Manteca City Manager Steve Pinkerton’s decision to go job hunting was predicated on trying to get closer to Sacramento due to family issues.
Pinkerton was hired this week by the Davis City Council as city manager effective Sept. 1.
“I fully expected Manteca to be my final career stop,” the 51-year-old Pinkerton said. “But family has to come first.”
Pinkerton was hired as Manteca’s city manager three years ago after serving 13 years as Stockton’s redevelopment agency manager.
Pinkerton described Davis as a “lateral move” given the fact the population of 65,622 is about 3,000 people smaller than Manteca. That doesn’t include 5,786 students who reside at the University of California campus that has an overall enrollment of 32,900.
Pinkerton will make $188,000 a year in Davis. Under the terms of his contract signed with Manteca three years ago, Pinkerton is supposed to be currently making $230,000 a year. Pinkerton took the same percentage of compensation cuts as the rest of Manteca’s municipal staff and is now making $165,000 a year.
His contract also required him to move to Manteca within a reasonable amount of time. That is one point his critics have repeatedly hit him with during public comments at council meetings. Pinkerton had indicated that the housing market made it difficult for him to sell.
Mayor Willie Weatherford said that while no council decision has been made, he expects the council will consider asking assistant city manager Karen McLaughlin to serve as the interim city manager as she did prior to Pinkerton’s arrival.
“We have a very solid staff,” the mayor said. “We shouldn’t miss a beat.”
The city is in the process of wrapping up employee bargaining group negotiations for salary concessions to balance the budget. They also are negotiating with Great Wolf Resorts for a possible indoor water park and resort hotel. Both Pinkerton and Weatherford noted that there are others on the city management teams that are active in the Great Wolf review and are well versed with the negotiations.
Pinkerton said he was “blessed” that his predecessor - Bob Adams - had put in place a solid and capable management staff.
“I was able to enhance it with some hires,” Pinkerton said.
Councilman Vince Hernandez had nothing but praise for Pinkerton’s performance as city manager.
“It is a compliment to Manteca to know a city like Davis was impressed enough with what has gone on here to hire our city manager,” Hernandez said.
Councilman John Harris said it was a “complete pleasure” to work with Pinkerton and wished him well.
He echoed sentiments expressed by his council colleagues that there is no rush in the city’s search for a permanent manager.
Weatherford added that Pinkerton’s biggest legacy will probably be his “behind-the-scenes efforts that the public doesn’t see.” He was referring to Pinkerton’s overseeing efforts to whittle $14 million in expenditures from the municipal budget over three years to eliminate the structural deficit and working with staff to keep service levels as high as possible while downsizing personnel due to budget constraints.
Pinkerton also established a more transparent communication with the public by instituting a blog that he updates several times a week.