Just over a year after returning to the City of Turlock, City Manager Gary Hampton announced Tuesday that he will be retiring in August.
Hampton will be retiring after 35 years in public service, six of those years at the City of Turlock.
Mayor Gary Soiseth praised Hampton's dedication to Turlock, as Hampton has placed a greater emphasis on effective leadership, public safety, fiscal discipline and overall economic development.
"The entire Council would love it if Gary was staying longer, but we respect his decision," said Soiseth in a released statement. "In just a short time, he got the City where we needed to be. His integrity, his dedication, and his leadership of our organization is unparalleled by any before him. I appreciate his candor, his honesty, and his wisdom. The City of Turlock is a better place with him as City Manager."
Hampton began his current term as City Manager in April 2016, being selected to fill the position following the retirement of Roy Wasden in December 2015. This was not Hampton’s first time filling a leadership role for the City of Turlock, however.
Hampton began his service to the City of Turlock in 2006, when he took the position of Chief of Police. In January 2009, Hampton was asked by the then-City Council under Mayor John Lazar to serve as Interim City Manager, following the Council's midnight decision to terminate City Manager Tim Kerr.
Hampton stepped into the position amidst strained relations between City employees and administration and during some of the City's darkest financial days. Just like municipalities across the state and country in 2009, Turlock was experiencing an economic recession and it resulted in the elimination of 54 City positions.
In his return to the Turlock City Manager’s office, Hampton was able to be a part of recovery and rebuilding in City department funding and staff — especially in public safety.
Hampton left Turlock in 2011 to take the position of Chief of Police for the City of Tracy. During his tenure in Tracy, Hampton served temporarily as Interim Assistant City Manager and was the city's Public Safety Director.
The Turlock City Council is expected to consider the next steps in finding Hampton’s replacement during their April 18 meeting.
City Attorney Phaedra Norton served as interim city manager from Jan. 30 to March 1, when Hampton took leave for a medical procedure. It’s unknown at this time if the Council will need to appoint an interim manager or be able to find a replacement by August.
The City Manager is the administrative head of the municipal government and is responsible for setting goals and providing administrative direction for all City departments in accordance with policies established by the City Council, including the Strategic Plan. The City Manager also serves as the Executive Director of the Successor Agency to the Turlock Redevelopment Agency. The City Manager's office is instrumental in helping the City Council meet the Strategic Plan policy initiatives of Effective Leadership, Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development.