Trackdown Management’s City Manager newsletter: Volume No. 14, Issue No. 15

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 Paso Robles Chief of Police Ty Lewis has begun serving as the Paso Robles City Manager. His 25-year public service career has included working for three different California municipal police departments. He joined the Porterville Police Department in 1996 and moved to the Bakersfield Police Department in 2000. He then came to Paso Robles as a Commander in its police department in 2002.

Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho is retiring after Thanksgiving this year (2021). Nelson began his public management career as a Management Intern in Hayward in 1989. He worked as a Management Aide in San Dimas (1991- 1993) and then went to the City of Campbell as a Senior Management Analyst in 1993. Nelson joined the Pleasant city staff as the Assistant to the City Manager in 1997. He was named the Director of Human Resources in 1999 and he became the Deputy City Manager in 2001. Nelson was appointed City Manager in 2004. He earned a BA and MPA from California State University, East Bay. He also completed the program the Senior Executive Program at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. In 2019 Nelson received a 30-years ICMA Service Award.

Westminster City Clerk Christine Cordon is filling in as Acting City Manager behind the retirement of City Manager Marwan Youssef. This technically makes Christine the very first Vietnamese American City Manager in Westminster. It is estimated that 37,000 Vietnamese Americans live in Westminster. Marwan is officially retiring September 13 and 32-years with the city. Marwan previously served as the Director of Public Works.

Fullerton Deputy City Manager Antonia Castro-Graham is the Chief Operating Officer of the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA). Antonia is a former Assistant to the City Manager in Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach, Irvine, Fullerton and Buena Park joined together in November 2020 to form OCPA. This electricity service option would go online next spring for municipal, commercial and industrial uses, with residential service set to launch in October 2022.

Willows Interim City Manager Marti Brown, who is a former City Council Member in the City of Vallejo, has confirmed that she has not interest in the Vallejo Interim City Manager position. With Interim City Manager Anne Cardwell leaving the city, Vallejo is looking for a new person for the position. It is speculated that Marti may be interested in the permanent Vallejo City Manager position. Marti is a former City Manager in Marysville (January 2018-July 2020).

Former Los Banos City Manager Alex Terrazas is the Interim City Manager in the City of Ceres. He took over for City Manager Tom Westbrook who ended his 20-years of working for Ceres. Alex brings 27-years of municipal government experience to the position. He served 15-years as the Assistant Town Manager in the Town of Truckee. Prior to Truckee, Alex worked for Mountain View and held a position with the League of California Cities. Tom resigned after serving as Ceres City Manager for 16-months so that he could accept the Community Development Director position in his hometown, Red Bluff.

Casey Hatcher joined the Butte County staff in July 2011 as a Manager in Program Development. Since May 2014 Casey has served as a Principal Management Analyst. She earned a BA from California State University, Chico. In 2019 Casey was named by State Senator Jim Nielsen as Woman of the Year in the Fourth Senate District. Her role in helping during the Oroville Dam spillway crisis and the 2018 Camp Fire recovery were cited.

Steve McClary is the Interim City Manager in the City of Malibu succeeding City Manager Reva Feldman. Steve worked as the Administrative Services Manager and Deputy City Clerk in the City of Fillmore, where he joined the city staff in April 1997. He came to the City of Ojai in March 2009 as the Assistant to the City Manager. He became Deputy City Manager in 2013. Steve was appointed Interim City Manager in March 2016, and in September of that year Steve became the Ojai City Manager. He served in that position until 2019. Steve earned a BS in communications and public relations from Pacific Lutheran University.

Former Anaheim City Manager Chris Zapata, 61, has been serving as the Sausalito City Manager since June. Chris served as the Anaheim city Manager from August 2018 until April 2020. Prior to addressing the big city issues of Anaheim, Chris was the City Manager in San Leandro (2012-2018), and also in National City (2004-2012). Chris succeeded Interim City Manager Marcia Raines, who is a past President of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities, and a longtime member of the Board of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF). Chris earned a BA from Northern Arizona University. In 2016 Chris received a 25-year ICMA Service Award.

Randy Groom, Visalia City Manager and a Visalia city employee for more than 20-years, attended his final City Council meeting as City Manager last month. Randy has served as the Visalia City Manager since 2017. He announced his retirement earlier this year. Randy joined the city staff in 1985 as a crime analyst with the Visalia Police Department. Assistant City Manager Leslie Caviglia is the first female to serve as City Manager in Visalia as she replaced the retired Randy Groom.

Joe Irvin is the City Manager for the City of South Lake Tahoe. He joined the City as City Manager in May 2020. Prior to that he worked as the Assistant City Manager in the City of Healdsburg (August 2018 – April 2020). Joe worked for Sequim, Washington and Marco Island Florida before his Healdsburg service. Joe earned a BS from California State University, Channel Islands, and an MPA from the Evergreen State College. He also completed the Senior Executive Institute for Leadership ICMA at the University of Virginia. Joe says he enjoys a good game of cribbage.

Kevin Chun is the City Manager in the City of Lawndale. He began his Lawndale tenure in December 2019 after serving as the Paramount Assistant City Manager from October 2015, and Director of Administrative Services in La Cañada Flintridge between April 2007 and October 2015. Kevin began his public service career as an Administrative Intern in the City of Irvine in 1988. After working as an Irvine Associate Transportation Analyst (1990-1994), Kevin worked as a Committee Consultant for the California State Assembly and as an Intern at The White House in 1995. Kevin then worked as a Management Analyst in Culver City and then went back to Irvine in 1998 as a Senior Planner & Management Analyst. Kevin that joined the Bellflower city staff in August 2000 as the Assistant to the City Manager. When he left Bellflower for La Cañada Flintridge he was serving as the Bellflower Deputy City Manager. Kevin earned a BA from the University of California, Irvine and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).

After succeeding City Manager Ray Sliver in 2009, Westminster City Manager Donald D. Lamm, though well-thought of, resigned his position in December 2010 to spend more time with his family. Prior to joining the Westminster city staff, Don served as the Economic Development Director in Costa Mesa for 23-years. Don worked for the Cities of Artesia, Cypress and Tustin before his long stint in Costa Mesa. He began his career working for the late-Artesia City Manager M.D. “Mac” McKeown. Don is currently a Managing Principal at Diamond Star Associates, Inc. in Newport Beach.

Christopher Jordan is the Director of Strategic Planning and Innovation for the City of Elk Grove. He joined the Elk Grove city staff in August 2015 as Assistant to the City Manager. He was appointed to his current position in July 2018. He worked for a private planning consulting firm starting as an Assistant Planner in June 2004. Christopher earned a BS in city and urban community and regional planning from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

*City employees in Los Angeles and Long Beach who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to get tested each week. This follows the State mandate for millions of State employees and health care workers. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia wrote, “The standard for those who serve the public must follow the best science available.”

*Retired West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo has joined Raymond James as managing director of the firm’s Pasadena office to strengthen the firms’ public finance business in the State of California.

*Butte County CAO Andy Pickett earned an MPA from the University of San Francisco; a BA from Sonoma State University; and an AA from Santa Rosa Junior College.

*Raylette Felton is the City of Lawndale Assistant to the City Manager and Human Resources Director.

*Retired Vista City Manager Rita Geldert, a longtime President of CCMF, and her husband Dale Geldert are back on the road in their motorhome.

*Shelley Banks-Robinson is the Director of Human Resources for the City of Sacramento.

*Elk Grove Deputy City Manager Kara Reddig has worked for the city for more than 19-years starting in August, 2002, and she earned an MPA from Arizona State University.

*Before joining the City of Malibu as Assistant City Manager, Lisa Soghor served as a Deputy Executive Officer and Chief of Developed Resources for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) starting in 1995.

*Mark S. Krause is the General Manager of the Desert Water Agency which was founded as a groundwater management agency in the western Coachella Valley in 1961.

*Following the retirement of Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover, Rick Anthony was appointed Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director in March, 2021.

*Lauren Lai, CPA, is the Finance Director in the City of Milpitas, and she previously worked for Monterey, Marina and Capitola.

*Eastvale Finance Director Amanda Wells previously worked for the City of Rialto for 14-years before joining Eastvale as an Accounting Manager.

*Past President of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities, Ray Silver is a former City Manager for the Cities of Huntington Beach, Coronado, Westminster and Upland.

*Lindsay City Manager Joe Tanner began his public service career in 2005 as an Economic Development Intern in the City of San Ramon.

*Condolences to the family and friends of Auto racing broadcaster Bob Jenkins who passed away last month at the age of 74 (1947-2021).

*Butte County Assistant Chief Administrative Office and Human Resources Director Brian Ring earned a BA and MBA from California State University, Chico.