PALMDALE – The City of Palmdale has announced that Palmdale City Manager Steve Williams, who is officially retiring from the City as of Dec. 31, will stay on as interim City Manager until his replacement is hired.
“The process of finding a replacement is taking us a little longer than we originally thought,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Having Steve stay on as interim will be good as we transition into new leadership.”
In the position of interim city manager, Williams will work approximately 30 hours a week, earn $150 per hour, and receive no health insurance or benefits, except for an auto allowance which was part of his original contract.
The City of Palmdale contracted with Peckham & McKenney, a recruitment company, to seek Williams’ successor. The recruitment period ended on Dec. 5. A total of 39 individuals applied for the position. Interviews will be conducted in January 2012 and a decision will be made thereafter.
Williams was appointed by the City Council as City Manager of the City of Palmdale on Oct. 18, 2006. He began his career with the City in Sept. 1987 as Director of Public Works, and was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 2003. Over that period of time, Palmdale’s population grew from 33,000 to its present 153,334, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. To support this growth, Palmdale invested over $900 million in infrastructure, which has helped grow the City’s net assessed value to over $10 billion.
Despite the challenges of the worst economy since the Great Depression, Palmdale has thrived under the holistic and balanced leadership of Williams and the Palmdale City Council. Redevelopment projects such as the new state-of-the-art Palmdale Regional Medical Center, the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, a permit for the Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant, four senior housing projects, guiding Palmdale in its change from a General Law to a Charter City, and the opening of a Macy’s department store—the only new Macy’s to open in California in 2010—were just some of the accomplishments.
During Williams’ tenure, Palmdale also has seen a drop in its crime rate since 2006, plummeting 31 percent. An innovative “Partners for a Better Palmdale Program,” a Strategic Plan crafted with input from the community, and a continuation of community-based policing were all key components of this achievement.
Williams, a registered civil engineer in California, has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, Tucson; and a master’s of public administration degree from California State University, Northridge. He attended an executive leadership program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in July 2006.
(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale)