Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 16: Issue No. 10

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

Retired City Manager Doug Dunford has been tapped to serve as the interim city manager in Ceres following the departure of City Manager Alex Terrazas. Alex left the city without a city explanation. Alex took the position after City Manager Tom Westbrook left the post. Doug is a former city manager for Gustine (2017-2022) and for a short time California City (2022). Doug began his public service career as a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff in 1978.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announced that Jestin Johnson is the next city administrator for Oakland. Jestin has been serving as a deputy chief operating officer in Atlanta, Georgia. Jestin has served in a number of positions in Georgia starting in May 2003 when he was a public information intern. In 2007 he worked as a management assistant to the city manager in between April and September when he returned to Georgia to serve as interim city manager in Varnell, Georgia (2007-2008). Jestin served in the U.S. Air Force from June 1996 until June 2000.

Long Beach City Manager Tom Modica recently revealed that Deputy City Manager Katy Nomura is leaving her position to attend to personal matters. Government Affairs Manager Tyler Bonanno-Curley will serve as the acting deputy city manager until the position is filled. Katy previously served as deputy city manager in the City of Cupertino. Katy earned a BS from the University of California, Berkeley, and MPA from San Jose State University and an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology.

With Pismo Beach City Manager James R. Lewis resigning to become the new Atascadero city manager, Assistant City Manager Jorge E. Garcia has been appointed to serve as Pismo Beach interim city manager effective May 27, 2023. Jorge served as a management analyst in Villa Park (2008-2011) and Fountain Valley (2011-2014). He took a senior management assistant position with the city of Santa Ana in 2014 and became the assistant to the city manager (2017-2018). Jorge joined the Pismo Beach city staff in December 2018 as management services director. He was elevated to assistant city manager in June 2021. Jorge earned a BA from Chapman University and an MPA from California State University, Fullerton. Jorge served as president of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) from December 2014 to November 2015.

Colfax City Manager Wes Heathcock is the next town manager for the Town of Loomis. Wes is succeeding Town Manager Sean Rabé, who is the new city manager for the City of Auburn. Wes has been the Colfax city manager since 2017. Before that, he was the Colfax community services director and the public services supervisor for the City of Lincoln.

Visalia City Manager Leslie Caviglia earned a BS in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She joined the Visalia city staff as the community affairs coordination in 1986. She moved to the positions of city clerk and deputy city manager. Leslie became the Visalia city manager in September 2021. She and her husband own and operate Crystal Cove Farms. Leslie is the first female city manager for the city of Visalia. She succeeded City Manager Randy Groom, who retired.

Danielle Navarro is the new Oakley assistant city manager. City Manager Josh McMurray hired Danielle, who has been serving as the principal management analyst and city clerk for the City of Pleasant Hill. Danielle began her public service career in March 2003 as an office specialist in the City of Berkeley. She left Berkeley in July 2014 as a senior management analyst for a similar position.

Stockton City Manager Harry Black served as the Cincinnati, Ohio city manager (September 2014 -April 2018) before coming to California. He served as the chief financial officer for the City of Baltimore, Maryland from 2012 to 2014. Harry started as the Stockton city manager in February 2020. Harry earned a BS from Virginia State University and an MA from the University of Virginia.

Former Santa Ana City Manager David N. Ream, a resident of Coto de Caza, passed away on December 26, 2020 at the age of 76, after living with advanced Parkinson’s disease for several years. David joined the Santa Ana city staff in 1978 after previously working in Lakewood and Long Beach. He became Santa Ana city manager in July 1986. David retired in 2011. David was a graduate of Long Beach Poly High School, and he earned a BA from Arizona State University and an MBA from California State University, Long Beach.

Kevin Ennis of Richards, Watson & Gershon (RWG) serves as city attorney for the City of Moorpark and as general counsel for the Palos Verdes Library District. Kevin previously served as city attorney for the City of Artesia for 19 years. He has also served as city attorney for the cities of Calimesa, Banning and Laguna Niguel. Additionally, he has served as assistant city attorney or deputy city attorney for the cities of Beverly Hills, Palmdale, Rancho Cucamonga and Rolling Hills. He serves as special land use, municipal law and conflict of interest counsel to several other cities and districts. Kevin joined RWG in 1986.

In 1989 Michael A. Graziano retired as the Los Alamitos city manager. Mike began his Los Alamitos city manager tenure in June 1973. Mike had previously worked as the Montclair city manager (April 1965 – May 1970). Mike started his public service career in October 1961 in the City of Indio. He earned a BA from the University of Redlands and an MPA from the University of Michigan. Mike and his wife Helen love to hike in the San Gabriel Mountains and other places.


Rolling Hills City Manager Elaine Jeng, who previously worked as the public works director in El Monte, is the new city manager for the City of Palos Verdes Estates.

Interim San Bruno City Manager Alex McIntyre was among the final three candidates for the Portland, Oregon city manager position when Danielle West was selected.

Dwane Milnes served as the city manager in the City of Stockton between 1991 and 2001.

John Nowak, former Lawndale and San Marino city manager, was hired in 1997 as the assistant city manager for the City of Moorpark.

Karen Vaughn, who previously worked as principal planner for Redwood City, retired from her Moorpark Community Development position in 2021 to move to Florida to be near her family.

Diamond Bar Council Member Andrew Chou, who serves as the president of the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities, reminds us that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The deadline for applications for the South San Francisco assistant city manager position is June 7, and for the San Rafael assistant city manager by May 28.

Adorliz Henderson, who is a special education teacher for the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District and was a Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce Princess in 2009, worked for the recreation departments in the cities of Anaheim (2010-2012), Cerritos (2006-2012), Downey (2012-2013), Irvine (2013- 2014), Santa Ana (2014-2018), and the County of Orange (2018).

Former longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) Jeff Kolin, served as city manager in Santa Rosa (2000-2009) and Beverly Hills (2010-2015).

The State of New York has adopted legislation that bars natural gas appliances in new buildings.

The $628.5 million Vincent Thomas Bridge project proposal will close the roadway for two years starting in 2025.

Former League of California Cities Lobbyist Kyra Ross (2007-2013), a University of California, Davis alumnus, is a Lobbyist at Emanuels Jones & Associates.

The Bayshore Consulting Group team includes Barbara Boswell, Marshall Linn, Cathy DeFalco, Tammie Holladay, and former city managers Mark Bozigian, Hugh Riley, Randy Anstine and Bob Adams.

Abraham Luna worked for the City of La Mirada before becoming an assistant planner in the City of Downey.

Bellflower City Manager Jeff Stewart previously served as the city manager in El Segundo (2005-2008) and Los Alamitos (2009-2012) before joining the Bellflower city staff in January 2012.

Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities Regional Public Affairs Manager Jeff Kiernan previously served as a special assistant to former California State Governor Gray Davis (1999-2005).

Joseph W. Painter is a former city manager for the City of Cathedral City after serving as city manager in Kennewick, Washington and Marion, Iowa.