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Communication at top of list of acting manager for Manteca

Miranda Lutzow — Manteca’s acting city manager — has made improving communication her top goal.

The reason is simple: The more effective people communicate the more effective the city can become at delivering on not just day-to-day services but also advancing projects.

Lutzow is serving as city manager while the City Council has a “concern” brought to their attention regarding City Manager Tim Ogden investigated. Ogden was placed on paid administrative leave by the council on Sept. 25. Once the council is presented with the result of outside legal counsel’s investigation, the council will then decide on Ogden’s employment status. In the past, such investigations have taken several months. Until that time, Lutzow — who was hired last July as the city’s administrative services director — will serve as the acting city manager.

And when it comes to communication, Lutzow intends to work to improve it on all levels — between the city manager and council, the city manager’s office and department heads, department heads and staff, and, equally important, between her office and the public that the city serves.

To enhance council-city manager communications she is implementing weekly reports to apprise her bosses — the council members elected by voters to govern the City of Manteca — of what her office is doing as well as the status of directives the council has approved.

Lutzow noted that elections are held to shape the vision for a city that is shaped by the council.

She sees the duty of a city manager to make sure that vision is carried out.

Her foray into public service and her desire to eventually serve as a city manager was inspired in part by an elected city official that served at the University of Guelph in Ontario where she was in her senior year of her successful pursuit of a Bachelors’ Degree in Political Science. 

He helped Lutzow realize that seeking a career in city management was a perfect fit for what she wanted to do.

“I like solving problems,” Lutzow said. “I’m a problem solver.”

She ended up with a double major — one in Political Science and the other in Criminal Justice.

Lutzow was drawn from the Toronto area in Canada to the Northern San Joaquin Valley in 2009 during the height of the Great Recession when the housing collapse was decimating city budgets. Patterson was seeking an intern to serve as their human resources director after they had to reduce staffing to balance the budget. She ended up eventually being hired and handling a variety of management tasks with the City of Patterson.

Lutzow has more than 17 years in public and private sector experience. She has worked for the cities of Patterson, Oakdale, Merced and Waterford in variety of roles ranging from city clerk and human resources director to handling code enforcement.

Over the years she has immersed herself in various professional organizations to sharpen her skills managing various aspects of municipal governments. The list includes the League of California Cities, International City/County Management Association, and Municipal Management Association of Northern California where she served as president in 2018. Lutzow was named 2017 Women Leading Government Rising Star, and received the 2014 California City Management Foundation Wes McClure Scholarship

Lutzow earned her Masters of Public Administration from California State University Stanislaus.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email