Ex-Gustine city head embracing new career

LAKEPORT -- The new city manager's daughter wanted her family to move to Lake County and saw a flier for the Lakeport position.

Margaret Silveira came up from Central California and was taken by the beauty and people, she said.

"I was so excited when they offered me the job," Silveira said.

Silveira said she wasn't looking to leave her city manager job in Gustine, but because her daughter wanted to relocate to the area and she liked the city, she made the move.

"It isn't a career move as much as it's a quality of life move, with the clean air and beautiful surroundings," Silveira said.

Silveira, 53, was born in the Azore Islands and came to the United States from Portugal in 1960. She grew up in Gustine but moved away for about 30 years before returning for a job.

She went to Modesto Junior College and then Chapman University, earning a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership.

Now Silveira is working on a master's in public administration.

Silveira worked part time as a planning intern for Riverbank while in college, ended up staying nine years and became the department head of housing and economic development.

She then took the city manager job in Gustine, where she worked for 2½ years.

Silveira said she's getting familiar with City Council and staff, the community and the way the city operates before implementing changes. She said she has noticed staff is proactive and is impressed by their knowledge.

She said she expects to focus a lot of her time on the budget in the next few months.

Her family and former co-workers from Riverbank and Gustine plan to visit, she said.

She looks forward to getting a kayak and learning how to sail, she said.

"This would be a fun place to try," Silveira said. "I have to start fresh on all that."