By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Placeholder Image
City officials all over the state are having a tough time finding qualified city engineers. It's been a while since Ceres has been without Joe Hollstein as city engineer but Glenn Gebhardt of Ripon answered the call. He became the new city engineer as of Tuesday morning.

Gebhardt, 51, has 22 years of city experience but most recently poured 10 years of his life into work on the $4 billion River Islands planned community development in Lathrop. The economy has brought the project to a halt. He said working 12 to 15 hours a day for 10 years as engineering manager to come to an abrupt halt has been a painful experience.

A Bay Area product, Gebhardt was raised in San Leandro as the son of fire chief Chuck Gebhardt. He worked for the cities of Union City and Mountain View and spent five and a half years as public works director for the city of Lathrop, a new city. Gebhardt also served as the city engineer of Belmont and an assistant city engineer with the city of Newark.

"Smaller cities are fun," said Gebhardt. "Ceres is a nice sized community at over 40,000 people and it's close to home."

Because he's experienced and is a licensed traffic and civil engineer, Gebhardt thinks the work that awaits him in Ceres is a "good fit."

Ken Craig, director of Community Development for the city of Ceres, said he'll seek City Council permission to keep interim engineer Mike Brinton onboard for an undetermined amount of time to help smooth out the transition "to ensure the fewest hiccups as possible." Brinton may also work on special projects, such updating the water and sewer master plans.

That's fine with Gebhardt.

"I know Mike well. I've got a lot of respect for Mike. He and I - when I was working for the city of Lathrop - together were really shepherding through the SSTID surface water project. And we processed those agreements and got that project to construction. I'm really happy that he'll be there for some time through the transition."

The city is still seeking an assistant city engineer.