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

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.

Picking Up the Pieces

David Spaur was appointed interim city manager in Fort Bragg in January 2022. In March 2022, Humboldt County Planning and Building Director John H. Ford was announced as the new city manager effective July 5, 2022. In June 2022, John H. Ford asked to be released from the employment agreement because of family issues with the need to relocate. David spends half his weekends in Fort Bragg and the other half at his home in El Dorado Hills. Peckham & McKenney is providing recruitment services to the city. Sarah McCormick is the assistant to the city manager in Fort Bragg.

Menlo Park Interim City Manager Justin Murphy has been selected to serve as the city manager for the City of Menlo Park. He joined the Menlo Park city staff in 1996 as an associate planner. He later worked as the development services manager, assistant community development director and public works director. He is replacing former City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson, who quit just months before her planned retirement. Justin earned a BA in urban studies from Stanford University and an MPA from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Justin is a Menlo Park resident.

Dr. Linda Reich, DPA is the new city manager for the City of Chino effective August 8. Linda is the Chino community services director. Linda will replace Interim City Manager Anthony Arroyo, who has been serving in the position since April 18 when former City Manager Matt Ballantyne left the city to become the city manager in Fontana. Linda has worked for the City of Chino since May 2002. Before Chino, Linda was a community services supervisor, recreation leader and recreation coordinator in Culver City. Linda earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from California State University, Northridge and a DPA from the University of La Verne.

From 1973-1974 Lyman H. Cozad served as the president of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities. Lyman was the city manager for the City of Colton from January 1957 until March 1964 when he left to become the chief administrative officer for the City of Beverly Hills. In September 1966 Lyman became the city manager in the City of Arcadia. George Watts joined the Arcadia staff as an administrative assistant in 1970 and became assistant city manager in 1975. Lyman retired from Arcadia in 1977 and then he joined the staff of the League of California Cities as the Southern California Manager (1977-1984). George became the Arcadia city manager in 1981. Lyman earned a BSBA and an MSPA from Ohio State University. Lyman passed away at age 86 in 2001.

Pasadena’s new city manager, Miguel Márquez, has been introduced to the community at a recent City Council meeting. Miguel has been serving as the chief operating officer of the County of Santa Clara. Prior to his work in Santa Clara County, he served as an associate justice of the California Sixth District Court of Appeal. He is also a former county counsel for the County, and general counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District, and deputy city attorney in San Francisco. He is a native of Sacramento.

Plans for a memorial event for the passing of former City Administrator and county executive Ray Harris have been devised by his family. Ray wanted his ashes to be scattered at sea, and a family-only ceremony has been planned for July 30, 2022, at Newport Harbor. A veteran’s flag ceremony is planned too. Ray’s wife Carol Harris reminds us that Ray was very proud of his U. S. Army service…a proud veteran. We continue to keep Carol and Ray and their family in our prayers.

Retired Rocklin City Manager Dr. Carlos Urrutia is the principal consultant for Carlos Urrutia Consulting in the Sacramento area. He served as the Rocklin city manager from August 1984 until his retirement in December 2010. He was the city manager in the City of Soledad before that (1981-1984). Carlos started his public management career as an administrative intern in the City of Rolling Hills (1974-1975). He then worked for Hawaiian Gardens (1975-1977) and Sunnyvale (1977-1981) in administrative assistant positions. Carlos earned a BA in economics, an MPA from California State University, Long Beach, and a DPA from the University of Southern California (USC). In 2010 he received a 35-year ICMA Service Award.

Ryder Todd Smith did an amazing job presenting remembrances of the late Frank G. Tripepi at services on July 1, 2022. Also making memorable presentations on their memories of Frank were Karen Ogawa and Don Wagner, Tom Brisbin and Mark Risco. Daniel Chow and Anthony Gonsalves provided scripture readings.

Douglas B. Dunlap retired as Pomona City Manager (2000-2007) began his public service/management career 55 years ago when he took an administrative intern position in 1967 in Pasadena. Doug was hired as an administrative assistant in Cypress in 1968. He was promoted to assistant city manager in 1973, working with City Manager Darrell Essex. In 1976 Doug took the city manager job in Chowchilla (1976-1979), and in 1979 he went from Chowchilla to Villa Park (1979-1981) as city manager. Doug went to the El Monte (1981- 1982) city manager position in 1981. Hawaiian Gardens (1983-1987) was his next stop as city administrator, and in 1987 he joined the Stanton city staff as community development director. He worked for Urban Futures Inc. from 1988-1989, and he became the Pomona Redevelopment Agency Executive Director (1989-1992). Doug worked in the private sector for a time, and he was appointed city manager in Bradbury in 1996. In 2000 he returned to Pomona as the city manager. In 2004, Doug received a 30-year ICMA Service Award. Doug lives in Lompoc.

Healdsburg City Manager Jeff Kay appointed Andrew Sturmfels to serve as the assistant city manager for the city. Andrew previously worked as the Healdsburg city administrative services director. The assistant city manager position was vacant in Healdsburg for more than two years. Before public service, Andrew served in multiple positions in the hospitality industry for Marriott International and other hotels and restaurants. Andrew earned a BA from Roanoke College in Virginia and an MPPA from California State University, Sacramento.

Robert “Bob” Nisbet has been selected as the new city manager for the City of Goleta. Bob is currently the city manager for the City of Half Moon Bay. He will assume his new Goleta position on September 1, 2022. He is a former assistant general manager for the East Bay Regional Park District. He earned a BS from Washington State University and an MA in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bob is replacing City Manager Michelle Green who is retiring.

Retired Huntington Park City Manager Gregory D. Korduner has been listed as a self-employed consultant since January 2011. Before Huntington Park, he served as the city manager in El Monte and South El Monte. In 2013 Greg was hired as an interim city manager in Los Alamitos following City Manager Angie Avery’s exit from the position. Greg began his public service career with staff positions in Norwalk and the City of Artesia. Greg earned an AA from Cerritos College, a BA from California State University, Long Beach and an MPA from California State University, Fullerton. Greg is a “Proof of Life” leader who works with the venue in Southern California. He received a 35-year ICMA Service Award in 2010.

Palm Springs City Manager Justin Clifton announced his resignation, indicating that he will be leaving office on September 16. Justin joined the Palms Springs city staff in April 2021. He previously served as the city manager in Sedona, Arizona for nearly six years (2015-2021). He also was the city manager in Delta, Colorado (2012- 2015), and town manager in Bayfield, Colorado (2006- 2011). Justin earned a BA from Fort Lewis College and a Masters from the University of Colorado.

Greg Wellman, former Merced County Administrator and Atwater city manager (2002-2010), is the new interim city manager in Los Banos taking over for City Manager Josh Pinheiro. A Brigham Young Univesity graduate, Greg received a 40-year ICMA Service Award in 2009.

Carmel Gil, City of Gonzales Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnership, has been appointed interim city manager. She has been acting as the interim city manager since June 20 when City Manager Rene Mendez left to become the Watsonville city manager. Carmel has worked with the city for 17 years. Executive recruiters, Bob Murray & Associates, are continuing to search for a permanent city manager. During the pandemic, Carmel led the implementation of the Gonzales community health worker program.

City of Rancho Cucamonga Deputy City Manager of Administrative Services Lori E. Sassoon is the new Norco city manager. She follows longtime Norco City Manager Andy Okoro, who worked for the city since 2003 and became the city manager in 2013. Lori began her public service career in 1990 as an administrative intern in the City of Walnut. In 1991, she was hired to be an administrative assistant in Glendale, and in 1995 she took another administrator intern position in San Bernardino. She was hired as a senior administrative analyst in San Bernardino in 1996. Lori was appointed assistant to the city manager in San Bernardino in 1998, and in 2004 she became assistant city manager. Lori became the City of Villa Park city manager in 2009. She joined the Rancho Cucamonga staff in November 2015. Lori received a 25-year ICMA Service Award in 2017. Lori earned a BA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and an MPA from California State University, San Bernardino. She is a former board member of MMASC. Lori is a past president of ICMA Women Leading Government.

After working at La-Z Boy for a little more than 3-years as a cost accountant, Brian Mohan joined the city staff in Rialto as an accountant in September 2000. Brian was promoted to senior accountant in July 2002 and then accounting supervisor in July 2006. He left Rialto to work as the accounting manager for the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA) in January 2011. In July 2017 Brian joined the city staff in Moreno Valley as the financial resources division manager. He was promoted to assistant city manager and chief financial officer/treasurer in May 2021. Brian earned a BS from California State University, San Bernardino. Brian is a board member for the March Field Air Museum in Riverside.

Noyo Harbor District Harbormaster Anna Neumann, who started in September 2021, worked as a crew member for a commercial fishing vessel, gathered tidal data for a non-profit, and spent time as an instructor in Mexico. She earned a Master’s degree in Fishing Policy from Oregon State University, while working as a skilled fillet worker at Princess Seafoods. The Noyo Harbor District has a board of five commissioners, two appointed by the Fort Bragg City Council, two by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and a jointly appointed chairperson.


Did you know that California Legislators get free gasoline paid with public funds and state-issued vehicles too?

Peggy Flynn is the city manager for the City of Petaluma.

Petaluma Council Member D’Lynda Fischer led the charge to prohibit new gas stations in her city, and it appears to be the first in the world to have banned new gas stations.

After working more than 10 years with Erickson-Hall Construction Company of Escondido, Scott Hammond is now a vice president of ProWest Constructors in Riverside County.

Dave Durflinger has served as the city manager in Carpinteria since 2001 and served as the Carpinteria community development director after working in Cathedral City in planning from 1988 to 1998 where he was the city planner.

New Coronado Assistant City Manager Tony Winney, a San Diego State University alumnus, has worked for the cities of La Mesa, Vista, Poway, Carlsbad and National City.

Dr. Kevin Kearney, DPPD from the University of Southern California (USC), worked as a management analyst in Bradbury (2011-2015) and Beverly Hills (2015- 2017), prior to becoming the Bradbury city manager in May 2017.

Long-time veteran Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood ran unopposed in this year’s election.

Dale Geldert, husband of retired Vista City Manager Rita Gledert, has listed himself as a self-employed governmental advisor since January 2013 following his retirement from the Fire Service.

State of California Governor Gavin Newsom is reported to have taken a vacation in the State of Montana.

A campaign to force a recall of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón continues in Los Angeles County with the submission of more than 715,000 signatures to the County Registrar in support of the recall.

The latest adventures of retired Beverly Hills City Manager (2004-2010) Rod Wood finds him serving as a special advisor to the Citrus Heights Water District and the Hidden Valley Lake Association, as well as, working as a consultant for El Dorado Hills.

Retiring on December 31, 2012, Chuck Rough was the longest serving town manager in the history of the Town of Paradise, having served 16 ½ years; Chuck and his wife Patty lost everything in the devastating Camp Fire in 2018.

Crystal Williams is the new human resources director for the City of Carson.

After serving as a Menlo Park police officer for nearly 4-years, Ray Mendiola, who passed away in December 2019 at the age of 68, became the Menlo Park assistant to the city manager in February 1986, and went on to serve as chief of police in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Millbrae City Manager Tom Williams was accused by a neighbor of inappropriate involvement in a local granny flat project.

Bellflower City Manager Jeff Stewart said, “Most solutions are rooted in common sense,” and we wholeheartedly agree.