Local News

Council expected to choose interim city manager next week

By From page A1 | April 10, 2014

The city of Davis announced late Wednesday that the City Council likely will hire an interim city manager next week whose career specialty is getting municipal budgets in order.

Gene Rogers, a former city manager for Moreno Valley in Southern California and a former interim city manager for Coachella, will provide day-to-day management of the city until a new city manager is hired, according to a city news release. Rogers would start work April 22 and will not be applying for the permanent position, created by the resignation of City Manager Steve Pinkerton.

No salary for the temporary position was announced.

The city said Rogers has more than 27 years of experience in city government, starting his career in Sunnyvale, then moving to Moreno Valley where he first served as assistant city manager, then eventually city manager.

“He led Moreno Valley from a fiscal crisis to solvency and eventual financial stability by implementing organizational efficiencies and developing new budget policies,” the city statement said. “…In 2003, he led efforts to establish an electrical utility to serve a portion of the city.”

That portion covers a little more than half the city in geographical terms, according to the Moreno Valley Electric Utility website. It began serving residents there in 2004.

Pinkerton finalized a contract last month to become general manager of Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village General Improvement District. The district handles recreation, sewer and waste for the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe, in Nevada. Pinkerton earns a base salary of $188,000 in Davis compared to a $175,000 promised base salary in Incline Village. His last day will be April 25.

Pinkerton was hired as Davis’ city manager in August 2011. Prior to that, he served as city manager for three years in Manteca and before that led revitalization efforts in the city of Stockton. He also held managerial positions in Redondo Beach and Long Beach.

In 2006, Rogers retired from Moreno Valley, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, emerged from a fiscal crisis in the mid-1990s during Rogers’ tenure as interim city manager. Since retirement, he’s been serving as a management consultant assisting public agencies on budgeting, finance and organizational efficiencies.

That stint included an eight-month post as an interim city manager in Coachella starting in 2009, where, according to local TV station KESQ, unemployment was 23.1 percent. After a tax measure fell short at the polls in 2009, the next year the city led a successful effort to pass a 5 percent utility users tax to generate an estimated $1.1 million for the struggling city of roughly 35,000 people.

Police and fire services had been reduced before the tax measure was approved by a 58 percent margin in June 2010. According to Riverside County Elections Office records, nearby cities of Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City also had taxes on the ballot with solid majorities that election.

“As the council-appointed subcommittee leading the interim city manager search, we are confident that Mr. Rogers will provide a steady hand for the city and the community as we progress with a thoughtful and thorough search for a long-term city manager,” Council members Rochelle Swanson and Lucas Frerichs said jointly in the statement.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Dave Ryan

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