Livingston City Manager Jose Ramirez announced this week that he will resign at the end of January after more than three years as the city’s top administrative official.
Though he will officially resign Jan. 31, he said, he plans to be available through February if the city needs help as it brings the next leader up to speed. He cited spending more time with his children, who attend Clovis schools, as his reason for leaving.
Ramirez made the announcement at a closed session Monday. “I decided it was time for me to move on, to look for other professional opportunities,” he said. “My kids are about an hour and a half away from me.”
The city of Livingston has had its share of issues related to the housing market crash in the Central Valley, as well as its unique problems. Ramirez said he is proud of the job he did closing deficits and dealing with water issues.
This year, the city adopted a $4.72 million budget that includes a $146,000 shortfall, a deficit smaller than when Ramirez came to town. “I’m glad I was able to assist in that arena and make sure that the city is back on its feet,” he said.
Rancho San Miguel, AutoZone, Motel 6 and other projects have also been approved and are underway in town. He said those are signs of an improving economy in Livingston.
The city’s downtown is also expected to see some aesthetic improvements after a team of professionals came to town last year and gathered ideas from residents.
The city renewed Ramirez’s contract for two years in June. As city manager, Ramirez makes $138,072 a year, according to the city’s salary schedule.
Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra said the resignation came “out of the blue” and he’s sad to see Ramirez go.
Samra said Ramirez was not only vital in bringing the city’s deficit down, but also in helping to correct ongoing water issues. For years, the city has dealt with problems related to water, whether that be rate hikes, arsenic levels, water filtration or other issues.
It will still take some wrapping up, Samra said, but the city is now on pace to fix its water.
The city will likely begin its recruitment process for the next city manager in January, Samra said. A leader who is community-oriented and good with people would be good for the job, he said.
The commitment from Ramirez to stick around if necessary to see water or other issues through will benefit the city, Samra said. “I want to thank him for that,” he said. “That says a lot about his character.”
Sun-Star staff writer Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.