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City Hall scrambling to find department heads

The departure and retirement of department heads has the city scrambling to hire those vacancies.

One of those vacancies, that of city manager, is expected to be filled by interim city manager Alex Terrazas.

“We have some challenges filling those positions,” said Terrazas. “I think cities everywhere have challenges filling positions so we’re not unlike other cities.”

The Dec. 31 retirement of Jeremy Damas as the city Public Works Director, is being filled temporarily by associate planner Sam Royal.

The city is also actively recruiting to fill the vacancy of city engineer created when Daniel Padilla left for the city of Menifee. Terrazas said that engineers are very hard to find for public government jobs, mostly because private sector pays better.

“Private sector is consuming engineers at this point,” he said. “There’s lots of work for engineers these days.”

Because the city has faced difficulties in hiring an economic development manager, the city is toying with the idea of extending the contract with Steve Hallam until a replacement is hired.

“Ideally I’d like some overlap between him and when we have a new person onboard,” noted Terrazas.

The city has about 25 to 30 more vacancies to hire within the city organization, including police officers, public works and finance department personnel.