Acting Manteca City Manager Greg Showerman is the new community development director.
But he won’t be taking over for interim Community Development Director Jeff Hightower when he steps down later this month. Instead Showerman will be appointing an interim director from the existing staff until such time he is relieved of his city manager duties.
The City Council unanimously embraced the move Tuesday as they continued to navigate the reverberations through City hall’s top management caused by the ongoing investigation of employee grievances lodged against City Manager Elena Reyes in late November after just four months on the job. Reyes has been on paid leave for the past 14 weeks.
The council spoke glowingly of plans Showerman has shared with them to make the Community Development Department more customer friendly — especially to residents and small businesses that have complained in the past that it can be daunting and even frustrating to obtain permits for things such as room additions and such.
Prior to entering government service Showerman had his own private sector engineering firm.
A decision was forced on finding a permanent replacement for Frederic Clark who retired last year as community development director as Hightower is within days of maxing out the number of days he can work as a contracted government employee in a given fiscal year and not jeopardize his California Public Employees Retirement Systems pension.
Showerman was among the original 50 applicants that applied for the positon that Reyes would have made an appointment from had she not been placed on leave.
Reyes had moved Showerman from Public Works where he was the Deputy Director of Engineering into the position of deputy city manager after just a week on the job after telling the council that essentially there was too much work for her to handle herself.
Showerman’s appointment to the community development director’s job — even though he will continue as acting city manager for the time being — means his old job in Public Works can now be filled with a permanent replacement to ease the pressure somewhat on that department.
Showerman noted that currently about 50 percent of his workload as acting city manager involves dealing with community development issues.
How long Showerman stays as acting city manager before taking over full time as community development director depends on what happens with Reyes. Should Reyes and the city end up parting ways, it could take up to three months to get a new city manager in place.
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