Colton, Ca.- In 2009, Rod Foster was hired by the City of Colton to untangle the financial mess nearing bankruptcy with only $50,000 in General Fund Reserves after 3.75 years with Mark Nuaimi at the helm. Foster is credited with reversing a ” fiscal trajectory that was on a course to bankruptcy.”
Leaving behind a stellar track record during his management of Colton, Foster brought up the reserves to $2.3 million dollars with his fiscal leadership and experience. He successfully negotiated labor contracts with unions, secured federal funding for essential services and consolidating city departments.
The SB Sun reports:”I just feel safe at this time to depart the city and be able to take on this new, challenging position in Laguna Niguel,” Foster said Friday. “I’m very happy of the opportunity the city of Laguna Niguel has given me, but I’m very sad about leaving the city of Colton. It’s what I call a happy-sad.”
Foster’s last day with Colton is March 14. The City Council will begin discussing the appointment of an interim city manager at its next meeting on Tuesday and should have a successor announced on March 5, Foster said.
Laguna Niguel City Manager Tim Casey said the city initially had 65 applicants. That number dwindled to 14, then to eight, then to three, he said.”
Rod Foster will be moving from Upland to Laguna Niguel in the summer when his 12-year-old son completes the school year.
“The number one thing I’d give Rod Foster credit for was this was a guy who put his money where his mouth was,” said Gary Grossich, a member of Colton First, a grassroots political and fiscal watchdog group. “He set the example. He made sacrifice. He worked for less money.”
Aside from the fact that Foster was willing to work more for less, Grossich said he was especially impressed with how Foster continued improving the city’s financial condition even after losing $5 million in annual revenue when the city’s utility tax sunsetted in 2011.
“I give him a lot of respect for that, Grossich said. “Rod was a very effective manager and he got things done.”
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