The City of Turlock will soon welcome back a familiar face, as former Police Chief Gary Hampton was selected Tuesday to take the helm as City Manager.
Hampton served as Turlock's Police Chief from 2006 to 2011, leaving 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 over the last year was the city's Public Safety Director.
Hampton will officially assume the Turlock City Manager position on April 1.
This will not be the first time that Hampton has served as Turlock's top administrator. In 2009 — during some of the City's darkest financial days —he took on the position of Interim City Manager from January through May, while maintaining his police chief responsibilities and for no extra compensation.
“There were no other candidates considered,” said Mayor John Lazar following the appointment of Hampton as interim city manager in 2009. “The full council has the utmost confidence in Chief Hampton’s ability to lead this Council and City during the challenging times ahead. We’re very excited to have him, and we’re all committed to working forward in the best interests of the City of Turlock.”
At the time Hampton said he had no aspirations to be a city manager as he wanted to serve out his career as chief of police.
It seems Hampton has decided now is the right time to put away his badge and gun and turn his efforts full-time to public administration.
The City Council appointed Hampton to the City Manager position in an unanimous vote late Tuesday night.
"Mr. Hampton stood out as the most qualified and most capable to fulfill this Council's aggressive agenda for the city," said Mayor Gary Soiseth. "While he has big shoes to fill, Mr. Hampton is by far the most experienced and knowledgeable candidate in the Valley. Turlock is lucky to have him come back as its leader."
Hampton was one of more than 40 candidates who applied for the City Manager position.
"I'm looking forward to Mr. Hampton's return. His awareness of Turlock's issues and uniqueness made him our top choice," said Vice Mayor Amy Bublak.
Municipal Services Director Michael Cooke has been serving as Turlock's Interim City Manager since Roy Wasden's retirement in December.
"Director Cooke did a great job as an interim," said Mayor Soiseth. "Demonstrating his heart for public service, Michael refused an increase in salary, despite his new management role. Michael carried this selfless characteristic throughout his actions as interim. I thank him for his dedication to Turlock."
The Turlock City Council will host a formal swearing-in ceremony of Hampton at 9 a.m. April 4 in front of City Hall. City employees, members of the press and the entire community are invited to attend. A short reception will follow, giving attendees a time to meet and become reacquainted with their new City Manager.