Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 16: Issue No. 7

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

Pasadena Human Resources Manager Alex Souto has been promoted to deputy city manager. He came to work for Pasadena in 2015 as a principal human resources analyst. Alex was elevated to human resources manager in 2016. Before joining the Pasadena city staff, Alex worked as the human resources manager in the City of Bell Gardens (2013-2015), and he was a human resources associate in Glendale (2008-2013). He earned an MPA from California State University, Northridge.

Pasadena City Manager Miguel Márguez announced that Jennifer Paige and Tiffany Jacobs-Quinn have been promoted to directors of their respective departments. Jennifer has been serving as the acting director of Planning & Community Development since last summer. She came to work for the department in 2000 as an associate planner and she became the deputy director in 2016. Prior to Pasadena, Jennifer held positions with the cities of Claremont, Lake Forest and Burbank. Tiffany came to work for Pasadena in 2009 as a management analyst in employee relations. She was appointed human resources manager in 2014.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels appeared before the Needles Chamber of Commerce business breakfast. According to Rick, Needles has led San Bernardino County cities in percentage growth evaluation of real estate buildings and property value for the past five or six years. Rick is a past president/CEO of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (2002-2006) and he was executive director of the Salton Sea Authority (2006-2007). He was city manager in Desert Hot Springs (2007-2013) prior to joining the Needles staff as city manager in September 2013.

We got it wrong in the last issue’s “SHORTS.” Roy Pederson began his storied public service career in 1960 working for City Manager Milt Farrell in the City of Rosemead (1960-1961) and La Mirada with City Manager Chapman Bone (1961-1964). Roy completed professional work assignments in Porterville, Montebello, Scottsdale, Colorado Spring, Fountain Hills, and the counties of Yolo, Maricopa and Nevada. Roy earned a BA in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and MA in government from California State University, Los Angeles, and he was a Coro Foundation Intern. Roy is a past President of ICMA.

The Rossmoor Community Services District has a population of approximately 10,500. The district is an unincorporated area located between the cities of Seal Beach and Los Alamitos. General Manager Joe Mendoza, a retired City of Cerritos Recreation Services superintendent, was hired by the District in October 2018. Joe worked as a deputy director with the Los Angeles County Community Services Agency following his retirement from Cerritos.

Cornelius “Con” Johnson, Antioch city manager, has been placed on administrative leave. Con was appointed city manager last October with a two year employment agreement. Human Resources Director Ana Cortez is the acting city manager. There has been talk of a recruitment to replace Con. Former Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore left the city in late February to become the city administrator in the City of Piedmont. Con was hired to replace retired City Manager Ron Bernal. Con is a former San Francisco Police captain, though his retirement records show he retired as a police lieutenant.

Former Orange County Treasurer Chriss Street is the new chief executive officer for the County of Shasta. Chriss is known as one of those involved in the movement to divide the State of California into two States. Chriss has roots in Shasta County. Local media reported that he returned to the area to care for his parents. He has operated his business and government consulting firm, Chriss Street & Company since January 1994. He has served as an adjunct professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills since August 2011. He was elected Orange County treasurer from January 2006 until January 2011. Chriss earned a BS in economics from the University of California, Irvine.

Irvine City Manager Oliver Chi, a public management veteran, was interviewed by FBI agents as part of an investigation of the city. Oliver has been city manager since November 2021. He said that the FBI had questions related to an ongoing investigation that they are engaged in related to issues in and around Irvine. Oliver became the sixth Irvine city manager in December 2021. He previously served as city manager in Huntington Beach, Monrovia, and Rosemead. He held other executive posts in Barstow, Claremont, and Arcadia. Oliver earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).

A vociferous group of residents continue to complain about the appointment of new Yucaipa City Manager Chris Mann. A city investigation found no evidence to support claims the group made. Chris is the successor to retired City Manager Ray Casey. Chris grew up in the Dallas, Texas area, which has made him a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. Chris is a former director and president of the Yucaipa Valley Water District (2016-2023) and served as the city manager for the City of Canyon Lake (2019-2023). He earned a BA in political science, a BS in psychology and an MPPA from California Lutheran University. He is also the founder of the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association (2006-2019).

Roger Bradley, Corona assistant city manager (2020-2023), is the new city manager in the City of Downey. He is replacing the retiring City Manager Gilbert Livas, and Interim City Manager Mark Scott. Roger previously served as the director of Community Services for the City of Claremont (2016-2018). He also was the assistant county administrative officer for Kings County (2018-2020). Roger worked as assistant to the city manager in the City of Dublin for 10 years (2006-2016). Roger served in the United States Marine Corps from June 1993 to June 1997. He left the service in Twentynine Palms as a corporal. Roger earned a BA in political science and government and a BS in statistics from Brigham Young University and an MPA from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC).

Following a 14 year local government career, Chuck Robinson is the owner & CEO of Building Blocks Therapy 4 Kids, LLC with locations in Riverside and San Dimas. Chuck’s wife Maegan Robinson created the company to provide an environment of support, love, acceptance, and positive reinforcement that enables children to respond to therapeutic intervention. Chuck was an Administrative Assistant for Laguna Beach (2000- 2002), deputy city manager in Walnut (2002-2012) and deputy city manager in Tustin (2012-2014). Chuck earned an MPA from the University of La Verne.

Stephen Heaney, retired from the Stifel Municipal Securities Group in 2019, earned a BA from Texas Tech University and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. Steve is a longtime former member of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) Board of Directors. He was also a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America Los Angeles Council. Steve worked with Stone & Youngberg for nearly 24 years prior to the firm’s acquisition by Stifel.


Maraskeshia Smith took the Santa Rosa city manager post after City Manager Sean McGlynn left to be the Escondido city manager and former City Manager Jeff Kolin served as interim city manager.

More than 20,000 runners and walkers took to the streets of Los Angeles for the 26.2 mile 38th annual L.A. Marathon on Sunday, March 19.

Former Institute of Government CEO Joanne Speers, local government ethics thought leader, is featured on the cover of the March 2023 issue of PM magazine.

Ethan N. Elkind, director of the climate program at the University of California Laws Center, says that COVID, development of remote working and crime have mass transit systems in crisis.

Paula Cone of HdL Companies previously worked for the City of Lawndale as director of Parks and Recreation (July 1970-March 1981) and assistant city manager (March 1981-March 1990).

Dr. Justin Tucker, PhD, assistant to the city manager in the City of Corona is a former professor at California State University, Fullerton (August 2008-December 2021).

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has dissolved the Victim Impact Program, which is the county’s special victims’ unit.

State Secretary of California Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot joined local government officials in the Central Valley to celebrate a $15 million grant funding support for local water projects in February.

Congratulations to City Manager Jim Lewis, a former Atascadero assistant city manager, who celebrated his 10 year anniversary as the Pismo Beach city manager in February.

John “Mac” McLaughlin, the 2003 founding president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, has retired.

Lisa Pope, who earned a BS in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of Southern California (USC), was the city clerk and IT director in the City of Whittier (2017-2019) before becoming the city clerk for the City of Vernon in October 2019.

Santa Clarita director of Recreation and Community Services Janine Prado earned an MPA and a BA in child development from California State University, Northridge.

Applause to Huntington Park retiree Claude Bilodeau for the successful 3rd Annual Los Amigos Kiwanis Car Show.