TOMMY AND SCOTT
It’s a given that the new mayor will get a new city manager.
This isn’t to suggest that current City Manager Bruce Rudd is failing. Far from it. Fresno has been well served by Rudd.
But keep in mind two things. First, Rudd turns 60 this year. He’s been a city employee for nearly 40 years. His run at City Hall is drawing to a close. Second, mayors in our strong chief executive form of government get their own city managers. That’s just the way life works.
And a new city manager will, to a degree, want her own lineup of department heads. Will the new mayor tell the new city manager to keep Tommy Esqueda at Public Utilities and Scott Mozier at Public Works?
Getting the right bosses for both departments is vital. Public Utilities (water, sewer, residential trash, community cleanup) and Public Works (infrastructure such as streets and traffic signals and trails) are amazing places. Both involve highly technical issues. Both require a ton of managerial art.
Esqueda’s team is in the midst of a $600 million water/wastewater project. Mozier’s team is tackling big-ticket items like high-speed rail coordination and Veteran’s Boulevard.
By all accounts, both teams are doing a heck of a job. Will the new mayor know when to let the status quo reign?