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Fire chief to serve as interim city manager
city manager-Talloni
The Turlock City Council appointed Fire Chief Robert A. Talloni as the Interim City Manager. - photo by Photo Contributed

Gary Hampton attended his last Turlock City Council meeting as City Manager on Tuesday, bidding a fond farewell to the city he has served in multiple positions over the years.

“I’ve had the pleasure of serving in the public sector for 34 years and 10 months…I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s been very good to me…I want to thank this community; back in 2005, my wife and I moved here and we were immediately embraced as a community member and that means a lot,” said Hampton.

“It’s been a privilege serving in a myriad of capacities in the City of Turlock…When I look back on the common issue in all the successes I’ve experienced, it’s been surrounding myself with people brighter than I… In my years of service here, I’ve done that,” he continued.

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.

“City Manager Hampton’s decades of public service is admirable,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “In just a year and half, Gary has proven to be effective at taking this organization to new levels. No stranger to Turlock, Gary hit the ground running and has not stopped since. He will be missed, but we wish him well.”

Hampton announced his retirement in April, and the City has been conducting a search for his replacement since that time. The Council is currently entering into the final phase of its recruitment for a City Manager after four panels of community members and City directors interviewed top candidates.

The City Council unanimously appointed Fire Chief Robert A. Talloni as the Interim City Manager during closed session on Tuesday.

Talloni has been Turlock’s Fire Chief since November 2015. Before coming to Turlock, Talloni was an instructor at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he provided training for leaders in the fire service from all across the nation. Talloni has over 35 years of management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of New Haven.

“The appointment of Chief Talloni allows the Council to continue with professional development of its staff,” said Soiseth. “At the same time, Chief Talloni’s decades of management experience will prove invaluable in this time of transition. In just a short time, he has already developed a great working relationship with the City Council and staff and earned the trust of both his firefighters and peers. He will do an excellent job managing Turlock's day-to-day operations as the Council nears completion of its nation-wide search for a permanent City Manager.”

The Council has selected many different directors to serve in the capacity of Interim City Manager when the need arose, with Talloni being the latest selection.

“I’m honored that the Turlock City Council has faith in me for this assignment. The City of Turlock has outstanding employees and a dedicated City Council. I’m looking forward to working with all of them on continuing to move this great organization forward. Together, we will ensure a smooth transition when the Council selects a permanent City Manager,” said Talloni.

While Talloni moves into the role of Interim City Manager, the Fire Department will be under the leadership of Operations Chief Gary Carlson.

“I have the utmost faith in Chief Carlson to guide the Fire Department while I am Interim City Manager,” said Talloni. “This is a great opportunity for both him and the entire department to grow professionally, which has been a goal of the City Council for every department.”

Talloni is not a candidate for the City Manager recruitment.