in 1982 with the Sheriff’s Department. After he retired in 2010 he joined the CSUB Police. Kenny earned an AA from Bakersfield College, a BA and MPPA from California State University, Bakersfield. He has taught as an adjunct profess at CSUB and at the California Aeronautical University, where he taught a course on airport security.

Kim Summers, Murrieta City Manager, was awarded a 2020 Ethical Hero Award from the California Affiliation of International City Management Association. Each year ICMA selects a single Ethical Hero from its membership. Kim served as the Deputy City Manager in Hesperia, where she worked for more than 15-years (January, 1999 – February 2014). She joined the Murrieta city staff as the Assistant City Manager in March 2014. She was appointed City Manager in July 2017. Kim earned a BA from California State University, Fullerton and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach. She is an ICMA credentialed Manager.

Armando Abrego is the new Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) Director in the City of Culver City. He officially assumes his new position on February 8. Armando previously held positions in the City of Pico Rivera, the Duarte Unified School District, the Housing Authority of Los Angeles County, and the City of West Hollywood. He earned a BS in recreation administration from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Former Long Beach Assistant City Manager Suzanne Frick left the Southland to be City Administrator in Ketchum, Idaho in August 2014. She retired in August 2020, but continues serving as the Ketchum Planning and Building Director.

Jade Riley is the current Ketchum, Idaho City Administrator. He previously worked for the City of Boise.

Adam Pirrrie has served as Claremont Acting City Manager since City Manager Tara Schultz resigned in October 2020. Adam has continued to serve as the Claremont Finance Director, while at the same time assuming the responsibilities of the City Manager position. Adam has served as the City’s Finance Director for 10-years, and has worked for the City since 2003.

Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin reported that Kevin Kilgore is the new Sebastopol Chief of Police. Kevin most recently served as a Lieutenant with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Police Department. Larry was sworn in on March 1, 2021. He took over from Interim Chief Don Mort, who has served in the post since the retirement of Chief James Conner in December 2019. Kevin is an avid equestrian and bicyclist.

Former St. Helena City Manager Jennifer Phillips is separating from her current position as City Manager in Bothell, Washington. She was hired in Bothell in November 2016. Though she has left the office already, her official final day with the city is April 1, as she uses up accrued leave. Jennifer has said that it is time for her to be with her husband, and once vaccinated travel again, hopefully. She said that if the stars align as they hope, they will retire in Austria or Switzerland. Jim Schaad is the new City Manager for the City of Marysville.

Jim worked 18-years for the City of Fresno; two and a half years as Assistant City Manager. Prior to Fresno, Jim worked as an adjunct professor for California State University, Fresno. He earned a BA from California State University, Fresno and an MBA from Portland University. Jim began his Marysville tenure on March 1st.

Lakewood City Manager Thaddeus McCormack previously served as the City Manager in Santa Fe Springs, where he worked for more than 19-years; City Manager for the last 6-years (2011-2017). Thad earned a BA from California State University, Long Beach, and an MA in political science from California State University, Fullerton. He worked for Xerox Corp. prior to joining the staff ranks of local governments.

Jerry Newfarmer, former City Manager in San Jose, Fresno and in Cincinnati, Ohio, authored a piece for PM Magazine entitled “Promoting and Ethical Local Government.” He notes that the professional City Manager is the foundation of good government, especially with a solid commitment to the ICMA Code of Ethics. Jerry notes, “…there is evidence to support the assertion that the council-manager form of government promotes ethical behavior…” Lisa Blackmon is the Interim City Manager in Manteca. City Manager Miranda Lutzow left the post at the end of February.