City Manager Merry-Go-Round
Desert Hot Springs, CA – With half of the cities in Ventura County hunting for a new city manager due to a spate of departures the shortage is beginning to affect Riverside County.
Close to home Cathedral City just suffered a city manager turnover, as well as the city of Rancho Mirage. Of six cities in Southwest Riverside County – Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and Canyon Lake – only Murrieta will end the year with the same city manager it started with.
CaliforniaCityNew.org pointed out… “Perhaps the most notable departure was the firing of Temecula’s City Manager Bob Johnson, as city officials have divulged little information about their decision.”
“In Wildomar, City Manager Frank Oviedo decided to resign to take a position in Santa Clarita as Assistant City Manager. Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady was fired back in the spring and in his place the city has hired Grant Yates, formerly Director of Community Relations for the city of Temecula. In Canyon Lake the council decided not to renew the contract of City Manger Lori A. Moss, so she cut short her tenure by around 6 weeks. Then in November Menifee’s city manager, Bill Rawlings, stepped down from his position.”
Menifee in particular has had five different city managers in four-and-half years. The average endurance of holding the position of city manager is five years. Desert Hot Springs city manager Rick Daniels is celebrating his five year anniversary holding on to his job.
Whatever happened to the days when bureaucrats were blissfully boring?
Press Enterprise writer Carl Love covered the subject of the Southwest on December 7 “LOVE: Something Weird is Gong On With City Managers.”
Still, East Riverside County is ignored by the PE, the county paper and that only leaves news readers stuck with the Gannet daily. The Desert Sun has often abandoned Desert Hot Springs as the poor stepchild of Coachella Valley cities without a full time reporter on the beat and often the assignment of cub reporters fresh out of college who don’t know the faces, names and politics essential to telling the story. This often leaves the city manager alone to tell the story and we all know how that story goes.
Up in the high desert there are many stories that go unreported in the Hi-Desert Star for lack of staff or interest and The Sun of San Bernardino also does not have the resources to cover the east end of that county. That’s why Cactus Thorns is so important.
Stuck on the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Desert Hot Springs, stuck across the railroad tracks north from Palm Springs its is an awkward place for the city that is tied at the hip to Palm Springs but oh so different.
The Desert Sun doesn’t shine on the wrong side of the tracks and the PE doesn’t cover the east end of the county leaving this sorry city marooned out here in the dark cold of the wild wild west with few friends, few eyeballs watching over the government, and few paying attention to what is really going on.