Modesto City Manager Greg Nyhoff can make five high-profile hires in coming months. They are:
— POLICE CHIEF: Roy Wasden is leaving Modesto after serving for nine years as police chief. Assistant Chief Mike Harden is acting chief and expected to be a candidate for Wasden's job.
— PARKS DIRECTOR: Jim Niskanen has opted to retire early, leaving a strong record as a versatile manager who helped bring the Amgen Tour of California to town and spotlighted troublesome spending in the Public Works Department. Deputy Parks Director Julie Hannon is the acting department director.
— HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR: Like Niskanen, Robin Renwick has chosen to take an early retirement package. She'll be hard to replace, having led the city's personnel department for 18 years. Barbara Santos is the department's deputy director.
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— BUDGET DIRECTOR: Nyhoff wants to create a small budget office that would report directly to him, splitting that function from the city's Finance Department.
— PUBLIC WORKS- ENGINEERING DIRECTOR: Public Works is Modesto's largest department. Nyhoff aims to separate long-term planning from daily operations.