Trackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 16: Issue No. 9
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
Pismo Beach City Manager Jim Lewis is resigning to accept the city manager position in the City of Atascadero. After 10 years as the Pismo Beach city manager, Jim is returning to Atascadero where he served 8 years as assistant city manager with then-City Manager Wade McKinney. Earlier this year, Atascadero City Manager Rachelle Rickard announced her retirement. Jim and his family have lived in Atascadero for 20 years. It is anticipated that the transition will take place in July. Jim is a past president of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities and a board member of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF). He earned a BS from the University of Southern California (USC) and an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
“Home Rule” takes a hit as California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Governor Gavin Newsom sue the City of Elk Grove regarding a local housing project proposal. Jason Behrmann is the Elk Grove city manager. He has worked for the City since 2015.
Ventura’s Interim City Manager Akbar Alikhan, 35, is the new deputy city manager for the City of Thousand Oaks. Akbar joined the Ventura city staff in 2019. He served as assistant city manager and has been the interim city manager since City Manager Alex McIntyre left office. In his new post with Thousand Oaks, Akbar will work with City Manager Drew Powers and Assistant City Manager Ingrid Hardy. Akbar earned a BA and MPA from Cornell University.
Loomis Town Manager Sean Rabé is the new city manager for the City of Auburn. Sean worked as the Loomis town manager since 2017. Sean worked as editor and general manager of the Amador Ledger Dispatch from November 2001 to December 2006 when he was hired as an assistant planner for the Amador County Transportation Commission. He became the Sutter Creek assistant city manager in March 2008, and then city manager in May 2010. Sean left Sutter Creek in January 2014 to serve as the Town of Colma city manager. Sean started as the Loomis town manager in July 2017. He earned a BA from California State University, Sacramento and an MPP from California State University, Northridge.
City Manager Brad Raulston of National City resigned. His last day on the job was May 31. He reportedly is helping to relocate his elderly mother from Seattle to a senior facility in Boise. Armando Vergara is serving as interim city manager for National City. Before his city manager assignment, Brad worked as the City’s director of Community Development and as deputy city manager. Brad earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MPA from San Diego State University.
Costa Mesa City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison promoted Assistant to the City Manager Alma L. Reyes, a resident of Norwalk, to deputy city manager. In 2019 Alma served as a senior management analyst in the City Manager’s Office under then-acting City Manager Tammy Letourneau. Alma was born in Compton and raised in Hawaiian Gardens. Alma worked as an administrative analyst for the City of Hawaiian Gardens from March 2001 to January 2011 before she joined the Costa Mesa city staff. She earned a BA in criminal justice and public administration and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach. Alma is fluent in Spanish and English.
California City’s Off Highway Vehicle Manager Inge Elmes is the new interim city manager taking over for Interim City Manager Jim Hart. Jim joined the City last September and must discontinue his service to the City due to the Cal PERS rules. Inge has not given up the OHV position but adds the interim city manager position responsibilities to her plate. Inge is the fourth city manager in California City since July 2021.
Amanda Lee is the new assistant city manager for the City of La Mesa. After working in the private sector in San Diego (1999-2011) and as a senior business taxes representative for the California State Board of Equalization, Amanda went to work with the City of Vista as an assistant city clerk in November 2013. In October 2015 she took a management analyst job with Vista; housing programs manager (January 2017-January 2020); assistant to the city manager (January 2020-May 2021); and Vista assistant city manager (May 2021-2023). Amanda earned a BA and MPA from San Diego State University.
Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey was an announcement speaker for the Institute for Local Government (ILG) April 27 Webinar program on “Budget Season: How Local Governments Can Build and Maintain Fiscal Health.” HdL Companies executives Bobby Young, Barry Foster, and Eric Myers were also on the program. The HdL Companies sponsored this ILG educational session. ILG promotes good government at the local level.
Salinas Director of Community Development Megan Hunter is the new city manager in the City of Soledad. Retired city manager J. Edward Tewes acted as interim city manager following the departure of City Manager Brent Slama in December 2022. Megan joined the Salinas staff as director of Community Development in September 2015. In addition to city manager, Megan will serve as the Housing Authority director and director of the successor agency. She is to start her new position on May 15. Soledad is about to grow as it has an annexation action pending with Monterey County LAFCO.
Cristine (Reid) Alilovich is reported to be the next San Rafael city manager. Cristine has served as the City of San Rafael’s assistant city manager since 2015. She is replacing retiring City Manager Jim Schutz. Cristine worked as the IT special projects manager for the County of Sonoma (September 2009-December 2010) and as assistant director of finance for the County of Marin (January 2011-August 2015). Cristine earned a BA in psychology from Rutgers University and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC).
Catie Thow de Garcia, 28, has been hired as the new Sausalito resiliency and sustainability manager. Catie is an environmental scientist. She is from Newport, Rhode Island, and studied at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she earned a BS in environmental studies with an emphasis in coastal management. Catie worked in Colorado for a private consulting group and with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in Kodiak, Alaska. She accepted a National Science Foundation position to work with the San Francisco State University’s estuary and ocean science center in Tiburon. Catie earned a Masters’ degree in interdisciplinary marine and estuarine science from San Francisco State University.
City Manager Shawnna Maltbie of Daly City was replaced in August 2022 by Interim City Manager Thomas Piccollotti. While she was on leave, Shawnna announced her retirement on June 3, 2022. Shawnna was named Daly City’s city manager in 2019. She joined the city staff in 2005 as assistant director of Human Resources and was promoted in 2007 to be the director of Human Resources. Her husband Jeff Maltbie is the city manager in San Carlos. Shawnna earned a BA in public administration from the University of San Francisco and an MPA from San Francisco State University.
After serving as city manager in Rolling Hills Estates (1958-1962), Pleasant Hill (1962-1970), Martinez (1973-1978) and San Luis Obispo (1978-1981), Leland M. Walton was appointed city manager in Antioch in August 1981. Leland earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
David M. Guhin, the executive director of Government Operations for the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, has been selected to serve as the city manager for the City of Sonoma, as an offer was made in April 2023. David took the executive director position in September 2020. He worked as an associate civil engineer for the City of Santa Rosa utilities from March 2002 to March 2004. He worked as a private sector project engineer in the Washington D. C. Metro Area for about two years and then rejoined the City of Santa Rosa as a supervising engineer. David advanced in the organization to director of Santa Rosa Water (2012-2016), assistant city manager and director of Planning and Economic Development (2016-2018), and he became the full-time assistant city manager in July 2018 (2018-2020). David earned a BS in civil engineering from South Dakota Mines and a Mast of organization development from Sonoma State University.
- City of Sausalito City Manager Chris Zapata served as the city manager for the City of Anaheim from August 2018 until April 2020.
- Paul Novak is the executive officer of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for the County of Los Angeles (January 2011- Present), and he previously served as a senior deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich (April 2003-December 2010).
- During a recent count of homeless people, Long Beach, where Tom Modica is city manager, reports the smallest increase in homelessness since 2019; 4.6%.
- Retired City Manager Brad Kilger requested that Kevin O’Rourke help look for a part-time interim city manager for the Town of Etna in Northern California.
- It was announced by ICMA CEO/Executive Director Marc Ott that former Santa Clara City Manager Deanna J. Santana (October 2017-April 2022) is the acting CEO and president for MissionSquare Retirement following the departure of Lynne Ford.
- Monrovia Assistant City Manager Lauren Vasquez 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.
- Ingrid Hardy, assistant city manager for the City of Thousand Oaks, started her public service career in Los Angeles before joining the Santa Clarita staff (2005-2016) and the City of Oxnard (2016-2018), prior to joining Thousand Oaks.
- Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan has passed away at the age of 92.
- Coronado Assistant City Manager Tony Winnery served as assistant to the city manager in Vista (2014-2020) and assistant city manager in National City (2020-2022) prior to joining the Coronado city staff in July 2022.
- Amazon San Bernardino Area Manager Shawnna Romacly worked as an intern in Assembly Member Allen Travis of the 72nd District in Huntington Beach (2016-2017).
- California’s prison population is flooded with cellphones, even though it is illegal for inmates to have them.
- San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb was born in the City of Rocklin in 1996 during Dr. Carlos A. Urrutia’s (1984- 2010) Rocklin city manager tenure.
- Gary Halbert retired after serving as the city manager for the City of Chula Vista between July 2014 and June 2020.