Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager newsletter: Volume No. 14: Issue No. 21

Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop is leaving his position to become the City Manager for the City of Cupertino. Jim came to Lompoc in 2018 after serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Oxnard. He is an Orange County native and has family roots on the Central Coast. He served as the Director of Administrative Services in Paso Robles from 2007 to 2016. Jim earned a BA in economics from the University of Southern California (USC) and an MBA from Chapman University.

Lawndale City Manager Kevin M. Chun is on Administrative Leave. Kevin started his tenure as the Lawndale City Manager in December 2019. He previously served as the Assistant City Manager in the City of Paramount (2015-2019). Kevin has developed an admirable reputation as a public manager through his service in Lawndale and Paramount, and as the Director of Administrative Services in La Cañada Flintridge (2007-2015); Deputy City Manager in Bellflower (2000-2007) and as a Management Analyst for the City of Irvine (1998- 2000). Kevin earned a BA from the University of California, Irvine and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC). In 2021 Kevin received a 20-year ICMA Service Award.

Sonora City Administrator Mary Rose Rutikanga has resigned to take a new job in Africa. She has accepted the position of Director of Management and Operations for the Peace Corps, Africa region, stationed in the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon, Africa. Prior to coming to Sonora, Mary Rose worked as a Senior Administrative Analyst in Calaveras County and as Deputy County Executive Officer in the County of Merced. She worked as a Health and Community Development Volunteer for the Peace Corps in Rwanda in 2009- 2011. She earned a BA from California State University, Sacramento and an MPA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

City of Stockton Deputy City Manager Maraskeshia Smith, 45, is the new City Manager in the City of Santa Rosa. Former City Manager Sean McGlynn left the city to accept the City Manager position in Escondido. Prior to coming to Stockton, she previously worked for the City of Oakland, where she was Assistant City Administrator for two years. She began her public service career in Cincinnati. She was the Public Works Director in Cincinnati (2015-2018). Maraskeshia comes to Santa Rosa highly qualified. She earned a BA from the Unversity of Kentucky and a Masters from Eastern Kentucky University. In 2019 she received a 10-year ICMA Service Award. Retired City Manager Jeff Kolin has been serving as the Santa Rosa Interim City Manager since June. “Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate,” said Thomas Hudson Jones.

Assistant City Manager Chris Huot has resigned from his position effective December so he can accept the Paso Robles Assistant City Manager post. Chris has worked for Bakersfield for more than 10-years, starting in 2008 at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. He moved to the City Manager’s Office in 2011. Chris has accepted an Assistant City Manager post in another community. He earned a BA and MA in communications from Texas Tech University. In 2021 Chris received a 10-year ICMA Service Award.

Cornelius Johns, a retired San Francisco Police Captain is the new Interim City Manager in the City of Antioch. Cornelius was the Mayor’s campaign manager for his successful election. Cornelius earned a BA and MPA from the University of San Francisco. The new Interim City Manager replaces City Manager Ron Bernal, who retires at the end of the year. The Interim City Manager will serve while the recruitment for a new City Manager is being conducted.

Laura Snideman is the first woman to serve as the City Manager in the Richmond, California. She was appointed to the Richmond City Manager position in January 2020. It is reported that the City Council has approved a separation agreement with Laura in November 2021. Laura worked as a Housing & Redevelopment Manager in San Carlos (2001-2005) before she became the Director of Economic Development & Housing (2005- 2006). Laura moved to San Mateo in 2006 as their Economic Development Manager, and in 2009 she became the Administrative Officer in Half Moon Bay and then the Half Moon Bay City Manager (2010- 2015). After working a short time as the Napa County LAFCO Executive Officer in 2014, she became Assistant City manager in Fairfield and worked there until joining the City of Richmond as City Manager. Laura is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and earned a BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MPA from Notre Dame de Namur University. In 2020 Laura received a 20-year ICMA Service Award.

Sierra Madre Director of Utilities Jose Reynoso has been appointed City Manager. Jose has been serving as Interim City Manager since City Manager Gabe Engeland left the city in July. Jose has worked for a number of cities during the past 25-years, including: El Monte, Alhambra, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre. He joined the Sierra Madre staff in 2010 and has worked as the Water Superintendent, and Deputy Public Works Director, as well as Utilities Director and Interim City Manager.  Jose earned a BA from the University of La Verne and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Management at the University of Illinois.

Former Rosemead (2007-2009) and Monrovia (2014-2019) City Manager Oliver Chi, the Huntington Beach City Manager for the past couple of years, is the next Irvine City Manager, replacing City Manager John Russo, who left in September 2020. Oliver succeeded City Manager Fred Wilson in Huntington Beach. Prior to his City Manager service, Oliver worked in Rosemead, Claremont and Arcadia. He also served as the Assistant City Manager in Barstow (2011-2014). Oliver earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC). Oliver is a past President of MMASC (2004-2005). He received a 10- year ICMA Service Award in 2019.

Supervisor Wilma Chan, a member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors was struck and killed by a motorist while she was walking her dog earlier this month. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. Wilma was elected to the Board in 1994. Wilma served in the State Assembly from 2000 to 2006 where she served as Majority Leader.

Craig Middleton, former Press Secretary and Legislative Aide to U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (March 1988 -January 1993) took his first city job as the City Manager in the City of Belvedere in May 2017. After leaving the Congressional office, Craig worked as the Director of Government Affairs for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy from May 1993 to April 1997. He then worked for the Presidio Trust and as a Principal of Middleton Strategies before being appointed to the Belvedere position.

Former Public Affairs Manager for the Alameda County Fire Department Joanna Leal is the new City of Vacaville’s Public Relations Manager. She will work out of the Vacaville City Manager’s Office. Joanna earned an MPA from Golden Gate University.

*Needles City Manager Rick Daniels and Assistant City Manager Patrick Martinez are in the process of developing a new General Plan for the City of Needles.

*Retired American Canyon City Manager (2006-2011) Richard Ramirez, “Need Interim Will Travel,” served as the Paso Robles City Manager from 1991 to 1996.

*Former San Luis Obispo City Manager Ken Hampian represents the 3rd District of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on the Board’s Clerk-Recorder Review Committee.

*Maywood City Manager Jennifer E. Vasquez, who earned an MPA from California State University, Los Angeles, previously worked as the City Manager in South El Monte and Bradbury.

*Retired longtime City Manager and “Good Government Advocate” David Jinkens authors an awesome local news newsletter from his home in South Lake Tahoe.

*Anthony D. Gonsalves of the Joe A. Gonsalves & Son firm is the longest-serving member of the Board of Trustees of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF).

*Santa Clarita City Manager and CCMF President Ken Striplin was recognized by ICMA with the 2021 Award for Career Excellence in Memory of Mark E. Keane.

*NASCAR 2021 Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson is from Elk Grove.

*NASCAR truck race driver Hallie Deegan is a Temecula, California native.

*Todd Stermer is the new Fresno City Clerk replacing longtime City Clerk Yvonne Spence and Interim City Clerk Briana Parra.

*Jerry Ramar is the new Oakdale Chief of Police after serving as Acting Chief since the retirement in August of Chief Scott Heller.

*City of Richmond City Attorney Teresa Stricker, who was appointed City Attorney in October 2020, has resigned.

*Ron Bow has served as the City Manager in the City of Monterey Park since August 2017. ***