For 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.
Hawthorne City Manager Erick Lee and longtime City Attorney Russell Miyahira have been dismissed. Russell was with the city for 35-years and was reportedly shocked by the action. Erick replaced City Manager Arnie Shadbehr last year after going through a lengthy hiring process. He joined the city staff as Assistant City Manager in May 2020 and was elevated to the City Manager position in July 2020. He previously worked for the City of Beverly Hills for more than 22-years. He worked in the Police Department and was a Division Commander from 2012 to 2016 when he became Deputy Director of Public Works (2015-2018). Hawthorne’s Community Services Manager Vontray Norris is the new City Manager. Vincent Ewing, a partner at AlvarezGlasman and Colvin, will be the new City Attorney.
Prior to joining the city staff in Coronado in 2016, new Assistant City Manager Dominique Albrecht worked in housing and community development for the County of San Diego. Dominique, a State of Maryland native, earned an MPA from DePaul University, and a BA in law from Pennsylvania State University. Dominique is a Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM). She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) and is the organization’s Director of Programming.
When demonstrators gathered outside the home of Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan in political protest, it triggered a large law enforcement response. Civic leaders, business organizations, the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) and civil rights groups condemned the action. It is one thing to protest outside of public office buildings and another to protest at the front steps of someone’s home, and terrifying his or her family and neighbors.
Retired veteran City Manager Mark J. Ochenduszko has been hired by the City of Coronado to serve as the Interim City Manager with City Manager Blair King’s departure April 29 to become the City Manager in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Since his retirement in February 2010, Mark served as the Interim City Manager in the City of Del Mar starting in June 2011. Mark served as the Coronado City Manager from September 1999 until his retirement. He previously served as the City Manager in Campbell (1992-1996) and Cypress (1996-1999). Mark is also a highly professional photographer who specializes in landscapes and outdoor subjects.
Manteca Acting City Manager Lisa Blackmon is the newest Assistant City Manager in the City of Waco, Texas. City Manager Bradley Ford appointed Lisa to become one of Waco’s three Assistant City Managers. Lisa went to work as a Deputy City Clerk in Napa in 2011, and she joined the Manteca city staff in 2016, where she served as Deputy Director of Emergency Services and Director of Legislative Services. Lisa and her family will relocate to Texas in mid-June 2021.
Former Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole has been named as a Special Housing Advisor to help Pasadena craft its new Housing Element. Rick resigned from the Santa Monica City Manager post last April. He will work as a non-paid advisor to the 17- member Pasadena Housing Task Force. Rick served 12-years on the Pasadena City Council, including a term as Mayor, before going on to serve as City Manager in Azusa, Ventura and Santa Monica.
John Kim is the new Administrative Services Director in the City of Coronado. John is currently the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Oahu Transit Services in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a CPA. John will replace Jim Krueger, who he will serve as the Chief Financial Officer in the City of Pocatello, Idaho. Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Chief Jeff Peters has retired after 31-years of community service. He is replaced by Deputy Fire Chief Joe Testa and Aaron Lacey, who will each serve a six-month rotation while the Cities of Livermore and Pleasanton search for the Department’s next Fire Chief. Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho praises Chief Peters for his professionalism and extraordinary leadership.
On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities conducted a “Post-Pandemic Local Economic Recovery” webinar session. Panelists discussed what steps cities can take to prepare for the post-pandemic economic recovery. Division President Blanca Pacheco, Downey Mayor Pro Tem introduced Dr. Robert Kleinhenz to address the group. A panel discussion was also included with panelists: Pat West, retired Long Beach City Manager and founder of Pat West LLC; Paramount City Manager John Moreno; Santa Clarita Assistant to the City Manager Jerrid McKenna; and consultant John Molina. Jennifer Quan is the Division’s Executive Director; Kristine Guerrero is the Legislative Director and Jeff Kiernan is the Communications Director
Longtime celebrated West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo will retire this coming summer after service 22-years on the job. Raised in Montebello Paul earned BA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach. He worked for the California State Franchise Tax Board, and then as Assistant Finance Manager in Bell Gardens. He joined the West Hollywood city staff in December 1990 as the Director of Finance, and he served in that position until 1999 when he was appointed City Manager. Paul is a member of the Board of Trustees for the California City Management Foundation (CCMF).
Alhambra Assistant City Manager Lucy Garcia withdrew her application to be the new City of Baldwin Park Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after the city accepted it. Lucy started her public services career in West Covina as an Administrative Analyst. Retiring Baldwin Park CEO Shannon Yauchzee said the city is disappointed but will continue to search for its next CEO (City Manager).
Escondido has confirmed the appointment of new City Manager Sean McGlynn, who replaces City Manager Jeffrey Epp, who is retiring after 35 years with the city. Sean has been the Santa Rosa City Manager for the past half-dozen years. Previous to that assignment, he served as the Deputy City Manager in El Paso, Texas. Jeffrey will now have the opportunity for some quality family time in Wyoming helping to run the family-owned bar, The Outlaw Saloon in Cheyenne.
Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung previously worked for the Cities of Irvine and Sunnyvale. She was the Director of Finance in Sunnyvale (2010-2016) and moved to Irvine in 2016 where she started as the Director of Administrative Services and became Assistant City Manager in October 2016. Grace started as the Newport Beach City Manager in September 2018. Grace earned a BA in urban studies from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Masters of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Former Palos Verdes Estates (2013-2019) and Rolling Hills (2007- 2013) City Manager Anton “Tony” Dahlerbruch is currently an Executive Recruiter for Peckham & McKenney, Inc. Tony is a past President of the City Manager’s Department of the League of California Cities (2013-2014). He served on the ICMA Executive Board as a Regional Vice President in 2002-2005. Tony received a 35-year ICMA Service Award in 2019. It was pointed out recently that Tony worked with past ICMA President Roy Pederson when Roy for the City Manager in Scottsdale, Arizona in the late 1980s. Tony earned a BA from the University of California and an MPA from American University. Theresa M. (Battaglia) Gutierrez Teney is a retiring Administrative Secretary for the City of Lakewood, California. Theresa went to work for Lakewood in October 2000. She previously served as a member of the city staff in Bellflower in recreation and in the office of the City Administrator. Theresa is beginning her retirement with marriage to Barry Teney as the two eloped on April 7, 2021 in Sedona, Arizona. Theresa has been the driving force behind the successful Bellflower city staff reunions. Trackdown Congratulations to Theresa and Barry and best wishes for a long and happy life together.
Greg Kwolek is the new Public Works Director for the City of Morro Bay working with City Manager Scott Colllins.
Former Walnut City Manager and retired South Gate Public Works Director Bob Dickey is filling an “interim” roll as the City of Manhattan Beach recruits for a new Public Works Director.
Karen Herrera, retired Duarte Deputy City Manager serves as Vice President of the Foothill Unity Center Board known throughout the San Gabriel Valley as a place of hope for adults and families in crisis.
Condolences to Kevin O’Rourke and his family and friend on the passing of his adult son.
One of the Founders of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF), and retired City Manager of Claremont (1988-2005) and Indio (2005- 2010), Glenn Southard, a San Clemente resident, earned a BA California State University, San Diego, and an MPA from California State University, Fullerton.
Former public relations executive Chris Mann in the City Manager for the City of Canyon Lake.
Tehachapi, where Greg Garrett is City Manager, is the latest city in Kern County to have expressed concerns about the negative impacts of the State’s highspeed rail project.
Denise Ovrom, a former City Manager in Temple City and Beverly Hills Assistant City Manager, has retired from her position with HdL Companies after a little more than 19-years.
Stanford University graduate Phil Ansell has worked in Human Services for the County of Los Angeles for more than 26 years and now heads up the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative.
West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath is the current President of the California Contract Cities Association and an entertainment marketing professional.
Juan Garza, former Mayor and member of the Bellflower City Council is the founder of Six Heron, LLC, a public affairs company.
City of Lincoln Water Facilities Supervisor Chuck Poole has been with the city for more than 25-years.
Former Covina (1993-1999) and Azusa (2005-2011) City Manager Francis “Fran” Delach, also formerly with HdL Companies, is an Adjunct Faculty Member and City Manager in Residence at the University of La Verne.