Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager newsletter: Volume No. 15: Issue No. 10

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.

Fillmore City Manager David Rowlands earned a 3% compensation increase in July. He is receiving a non-California Public Employees’ Retirement System pension fund retention bonus of $5,000. Dave began working in Fillmore in August 2013. He served as City Manager in Clayton from January 2001 to August 2013. Prior to that assignment, David served as the Deputy City Manager in the City of Novato starting in May 1998. He earned a BA from California Lutheran University and an MPA from California State University, Stanislaus.

Ray Harris passed away on Wednesday morning, May 25, 2022. He was hospitalized on Friday for pneumonia and just could not kick it. It is reported that he went peacefully surrounded by family. Ray worked for the City of Bellflower as City Administrator Pete Feenstra’s “best ever” assistant. He also served later as the City Administrator in Hawaiian Gardens with veteran City Managers Doug Dunlap and Paul Philips. Ray also worked as the Field Executive for California Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Frank Vicencia and as the Transportation Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. He also worked for the old RTD with his good friend Sam Olivito. Ray was a BIG Indy 500 fan and attended many races at the iconic Indiana track with a group of friends. Ray was a close friend to Paul Strohman and Glenn “Hutch” Hutchinson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Fred Diaz, the 1987 recipient of the John H. Nail Memorial Award, served as the City Manager in Indio (1990- 1994), Tracy (1994-2004) and Fremont (2004-2018). Fred earned a BA and MPA from California State University, Fullerton. Fred served as the sixth Fremont city manager. City Manager Melissa Steavenson-Diaz of Redwood City married Fred.

A criminal complaint and investigation are subjects in the City of Anaheim surrounding the Angels Stadium property and its potential development. City Manager Jim Vanderpool has met with FBI officials and city leaders regarding the issues. Former President and CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce Todd Ament is the subject of a criminal complaint. The Anaheim Mayor resigned.

Dr. Scott Andrews, Ed.D. is the newest Assistant City Manager in Bakersfield. He most recently worked as the City Manager in Covington, Georgia. After serving in various positions in Temple, Florida from 2003 to 2014, Scott was the Economic Development Director in Sugar Hill, Georgia, and then Assistant City Administrator for Smyrna, Georgia. Scott earned a BBA from the University of South Florida/University of Phoenix; an MPA from Strayer University, and a Doctorate in organizational management from Argosy University. He received a 10-year ICMA Service Award in 2017.

The inaugural California JPIA Risk Managers Committee met in May. San Dimas Assistant City Manager Brad McKinney is the Committee Chair, and La Cañada Flintridge Division Manager Arabo Parseghian is the Vice-Chair. Ursula Luna-Reynosa was appointed to the Huntington Beach Community Development Director position in June 2018 replacing the retired Scott Hess. Ursula previously worked in Dana Point, Vallejo, Tracy and Pittsburg. She earned a BA in economics from the University of California, Riverside.

Ayalneh “Albert” Merid is an Administrative Services Manager II for the City of Oakland. He joined the Oakland staff in September 2019. Albert attended business administration and supply chain management courses at San Jose State University. He earned a certificate in data science for business from the Harvard Business School online.

Goleta City Manager Michelle Green who has a planned retirement has decided that she will stay in the City Manager position until September 1. Her original plan was to retire on June 30. Michelle has worked for Goleta for 18 years; the last 8 years as City Manager.

During the late 1960s when M. D. “Mac” McKeown was Paramount City Manager, City of Industry City Manager Bob Rope had a commemorative “Happy Birthday” “rock” delivered to Mac’s home in Long Beach. After being in Long Beach for about a year, Mac had the rock relocated to the entrance area of Paramount City Hall. Mac’s career began in 1956 when he became the City Manager in Dairy Valley (now Cerritos). He served as the Artesia City Manager from 1972 until he retired from Artesia in 1984.

A family of city planners has retired from public service. Brian James has retired from his position as the Director of Planning and Building in Fountain Valley. He previously served as the Planning and Community Development Director in Hawthorne. Brian’s wife Jane James retired from her Planning position with the City of Huntington Beach. Brian is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in city and regional planning.

Retired City Manager Bruce Williams is an alumnus of California State University, Chico.

Former Rio Vista Human Resources Analyst and Deputy CityClerk (2010-2020) Marni Rittburg has served as the Calistoga City Clerk since December 2020.

MuniEnvironmental, LLC President and CEO Jeff Duhamel says that the greatest joy in his professional life was developing and building the Downey Area Recycling & Transfer (DART) center.

Mark Scott served as a City Manager in Beverly Hill (1990-2003), Spartanburg, South Carolina (2003-2009), Culver City (2009-2010), Fresno (2010-2013), Burbank (2013-2016), San Bernardino (2016-2017), Indio (2017-2021) and Interim City Manager in Lincoln (2021-2022).

Buellton City Manager Scott Wolfe is working with a local group to provide a future home for a community garden.

Lee Whittenberg, retired Seal Beach Director of Community Development, who also had a long tenure with Bellflower, has relocated to South Carolina to be close to his grandchildren.