After more than four years with the city, Rancho Palos Verdes City Manager Doug Willmore announced Tuesday, Sept. 3 he will retire in November.
The City Council — which will have three three seats up for election Nov. 5 — will determine how to proceed with selecting the next city manager in the near future, the city said in a statement.
Willmore’s last day will be Nov. 22, ending his 15-year career in public service for a position in the environmental industry.
“When Doug shared his plans with me, I was very happy for him, primarily due to his excitement and enthusiasm associated with his new endeavor,” said Mayor Jerry Duhovic in a statement. “But I can honestly say I’m also very sad to see the city lose such an outstanding leader and steward.”
Willmore came to the city in March 2015 after positions in Bell and Salt Lake County, Utah.
During his tenure, Rancho Palos Verdes saw increased transparency and continued stewardship of long-term financial stability, including reduction of annual taxes and fees to residents by more than $2 million a year, according to the city.
“Being a city manager, especially in a city like RPV, with such a knowledgeable, concerned and involved citizenry, is not an easy job,” said Duhovic. “Doug always handled his duties professionally and competently, especially when dealing with very complex and contentious issues.”
Willmore worked with local leaders on public safety initiatives to help reduce residential burglaries by nearly 50 percent over the four years.
He also assisted in the development of Lower Hesse Park, plans for a new Ladera Linda Community Center, and the release of long-held National Park Service deed restrictions on the Civic Center property to allow for potential public safety facilities.
“I will be forever grateful to the City Council for offering me the position, and for challenging me and trusting me over the years to implement its vision,” said Willmore, who called his departure ‘bittersweet.’
“It’s rare that you build a relationship with a City Council that works as well as ours has,” he added, “but we have done that.”
Mayor Pro Tem John Cruikshank thanked Willmore for his leadership and contributions to the city.
“We know he will leave the next city manager with a solid foundation for a path of continued success,” Cruikshank added.