Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 16: Issue No. 3

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

Charles McNeely, former San Bernardino city manager (2009-2012), has returned to the City to serve as interim city manager as City Manager Rob Field is retiring. Before coming to San Bernardino, Charles was the Reno, Nevada city manager for 13 years. He worked as city manager in Seaside and as assistant city manager in Palo Alto prior to his Reno experience.

Robert “Bob” Nisbet is the city manager for the City of Goleta since September 2022. Bob previously served four years as the city manager in the City of Half Moon Bay in the San Francisco Bay area from February 2018 to August 2022. He worked as the assistant general manager for the East Bay Regional Park District for 6 years, spent 12 years with the Santa Barbara County General Services Department, and worked for seven years as the public works director for the City of Carpinteria. Bob earned a BS in construction management from Washington State University and an MA in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bob replaced veteran City Manager Michelle Greene who retired after 18 years with the City of Goleta; with eight years as city manager.

City of Oakland Economic and Workforce Development Director Alexa Jeffress is the new Pleasanton deputy city manager. Her first day in Pleasanton is scheduled as February 6. Pamela Ott has held the Pleasanton deputy city manager position since January 2020. Alexa worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in San Francisco for 7 and a half years starting in September 2010 as a presidential management fellow. She first joined the Oakland city staff as a managing director of real estate in April 2019. Alexa earned a BA from Columbia University and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She is a member of the California State Bar.

Manuel Cid is the new chief of police in the City of Glendale. The new chief comes to Glendale after working in Culver City for nearly 20 years, the last two and a half years as chief of police. He graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy. Roubik Golanian has served as the Glendale city manager since March 2021.

Yucaipa Assistant City Manager Jennifer Crawford is the acting city manager with City Manager Ray Casey’s retirement and the March starting date for new City Manager Chris Mann. Ray had served as the City Manager for the past 14 years. Chris is the City Manager for Canyon Lake and will move to Yucaipa starting March 1. Chris is also currently the president of the Yucaipa Valley Water District. In addition to hiring Chris as city manager, the city fired City Attorney David Snow.

Mark Prestwich is the new city manager in the City of Hemet. After serving as city manager in Palos Verdes Estates for a short time. Arriving there in February 2022 he will report to the Hemet city manager post on February 21, 2023. Mark previously served as city manager in Saint Helena and Nevada City. Mark started his public service career as an administrative intern in the City of Long Beach in 1994. He worked as a League of California Cities staff analyst for a little less than 2-years (1995-1997) before going to Sunnyvale as a management analyst (1997-1998). Mark served as the assistant to the city manager in Napa from October 1999 to June 2006 when he took a similar position with the City of Sacramento. Mark served as the president of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) in 2007.

Portola Valley Assistant Town Manager Melvin E. Gaines is the new city manager for the City of East Palo Alto. Melvin worked in San Jose (2002-2003) before he served as a member of the planning commission in East Palo Alto (2007- 2008). In 2009 he was a policy analyst for the New Orleans City Council. After working as a researcher in Michigan (2010-2011), Melvin took an administrative analyst post with the City of East Palo Alto (2011-2012). He also served as an East Palo Alto planning commissioner again (2011-2012). In May 2012, Melvin became a special projects manager and a management analyst starting in February 2015. He was a principal management analyst in the City of Mountain View (November 2016-November 2021). Melvin joined the Portola Valley staff in December 2022 as assistant town manager.

Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter was a passenger in a single-engine Cessna airplane that crash-landed on the beach south of the Santa Monica Pier in December 2022. Rex died in the crash. Rex was elected to the City Council in 1955 and was mayor from 1963-1967. He also was a past city attorney for the City of Arcadia, and he served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

Former League of California Cities executive and retired South Gate City Manager Gary Milliman is currently serving as a municipal court judge in five rural Oregon cities. Gary also works as an executive recruiter with Prothman Executive Recruiting, and as an ICMA senior advisor. Gary also previously served as city manager in Fort Bragg and Brookings, Oregon, and a total of six different cities. He was also an official with the Skunk Railroad that travels between Fort Bragg and Ukiah.

Past ICMA President David Childs, a former Palmdale city manager, is currently the ICMA senior advisor to the Idaho City Management Association since June 2018. Dave was the South Lake Tahoe city manager (2000-2002) before taking the Western U. S. director job with ICMA. In October 2006 he worked as the Washoe County assistant county manager in Reno, Nevada (2006- 2012). Dave came to Palmdale as city manager in April 2012 and retired in June 2015. He earned a BS in geography and an MA in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Ukiah Finance Director Daniel Buffalo is a certified public accountant. He started his Ukiah tenure in July 2019. Dan previously served as the finance director for the City of Lakeport in Lake County. Dan earned a BA from the University of California, Davis and a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC).

Palm Springs has appointed Scott Stiles as their next city manager. He will replace City Manager Justin Clifton, who resigned last September after only about a year in the position. Scott is coming from the city manager position in the City of Garden Grove. He has been there since 2015. Prior to Garden Grove Scott worked for the City of Cincinnati, Ohio for 27 years, in various positions, including interim city manager and assistant city manager. Assistant City Manager Teresa Gallavan has served as interim city manager.


Joseph A. Hughes is the city manager in the City of Highland.

Former Mountain View City Manager Kevin Duggan received a 45-year ICMA Service Award in 2018.

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

Deborah Dixon is the human resources analyst in the City of Lomita, and among her previous employers are the cities of Gardena and Torrance.

Natasha (Karl) Drane, Sacramento County deputy director of the General Services Department worked as a legislative representative and legislative analyst for the League of California Cities between November 2007 and December 2013.

Corona Recreation Services Manager Jason Lass worked in the City of Claremont for more than 15 years prior to joining the Corona staff in February 2019.

Carmichael Recreation and Park District Recreation Service Manager Tracy Kerth earned a BFA in fine/studio arts and a BA in parks, recreation and leisure studies at California State University, Chico.

La Verne city manager for 23 years before retirement, Martin Lomeli served as the interim city manager in Irwindale in 2011 to temporarily replace City Manager Sol Benudiz, who took a position with the Southern California Edison Company.

Retired Rosemead city manager, the late Frank G. Tripepi, served as interim city manager for the City of La Puente from October 2008 until December 2009.

After working for the City of Jurupa Valley in Riverside County for nearly 6-years, Sean McGovern, a graduate with a BA in history ad an MPA from Northern Illinois University, joined the Lake Forest city staff as assistant to the city manager in March 2021.

Mike Ramirez worked for the City of Oxnard for more than 10 years before starting a Carpinteria tenure as assistant city manager in December 2021.

Jack Morgan, assistant to the city manager in the City of Chino earned a BA and MPA from California State University, Fullerton.

San Rafael Assistant City Manager Cristine (Reid) Alilovich worked in the counties of Sonoma and Marin before joining the San Rafael city staff.

Retired Whittier City Manager Jeffrey Collier served as the Fullerton acting city manager from December 2021 to May 2022.

Baldwin Park-based In-N-Out Burger owner and President Lynsi Snyder has announced plans to expand their 385 locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado by opening stores in Tennessee by 2026.

Angela Crespi, who earned a BA and MPA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is deputy city manager in Hermosa Beach and she previously worked for the City of Newport Beach for nearly seven years.

Retired Vallejo City Manager Joseph Tanner, CEO at JT Associates in Pleasant Hill, earned a Master’s degree in federal, state & urban governments from Golden Gate University.

Howard Chan was appointed city manager for the City of Sacramento in 2017.

El Segundo City Manager Darrell George, Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto and Carson Deputy City Manager Tarik Rahmani served as a roundtable panel with a Local Government and Finance topic for a USC City/County Management Fellowship program.