At the City Council meeting on July 27, Vallejo City Council named Assistant City Manager Anne Cardwell as Interim City Manager while the City gears up to decide on a recruitment process for the next permanent City Manager.
Under the City’s Charter, the Interim City Manager is granted the same powers as the permanent position to keep the City moving forward. Cardwell’s first official act is to name Interim Fire Chief Kyle Long as the permanent Fire Chief. “Chief Long has dedicated 18 years of his life to the Vallejo Fire Department and brings not only legacy knowledge to this role but also exceptional leadership and a love for this community and his staff. This choice was an easy and obvious one to make,” said Cardwell.
Chief Long joined the Vallejo Fire Department in 2003 as a Firefighter Paramedic, eventually being promoted to Fire Captain and then Battalion Chief. Long said, “I am sincerely humbled and honored to have been afforded the opportunity to lead an exemplary department. I will continue to serve the community with dedication and compassion as the Fire Chief. I look forward to working with Interim City Manager Anne Cardwell, Mayor McConnell, and the City Council. I am also appreciative of the ongoing support from the dedicated Firefighters and staff at the Vallejo Fire Department.”
Cardwell also began her tenure as Interim City Manager by appointing Gillian Hayes as the Interim Assistant City Manager and promoting Analyst Felicia Flores to Assistant to the City Manager. “Securing people who have an outstanding work ethic and continue to provide tangible results in this tough environment is the right move right now,” Cardwell added. “It helps to bring some much-needed stability to the City.”
Previously, Hayes had been the Director of Planning and Development and acting as the Deputy City Manager. “Typically, the Deputy City Manager would become the Acting City Manager in the absence of the City Manager and Assistant City Manager, a role which Gillian has had the opportunity to exercise on occasion, and she’s always done a phenomenal job.” said Cardwell. While Hayes sits in the Assistant City Manager’s seat, the Planning and Development Department will be overseen by Interim Planning and Development Services Director Christina Ratcliffe.
Cardwell also plans to move the Housing and Community Development Division under Interim Assistant City Manager Hayes. “Unfortunately, some large projects that are crucial to the quality of life for some of our residents have stalled. Moving this department under Interim Assistant City Manager Hayes will help us utilize her demonstrated planning skills to fast-track delayed projects and help ensure successful outcomes for future housing projects in the City.
Cardwell had this last thought to offer “This City has seen some unprecedented and unpredictable challenges in the last 18 months. I am excited to help propel Vallejo forward. I have faith that we (the City and Community) can work together collaboratively to make Vallejo’s future an even brighter one.”