A former city manager in Livingston could fill the role again, he confirmed Monday.
Jose Ramirez, who left the city in 2015 after more than three years, could be hired during the city council meeting Tuesday.
The contract still needs approval during the regular meeting of City Council, Ramirez stressed. The council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 1416 C St., Livingston.
“They’ve hit a nice little sweet spot,” he told the Sun-Star. “They want to partner up again and I said, ‘OK.’ I’ve been doing some good stuff, and I know they’d appreciate the assistance. So I’m back in the saddle.”
In the past two years, Ramirez has worked in the private sector for the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which included outreach work for the Altamont Corridor Express train. He also worked with Amtrak in the Merced area, he said, among other clients.
I’ve been doing some good stuff, and I know they’d appreciate the assistance. So I’m back in the saddle.
Jose Ramirez, who could be the next city manager in Livingston
As a city manager in Livingston, Ramirez headed up the city during the Great Recession. He said there’s a better outlook now.
“They have a lot of nice freeway access on the Hammatt (Avenue) side of the community,” he said. “That’s property that can certainly be commissioned for some really good light industrial and commercial development.”
He went on to say new-home building can also be stepped up, and the city could work more with Livingston Community Health clinic. The clinic expanded this year by opening a clinic in Delhi.
Councilman Gurpal Samra said he hopes the city welcomes Ramirez back. “I said at the time (he left), I was sad to see him go, and that the door was open if he wanted to come back,” he said.
The city interviewed other candidates and Ramirez was the best fit, he said.
The city of Livingston had a difficult time finding a replacement for Ramirez. Finance Director Odi Ortiz has served as interim city manager for much the last two years.
I said at the time (he left), I was sad to see him go, and that the door was open if he wanted to come back.
Gurpal Samra, a councilman
Ramirez left the city in January 2015. The city hired a new city manager, Eddie Duque, in September of that year but he didn’t stay long.
Duque officially left the job Dec. 18, 2015, the agreed upon separation date for his employment after he decided to resign, according to city leaders. He was to make $140,000 a year plus benefits as the city’s top administrator after beginning work less than two months earlier.
The new contract with Ramirez is for $165,000 in annual salary.
The reasons behind the sudden departure remain unclear.
Before Duque began working for the city, Sun-Star inquiries found he had a bankruptcy filing and a domestic-violence conviction in his background. Both had been cleared from his record, he said, but the council admitted to not being aware of either when he was hired.