Trackdown ManagementTrackdown Management’s City Manager Newsletter: Volume No. 17: Issue No. 03

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:

Anita Gutierrez, a former Legislative Deputy to County Supervisor Gloria Molina, has been named to the Pomona City Manager position. Anita served on Supervisor Molina’s staff from May 2004 to June 2007, when she took a supervising regional planner position with the staff of Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. In November 2018 Anita became a planning manager for the City of Pomona. She served as the director of development services (2019-2023) and she was appointed assistant city manager in 2023. Anita became city manager in Pomona in February 2024. She earned a BA from California State University, San Bernardino, a Master’s in urban planning and a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California (USC). Anita replaces former city manager James Makshanoff. Anita served as acting city manager since Jim left in December 2023. Mark Gluba is the Pomona Assistant City Manager & public information officer.

Matt Fabry is the new Public Works Director for the City of San Mateo. He will replace interim director brad underwood, who will return to retirement. Matt has worked as the director of the Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program in San Mateo County since January 2006. He previously served as an associate civil engineer for the City of Brisbane (2003-2011). He earned a BA in music and a BS in environmental engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Pismo Beach City Manager Jorge E. Garcia has a new community development director, Scot Graham, who had been serving as the community development director in Morro Bay since July 2014. Prior to that he worked as a senior planner for the City of Pismo Beach beginning in the Planning Department in 1998. Scot earned a BA in natural resources and planning from Humboldt State University.

Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer has advised the city that she plans to resign this year, though a specific date has yet to be set. Karen began her public service career as a recreation supervisor for the City of Eureka in September 1991. In August 1996, she joined the Arcata city staff working in the Department of Environmental Services and Parks and Recreation. Karen worked her way up in that department for more than 18 years. She was appointed Arcata City Manager in November 2014. Karen earned a BA from Humboldt State University. In 2019 she received a 10-year ICMA Service Award.

Fort Bragg Finance Director Isaac Whippy is the new Fort Bragg City Manager succeeding city manager Peggy Ducey. Isaac is a native of Fiji. He earned a BS from the University of the South Pacific. After working as an accountant in the private sector beginning in 2011, Isaac joined the Fort Bragg city staff as assistant finance director in February 2016. He became finance director in May 2022. He is a co-founder of the FoodRunners in April 2018.

Highly respected and dedicated public manager, Donald Stilwell, former Lee County, Florida Manager passed away on December 22, 2023 at the age of 85. He was the Lee County Manager for 16 years starting in July 1993. Don served as the county administrator for San Luis Obispo County(1977-1983) and county administrator for Del Norte County (1974-1977). A native of Oregon, Don earned a BA from the University of Oregon and an MPA from Lewis & Clark College in Portland. In 1970, he started as assistant director of administration and finance with the City of Springfield, Oregon.

San Francisco State University graduate with a BA and MPA, Breyana Brandt has worked as the parks and recreation director for the City of Napa since September 2022. Breyana began her public service career as a recreation coordinator for the City of South San Francisco in September 1997. She took a similar position with Redwood City in October 2000. After working as the childcare director for Waugh School District (October 2001-October 2006), Breyana took a recreation supervisor post in the City of San Leandro. She rose to the assistant recreation & human services director position in San Leandro. Breyana was selected to be the parks and recreation director for the Town of Moraga in May 2018 and served there until she joined the Napa city staff.

Stacey Zarazua is the new Ventura Parks & Recreation Director working with City Manager Bill Ayub. She succeeds Director Nancy O’Connor, who retired in September 2023. Stacey joined the Ventura Parks & Recreation Department in 2001 as a recreation coordinator working in the youth sports section. She worked as an aquatics supervisor in 2005. Stacey earned a BA and an MPA from California State University, Northridge.

Interim Laguna Beach City Manager Sean Joyce appointed Laguna Beach Public Works Director Mark McAvoy as acting director of community development. Mark is filling in behind the resignation of Marc Wiener, who is leaving the city to pursue other professional opportunities. City Engineer Mark Trestik, a 23-year veteran of the Laguna Beach city staff, is the acting director of public works.

Todd Cusimano is the city manager for the City of Mill Valley. Todd worked as the town manager for the Town of Corte Madera prior to coming to Mill Valley in September 2022. Todd began his public service career in law enforcement. He served as the chief of police for the Twin Cities Police Authority for nearly 19 years providing service to Larkspur, Corte Madera, San Anselmo and other areas served by the Central Marin Police Authority. Todd earned a BA in criminal justice and police science from Kaplan University and an MBA from Columbia Southern University.


  • Former Thousand Oaks and El Segundo city manager Scott Mitnick, the town manager in Moraga, worked as a budget analyst in the City of Brea in 1987- 1988.
  • Retired veteran city manager, David Jinkens, a former candidate for the South Lake Tahoe City Council, is a “good government advocate” who earned a BA from the University of California Berkeley and an MPA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
  • Marti Brown is the city manager for the City of Willows and Amos Hoover is the city clerk and assistant to the city manager.
  • Gary Milliman, former South Gate and Brookings, Oregon city manager, is serving as the city manager for the City of Talent in Jackson County, Oregon.
  • Steven Wagner, who has served as the chief operations officer (COO) for the past 22 years for the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) in Santa Ana, will retire following the conclusion of the current school year on June 30, 2024.
  • San Leandro Assistant City Manager Janelle Cameron previously worked as the administrative services director for the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.
  • Reggie Hubbard, who joined the city staff in 1992, has worked as the Vacaville Director of Parks and Recreation since 2022.
  • John Takhtalian is the assistant city manager in the City of Glendale where he first joined the city staff as an administrative assistant in October 2002.
  • Former Public Works Superintendent, Deston Dishion has served as the city administrator for the City of Bishop since 2022 and has worked for the city since December 1995.
  • Citrus Heights Water District and Hidden Valley Lake Association Special Advisor Roderick Wood, a retired city manager who served in Beverly Hills, Novato, Indian Wells and Escondido, is the founder of the Northern California “Proof of Life” lunch program.