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
Former Simi Valley City Manager Laura Behjan is a volunteer at California Lutheran University. Laura began her working career in human resources with the City of Burbank (1989-1988). She joined the City of Simi Valley staff as the human resources manager in January 1989. Laura served as the administrative services director and deputy city manager, and she was promoted to assistant city manager in June 1996. When City Manager Mike Sedell retired, Laura took the city manager position in July 2012. Laura retired from the City in February 2012 and became the executive director for the Ventura Council of Governments in July 2013. She left that position in March 2016. Laura served as a volunteer to the extended University of the California State University, Channel Islands (2015-2020). In 2020 she began as a volunteer at California Lutheran University. Laura earned an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.
Long Beach Deputy City Manager Katy Nomura, who previously served among other agencies with the City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara Valley Water District and the City of Cupertino, is the new assistant town manager for Los Gatos. Katy was with Long Beach from June 2022 to June 2023. Katy earned a BS from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPA from San Jose State University, and an MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology.
Brian Villalobos is the new Duarte city manager. Brian has served as the Duarte public safety services director for 17 years. He replaced City Manager Daniel Jordan who resigned his position to take the La Cañada Flintridge city manager post. Brian’s first day as city manager was June 1, 2023.
Willits City Manager Brian P. Bender is featured in an information feature on the ICMA Credentialed Managers program in the May 2023 issue of PM magazine. Brian was appointed to the Willits city manager post in January 2021. He is originally from New York but began his public service career in Clinton County, Indiana as a zoning administrator. He became the executive director of the Clinton County Area Planning Commission. After serving as a planner for the City of Bensenville, Illinois, and planning director for Winona County, Minnesota, he moved in 2011 to serve as the planning director & floodplain manager for Powell County, Montana. Brian earned a BA from Plattsburgh State University, New York, and an MA in geography from Western Washington University, Washington.
Manteca Interim City Manager Toni Lundgren, 44, has been tapped to serve as the city manager. The “Interim” has been removed from her title. Toni began her public services career working in parks and recreation. In July 2014, she became the deputy director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manteca. In June 2020, Toni was appointed deputy city manager. She has served as interim city manager since May 2022, and she is city manager starting in May 2023. She earned a BA in recreation administration from California State University, Sacramento, and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.
Corning City Manager Kristina Miller will be the next city manager for the City of Rio Vista. She will succeed City Manager Rob Hickey, who retired. Kristina has served as the Corning city manager since 2015. She was a staff member for the County of Tehama from 2006 to 2015. Kristina will start her Rio Vista tenure in the last week of June. Phil Carter is the interim city manager. Kristina earned a BA in restoration ecology and environmental education and an MA in Geography from California State University, Chico.
West Covina City Manager David Carmany submitted his resignation May 18 for “personal reasons…” David has served as the West Covina city manager since April 2019. David previously served as city manager in La Puente (2014-2018), Manhattan Beach (2010-2013), Seal Beach (2007-2010), Pacifica (1997-2003), Malibu (1993-1997), and Agoura Hills (1987-1993). He was a regional manager for PARS from 2003 to 2007. David began his public service career as an administrative assistant in the City of Lancaster working with then-City Manager Vern Lawson (1978-1980). He served as administrative assistant to the city manager in Grand Terrace (1980-1981) and assistant city manager in the City of Alhambra from 1981 to February 1987. David earned a BS in public affairs from the University of Southern California (USC) where he played in the famous USC marching band. In 2018, David received a 35-Year ICMA Service Award. He received the Outstanding Leadership “People Who Care” Award from the County of San Mateo in September 2000. West Covina Assistant City Manager Paulina Morales is the acting city manager.
City Manager Trevin W. Barber is stepping down from his position as city manager in the City of Gonzales after only four months into the post. Trevin became city manager in January. He decided to focus on his career in finance and economic development and be able to spend more time with his family. Trevin succeeded City Manager Rene Mendez. Trevin was the assistant city manager in the City of Seaside where he served from June 2021 until September 2022. He previously served as a senior management analyst in the City of Gilroy. He also worked for more than eight years in various positions for the City of Lancaster. Trevin earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPA from California State University, Bakersfield.
Matthew B. Chidester has been the city manager for Half Moon Bay since August 2022. Half Moon Bay is the first city he has worked for. He previously worked in various positions for the County of San Mateo (2001-2017) after working for Wells Fargo Bank (1999-2001) and a couple of law firms. Matt joined the Half Moon Bay city staff in July 2017 as assistant city manager. He earned an Associates of Business Administration degree from the College of San Mateo, a BA from Hawaii Pacific University, and an MS from Western Governors University.
Benicia Assistant City Manager Bret Prebula is the new city manager for the City of Clayton. Bret worked for the County of Napa for more than 11 years prior to becoming the City of Napa finance director in October 2019. Bret was appointed director of finance for the City of Benicia in June 2021. He was promoted to Benicia assistant city manager in December 2022, and he was appointed City of Clayton city manager in May 2023. Bret earned a BA and MBA from the University of Phoenix.
With Community Development Director Megan Hunter leaving Salinas to accept the appointment to the City of Soledad city manager position, Salinas City Manager Steve Carrigan appointed Lisa Brinton to be the next director. Lisa has worked in the Salinas Community Development Department since 2016, starting as a senior planner. She has been serving as assistant community development director. Lisa previously worked for the cities of Seaside and Watsonville.
Lt. Nate Derr of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department is the new chief of police for the City of Bishop. Nate replaces Chief Richard Standridge, who is leaving Bishop to be the chief of police for the City of Tehachapi. It is anticipated that Nate will begin his new job on June 19, 2023. Chief Standridge has been the Bishop chief since July 2021.
Duarte City Manager Dr. Daniel Jordan will be the next La Cañada Flintridge city manager succeeding retiring City Manager Mark Alexander, whose last day will be June 13, 2023. Daniel began his public service career as a senior managing consultant in July 2000. He took a budget officer job for the City of Simi Valley in January 2005 and became the La Cañada Flintridge director of finance in February 2008. Dan left in July 2017 to become the director of finance in the City of Westlake Village, and he became the Duarte city manager in March 2020. He served as an instructor for the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2021. Dan earned a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and an MPP and Doctorate in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University.
Thomas G. Mauk began his public service career in 1967 as an administrative analyst for the City of Los Angeles. In July 1970, he began work as the assistant city manager in the City of Montclair, and in April 1976, he began his tenure as city manager for the City of Norco. Tom was recruited to serve as the city manager in the City of Whittier starting in October 1980. He served in Whittier until December 1999. After working as the city manager in La Habra (December 1999 to June 2002) and taking some time off to recharge his batteries, Tom was appointed county executive officer for the County of Orange (October 2004-August 2012). Tom earned a BA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MPA from the University of Southern California (USC). In 2009, he received a 40-year ICMA Service Award. Tom served as president of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities (1995-1996), and he served on the ICMA Executive Board as an ICMA regional vice president (1997-2000).
City Manager Brian Dossey of the Town of Colma will retire at the end of August 2023. Brian served the City for nearly two decades. He became city manager in 2017 after serving as administrative services director. He and his wife are relocating to Lake Tahoe.
Congratulations to the ICMA Local Government Early Career Service Certificate – Spring 2023 recipients; though there is not one from the State of California.
Retired Palmdale City Manager Jim Purtee worked for the City of Simi Valley, including the position of interim assistant city manager.
Jimmee Medina, who earned a BA and MPA from California State University, Fullerton, joined the City of Irvine staff in February 2007 in human resources and became the director of Human Resources & Innovation in January 2019.
Humboldt County Civil Grand Jurors recommend a full study to determine whether McKinleyville should be an incorporated city.
City of Tracy has an ordinance pending that will allow the dismissal of a city manager with a simple majority vote of the City Council.
Retired Tustin City Manager Jeffrey C. Parker served as the private community Laguna Woods Village CEO from February 2019 to February 2023.
Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo has served as city manager since June 2015, and he has worked for the City since 1998.
New Rio Vista City Manager Kristina Miller is a member and chair of the board for the California Product Stewardship Council.
Paulina Morales, West Covina assistant city manager, who is the acting city manager following City Manager David Carmany’s resignation, has worked with the City for 19 years.
Joseph M. Goeden, who began his public service career in June 1972 as an administrative aide in the City of Montebello, served as the West Sacramento city manager from June 1989 to April 2002.
Peter B. Feenstra, a former city manager in Bellflower, Artesia, South El Monte and Westminster, and director of public relations for the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and public works director for West Hollywood, passed away in 2001 at the age of 70.
Palm Springs International Airport is recruiting a marketing & communications specialist.
Lakewood City Manager Thaddeus McCormack is the newest city manager to be awarded the high honor of the El Gran Matador Award by the California Contract Cities Association. Stay safe out there!