Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 15: Issue No. 18

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

New Pasadena City Manager Miguel Márquez is recruiting for a new chief of police. He says that there will be a community-based panel as well as a professional and technical interview panel. Former Police Chief John Perez resigned at the end of last year.

San Ramon City Manager Joe Gorton, a former chief of police, is retiring. Joe has served as city manager for the past 5 and a half years following a long law enforcement career. He was the San Ramon police chief for three-plus years.

Pleasanton City Manager Gerry Beaudin succeeded City Manager Nelson Fialho who retired last November after 17 years as city manager. Gerry is a former assistant city manager in Alameda (August 2019-May 2022). Before that, he served as the Pleasanton director of community development. Gerry served as the zoning administrator in Mountain View (2014-2015) and as a planner for the City of South San Francisco (2005-2012).

Antioch Interim City Manager Cornelius H. Johnson (62) will be the next Antioch city manager. He replaces longtime Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal, who retired. Cornelius is a former San Francisco police captain.

Rancho Cordova City Manager Cyrus Abhar will retire at the end of the year. Cyrus has been the Rancho Cordova city manager since July 2015. He served as the chief of operations in Sacramento County (1991-2001) and then with a private engineering firm for a couple of years before signing on to be the Rancho Cordova public works director and chief building official (2003-2015). Cyrus earned a BS in civil engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School for Senior Executives, and the University of California, Davis program too.

Ventura will consider a review of city officials’ travel and credit card expenditures. Following a trip to Washington D.C. last year for the National League of Cities Conference, expenditures were questioned. City Manager Alex McIntyre was with the City Council members. Ventura resident Glenn Overley questioned expenditures starting in late July, regarding payments made during a League of California Cities trip to Sacramento. An updated financial policy is being considered.

The City of Rohnert Park appears to be ready to select a new city manager within the next couple of weeks. City Manager Darrin Jenkins plans to retire in December after 19 years with the city. Don Schwartz is the Rohnert Park assistant city manager. Darrin announced in June that he would retire at the end of the year. He began work with the city in 2003 as a civil engineer. Bob Murray and Associates has been retained to assist the city with the city manager recruitment.

The California JPIA conducted a Management Academy in September. The training sessions were well-attended during the three days of networking and sessions. For information contact Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull or the CJPIA staff at 800- 229-2343.

Monrovia Assistant City Manager Lauren G. Vasquez is the 2022 recipient of the ICMA Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in Memory of Buford M. Watson Jr. Lauren was appointed assistant city manager in September 2019. ICMA says that “she seamlessly transitioned to this greater leadership role and stepped up to meet unexpected challenges with grace, humility, and admirable servant leadership.” Lauren worked in Pomona (2004-2006) before joining the Monrovia city staff as a management analyst. Lauren earned a BS in environmental design from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master’s in management and leadership from the University of La Verne.

Andrew “Andy” J. Takata, city administrator in DuPont, Washington, received a rare 40-year ICMA Service Award this year. Andy began his public service career as a recreation supervisor in the City of Santa Fe Spring. He went on to be the director of parks and recreation in Mammoth Lakes and director of community services in Atascadero, where he rose through the organization to be city manager (1993- 1997). Andy was the town manager in Yucca Valley (2004-2010) and Banning city manager (2010-2014). He served as interim city manager in Calexico and Twentynine Palms in 2014. Andy is a member of the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame as a longtime water polo official and former Olympic games official.


Former Baldwin Park Police Officer Ryan Felton, 36, accused of beating a handcuffed teenager, was granted probation under a plea deal, according to Greg Risling of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Azusa Pacific University alumnus Dante G. Hall, the city manager in Hercules, served as the assistant to the city manager in Half Moon Bay in 1997-1998.

John Moreno joined the city staff in the City of Paramount in 1993 as a management analyst and he was appointed city manager in 2015.

In August 2010 former Palm Desert City Manager John Wohlmuth said of the passing of longtime City Council Member Richard S. “Dick” Kelly, who was first elected in 1982, “Palm Desert has lost a great champion.”

Lisette Grizzlle, who is a senior human resources analyst for the City of Vernon, worked in a similar position for the City of Commerce from December 2010 to December 2013.

Oregon State University alumnus Jenny Coelho has served as the city hall administrator for Tulelake since July 2017.

Former Biggs City administrator and former mayor of Chico, Mark Sorensen, is the current city manager for the City of Chico.

The City of Seal Beach is looking for a new director of public works.

South Pasadena, where Arminé Chaparyan is the city manager, is considering converting police patrol cars and other city vehicles from gas-powered to electric-powered vehicles.