New City Manager Jaime Fontes to take oath of office Tuesday

February 12, 2010
Santa Paula News

With a series of one-on-one meetings with community members behind him, Santa Paula’s new City Manager Jaime Fontes will take the oath of office at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

But first there will be a meet-and-greet with Fontes and city staff to be held earlier in the day at the Community Center. 

Fontes is replacing Wally Bobkiewicz, Santa Paula’s municipal leader for seven years who left in mid-July to take the top City Hall job at Evanston, IL.

Fontes was in Santa Paula recently where he sat down with a variety of citizens culled from lists given by individual council members recommending those the new city manager should meet with.

He said at the time that the original list of about 50 community members was narrowed down to more than a dozen based on commonalities between council member recommendations but he plans on meeting with all who were listed.

In a December interview Fontes, the former city manager of Nogales, AZ, said developing a “New economy” while preserving the historic and cultural attributes of Santa Paula would be a “delicate balance, one of the hardest things to do.”

And, Fontes said his first priority would be to establish a “Very productive interaction with the mayor, council, existing staff and leadership of the community,” where he already has friends.

Fontes starting salary is $155,000 annually and an executive benefit package; he will also receive a $350 monthly car allowance.

Fontes served two stints as Nogales’ city manager, the most recent one for the last two years. Among Fontes’ previous employment was serving as the CEO for the Economic Development Authority of the Tohono O’Odham Nation; real estate management assistant planning chief for Maricopa County, AZ; and the County of San Diego Department of Public Works in a variety of positions related to real estate issues. 

He has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and his Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law. 

Married to an elementary school teacher and the parents of three children, Fontes’ family will be moving to Santa Paula at the close of the school year.

“We’re really looking forward to him coming aboard,” said Mayor Jim Tovias. “We’re excited about the future.”

Public Works/Special Projects Director Cliff Finley served as the interim city manager - and was one of three finalists for the job - for about seven months. 


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