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
Raul Alvarez is the new Montebello city manager. Ralph Andersen and associates assisted the City with the recruitment. Raul replaces City Manager Rene Bobadilla, who is currently the Santa Fe Springs city manager. Raul previously served as assistant city manager for the cities of Huntington Park and Lynwood. He is a former district director and senior advisor to Assembly Member Anthony Rendon. He began his public service career as a deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Raul earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.
Live Oak Director of Public Works, Ronald Walker is the next city manager for the City of Colfax. He takes over from Interim City Manager Mike Luken in January. Ron previously worked as the general manager for the Forestville Water District, as chief plant operator for the CalFire Konocti Fire Camp in Lower Lake and chief plant operator for the Pfeiffer-Big Surr State Park for the California Parks System. Ron earned a BA from Southern New Hampshire University.
Mark Ochenduszko is a retired Coronado city manager who served as the interim city manager for the City of Del Mar in 2011. He replaced City Manager Karen Brust when she left Del Mar to become the San Juan Capistrano city manager. Mark is also recognized as a highly professional freelance photographer whose specialty is landscapes, shoreline scenes and outdoor subjects. Mark was the Coronado city manager from 1999 until his retirement in 2010. He previously served as the city manager for the cities of Campbell and Cypress. Mark is also a former assistant city manager for the City of Temecula. Mark earned a BA and MPA from San Diego State University.
City of Commerce City Manager Edgar Cisneros resigned from his position after serving there for the past 6 years. Edgar is involved in a federal cannabis corruption investigation of public officials. Assistant City Manager Vilko Domic was assigned the city manager’s duties. Edgar is a former Huntington Park city manager, and his involvement took place while he served there. He became the commerce city manager in November 2017. He also was a longtime member of the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education.
Calexico City Manager Esperanza Colio Warren previously worked for more than 18 years with the County of Imperial. She was a deputy county executive officer when she accepted the appointment as Calexico city manager in July 2022. She worked as the Imperial County community and economic development manager from April 2004 until August 2018 when she was made a deputy county executive officer. Esperanza earned a BA and MPA from San Diego State University. She is an adjunct professor for San Diego State University, Imperial Valley.
Carpinteria hosted a special Monday, November 27 recognition ceremony for the City’s longtime City Manager Dave Durflinger. Dave is retiring after 24 years with the Carpinteria City staff. He served as city manager for the past 22 years; since July 2001. Dave began his public service career in the Planning Department in the City of Cathedral City in July 1988. He became the city planner in Cathedral City in June 1998. He started his Carpinteria tenure as the community development director in January 1999. Dave earned an AA from Glendale College and a BA from the University of California, Riverside. In 2023, Dave received a 35-year ICMA Service Award.
Don Schwartz is the new city manager in Sebastopol. Don is the assistant city manager for the City of Rohnert Park, where he has worked since April 2014. He succeeds City Manager Larry McLaughlin, who has worked in the position since 2014. Don served as an instructor for Sonoma State University from 2019 to May 2023. He was an analyst to the CAO in Sonoma County from April 2005 until April 2014. Don earned a BA in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and an MPP (Master of Public Policy) from Harvard University.
Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo earned an employment agreement extension and compensation adjustment. In 2022, Joe earned salary and benefits of $384,005. After an excellent performance review, Joe will receive a 14.2% annual salary increase. His agreement was extended to April 2025. Joe is the longest serving city manager in the East Bay. He became Danville town manager in 1993. He started in Danville in September 1985 as the planning director. Joe was promoted to assistant town manager in June 1990. In 2020, Joe received a 35-year ICMA Service Award.
Oakland has hired Dr. Holly Joshi as the chief of the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP). Holly says that she plans to look at the root causes of gun violence, gang violence and gender-based violence. DVP will focus on prevention and intervention of community violence. One objective is to reduce the need to utilize the criminal justice system.
Apple Valley’s first Mayor, Nicholas “Nick” DePrisco, Jr., passed away at the age of 75 in Laguna Woods following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was remembered at a November 4 celebration of life service in Spring Valley Lake. As the top vote-getter, he earned the position of mayor for the newly incorporated Town of Apple Valley in 1988. He remained on the Town Council until 1996. Nick worked as a San Bernardino County public defender. He taught criminal law at Victor Valley College. Nick earned a BA from California State University, Hayward and a Juris Doctorate from Western State College of Law in San Diego.
Sebastopol Assistant City Manager and City Clerk Mary Gourley served with the Department of the Army at the Presidio of San Francisco from June 1982 until March 1995. She joined the Sebastopol City staff after leaving the Army as a planning and public works technician. Mary became the Sebastopol city clerk in September 2006. She has worked with the City for nearly 29 years. She earned an MMC from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
Merced’s new City Manager Scott McBribe worked as the Development Services Director for 6 years before he was appointed city manager. He previously worked for the City of Atwater for more than 23 years. In 2017, Scott served as the interim city manager for Atwater. He earned a BA in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MPA from California State University, Stanislaus. Scott took the oath of office in Merced on November 6.
- Fresno City Manager Georgeanne White appointed two new assistant city managers, including former Tracy City Manager Michael Rogers and Visalia Assistant City Manager Nick Mascia.
- Retired Santa Fe Springs City Manager Fred Latham serves on the Board of Directors of a non-profit for a student mentoring program in Santa Fe Springs.
- Past California Contract Cities Association President (1995-1996), Bea LaPisto- Kirtley, a former Bradbury City council member, currently serves as a member of the Board of Supervisors for Albemarle County, Virginia.
- Tripepi Smith President Ryder Todd Smith is recognized by the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) with the group’s 2023 Legacy Award.
- Colma City Clerk Caitlin Corley is the next city clerk for the City of Petaluma.
- City Manager Elaine Andersen confirmed that California State University Sacramento alumnus and Placerville City Engineer, Rebecca Neves is the new Folsom city engineer, effective November 27.
- Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger passed away at the age of 100.
- In May 2023, Westlake Village Director of Finance Dr. Daniel Jordan was appointed to succeed La Cañada Flintridge City Manager Mark Alexander in June 2023.
- Jan Heidt, a founding member of the Santa Clarita City Council, passed away at the age of 84.
- Jenny Rogers, a veteran of the Beverly Hills staff as director of Community Services, has been appointed by City Manager David White to serve as the City of Santa Monica’s first Recreation and Arts director.
- Craig Bassett is the new interim chief of police for the City of Corning following the departure of Police Chief Jeremiah Fears.
- Palo Altos’ first female Mayor Frances Dias, who was elected to the City Council and became mayor in 1966, has passed away at the age of 100.