By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Atwater appoints former Ceres official as city manager
• Hoem was fired in Ceres this year
hoem atwater
Christopher Hoem is being tapped to become city manager of Atwater.

Christopher Hoem, who was terminated in February as the city of Ceres’ director of Community Development, is on the verge of being appointed as the city manager of Atwater in Merced County.

Hoem’s appointment is scheduled to take place at Monday’s Atwater City Council meeting.

“Atwater is in a unique position, with exciting opportunities, and I am eager to work with the staff, City Council, residents, and businesses to help the city thrive,” said Hoem in a press release issued yesterday.

Atwater Mayor Mike Nelson said that Hoem’s “leadership and experience set him apart.

“We went through an exhaustive search with the help of a professional recruitment company and had some excellent candidates to choose from. Chris rose to the top and I look forward to working with him to make great things happen in Atwater.”

Hoem told the Courier that he “greatly enjoyed the years that I worked at the city of Ceres. Overall it was a very positive experience, and since my departure, the support from colleagues has been incredible.

“I am grateful to have contributed to various projects that will benefit the city for years to come, like the Ceres Gateway Center, Copper Trails Master Plan and many others.

“Although I saw folks come and go from Ceres, I feel that everyone did their best to help the city in their own way. I have great respect for each and every member of staff, the City Council, and the leadership team. I believe they are all diligently carrying the torch forward.”

Because his dismissal was a personnel matter, the city did not issue an explanation for Hoem’s dismissal.

The Community Development Department saw an exodus of employees since Hoem was hired in August 2021. They included Senior Planner James Michaels who resigned in November 2022 for Lathrop after serving 15 years, Jordan Jones who left for a different department and Planning consultant Marjorie Blom.

Before his time in Ceres, Hoem was a land use advisor and planner in Santa Clara County, director of Development Services in Gem County, in Emmett, Idaho, and a city planner in Naples, Utah.

Hoem holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Urban, Rural, and Environmental Planning, and a Master of Public Administration degree from San Jose State University.