Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager newsletter: Volume No. 15: Issue No. 6

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.

Oceanside Deputy City Manager Jonathan E. Borrego is the Interim City Manager to fill the position following the resignation of City Manager Deanna Lorson. Deanna’s resignation was effective March 23. In addition to serving as Deputy City Manager, Jonathan is the Development Services Director. Before joining the Oceanside city staff in September 2017, he was the Planning Services Manager in the City of Anaheim for nearly 30-years (May 1988 – September 2017). Jonathan earned a BA and MPA from California State University, Long Beach.

Chico City Manager Mark Orme is now longer in office for the city of Chico after submitting his resignation. It appears that he may have wished he could hang on to the position. Chico Chief of Police Matt Madden has been appointed Interim City Manager. No reason for the city manager changes has yet been given. Deputy City Manager Jennifer Macarthy continues to service.

Former Fremont City Manager Mark Danaj has been charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds for using a city credit card to make personal purchases. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges in late February and Mark was arraigned March 9. Mark is accused of spending more than $18,000 on his city-issued credit card to make to make personal purchases between December 2019 and March 2021.

Darrell J. George, retired Duarte City Manager where he served for 16-years, is the Interim City Manager for the City of El Segundo. Darrell retired from Duarte in 2019. Prior to his Duarte tenure, he was a member of the City Staff in the City of Downey as the Community and Economic Development Director. He had previously worked for the cities of Pomona, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Since retirement Darrell served as a Senior Consulting for the Kosmont Companies and Climatec. Darrell earned a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master’s Degree in Planning from the University of Southern California (USC).

Rio Vista City Clerk and Assistant City Manager Jose Jasso has been hired as the Interim Assistant City Manager in Manteca. Jose worked 22-years for the city before he left for the Assistant City Clerk post in the City of Santa Clara. He left there to join the Rio Vista city staff.

Frank G. Tripepi served nearly 30-years in the City of Rosemead, nearly 28- years as City Manager, and he has been with Willdan companies for the past 20-years. Frank has also served as a member of the Board of Governors for the Rose Institute of State and Local Government (2008-present). He also seved as the Interim City Manager for the City of La Puente (2008-2009). Frank began his public service career in 1971 in Hawaiian Gardens following his return from Vietnam with the U.S. Army. He earned a BA from California State University, Fullerton. He also attended courses at Western State College of Law. Frank has participated in the “Proof of Life” lunch program.

Foster City Finance Director Edmund Suen is the Interim City Manager replacing Interim City Manager Kevin Miller while an ongoing executive recruitment continues. Edmund has been with the city since 2017. He previously worked in the Finance Departments of the cities of East Palo Alto, San Bruno, Emeryville and Walnut Creek. Kevin is leaving the Interim post due to PERS rules.

Jason Simpson became City Manager for the City of Lake Elsinore in March 2021 following the retirement of City Manager Grant Yates. Jason joined the city staff in February 2014 and was apppointed Assistant City Manager in 2015. He has earned nearly 30-years of experience in local government working in various positions for the cities of Temecula, San Bernardino, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Costa Mesa and Vallejo. Jason earned a BA from Biola University.

Longtime City Manager Roger Lark Kemp is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University (for online courses), and a Professor at the University of New Haven and San Diego State University. He served in the Office of the City Administrator in Oakland, and as City Manager in Seaside (1979-1983) and Placentia (1983-1987). He also served in Vallejo. Roger earned a BS and MPA from San Diego State University and an MBA and PhD from Golden Gate University. Roger is an alumni of Long Beach City College (1966-1969) where he earned an AA degree. Roger served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1966 to 1970. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

Riverside City Manager Al Zelinka previously served as the Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director in Riverside. Prior to that service he worked as the Community Development Director and Planning Manager for the City of Fullerton. Al earned a BS from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Tripepi Smith Business Analyst Danielle Rodriguez is a former Sports Editor of the Cal Poly Pomona campus newspaper. She earned a BS in communications from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Palo Alto Library Director Paula Simpson resigned and moved to the Seattle area in July, 2006. She started as the Palo Alto Library Director in March 2004. She faced harsh criticism when she addresed costs and service improvements. She managed to improve services by adding self check-out machines, arranging space for improved programming and she added new children’s programs, digital books and increased online resources.

St. Helena City Manager for the past four and a half years, Mark Prestwich is the new City Manager in the City of Palos Verdes Estates. Mark came to St. Helena in 2017 after serving three-years as City Manager in Nevada City. Mark is following the resignation of City Manager Laura Guglielmo in July 2021 and Interim City Manager Sharon Papa, a former Hermosa Beach Chief of Police. Mark is a past President of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) (2007).

Bakersfield has hired former San Bernardino County Director of Community Development and Housing Gary Hallen to serve as the new Bakersfield Assistant City Manager. He will work with Bakersfield City Manager Christian Clegg. Gary earned a BS from the University of Utah’s David Exxles School of Business.

Assembly Bill 481 (Chiu, D-San Francisco) requires cities and counties to adopt and maintain a “military equipment use policy” before acquiring or using 15 broad categories of equipment police and sheriff’s departments likely already own. State and local law enforcement agencies must inventory their military equipment and adopt and publish a policy for its use by May 1, 2022. The city council or board of supervisors must approve the policy by ordinance within 180 days, or officers must stop using the equipment. [Colantuono Highsmith Whatley, PC]

City Manager Bryan Cook of Temple City began his public service career in 1999 as an assistant in the City Manager’s Office in West Hollywood. He was appointed Interim Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of South Gate in May 2005. Bryan worked his way up in the South Gate organization and was the Assistant City Manager and Director of Finance (2011-2014) when he was appointed City Manager in Temple City in September 2014. Bryan earned a BA from California State University, Los Angeles and an MPA from California State University, East Bay.

Teresa BatagliaGutierrez Teney, retired from the Lakewood and Bellflower City Manager’s Offices, has relocated to the City of Big Bear Lake and has started volunteering with the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. David Spaur is the Interim City Manager in the City of Fort Bragg. David is assisting the El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) recruit for a new Executive Officer and can use some assistance. For information, please contact Nancy Kaiser at: or Patty Francisco at:

Katie Scanlan of San Diego Gas & Electric has served on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.

Vallejo named a beautiful waterfront park for the late Barbara Kondylis, the former Vallejo City Council member and longtime Solano County Supervisor, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 74.

El Jefe Richard Fierro, a longtime refuse disposal and recycling professional, celebrated his 73rd birthday on April 3.

Longtime Alhambra and Santa Clara City Manager Julio J. Fuentes has transitioned to a successful real estate business.

Len Gorecki, Bellflower Assistant City Manager and Public Works Director, previously worked more than 19-years for the City of Paramount (1995-2014) after serving as a Management Intern for the City of Manhattan Beach.

Retired Huntington Park City Manager Don Jeffers, who recently relocated from La Quinta to the Rancho Bernardo area, joined the “Proof of Life” group at the March 31 lunch in La Mirada.

James M. Guerra worked for many California cities on a contract basis during his 43-years with the building and safety group at Willdan.

James Ahumada, who previously worked for Congressman Henry Waxman and as a communications manager at California State University, Long Beach, is Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach’s Chief of Staff.

Oceanside Deputy City Manager Jonathan Borrego is the Interim City Manager following City Manager Deana Lorson’s resignation March 23rd.

Jenny Simpson, who worked as a Grant Coordinator for the City of Lincoln (2005- 2012), has served as a Program Specialist for the City of Sacramento since March 2012.

Stockton Senior Human Resources Analyst Anne Simpson, who earned a BA from California State University, Chico, has been with Stockton since March 2014.

Anna Gwyn Simpson, who is the Vice President of Resident Services for Eden Housing, worked for the City of Martinez (2013-2015), including service as the Interim City Manager in 2014.

Margaret Simpson is a Senior Personnel Analyst for the City of Los Angeles.

Rod Simpson is a former Director of Planning for the City of Patterson where he worked for more than 21-years (June 1989 – June 2010) before he went on to serve as an Associate Planner in San Pablo (2014-2017) and a Planner in the City of Reno (2018-2020) before he retired.