Turlock’s newest city manager Robert Lawton made a point to commend the daily efforts of City workers during his first public address on Tuesday — an auspicious start for the administrator tasked with leading the City into the future.
“They are the folks on the front line and the job of the manager is to support them and remove barriers to their success,” said Lawton.
The City Council voted 5-0 to appoint Lawton as the next City Manager on Tuesday.
“I'm very excited to have Bob join us in Turlock. His depth of experience, long list of past achievements, and fresh set of ideas are all reasons we chose him to be our next City Manager. Under Bob's leadership, Turlock's talented staff will be taken to the next level, which means even more effective service for residents, businesses, and visitors alike,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth.
Lawton has almost 20 years of experience in local government. He was most recently the County Administrator for Yates County in New York. Lawton previously served as Assistant County Administrator of Sonoma County, County Manager of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, Deputy County Administrator of Solano County and County Administrator of Marinette, Wisconsin.
He has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts degree from State University of New York. Lawton also completed the University of California’s Berkeley Executive Seminar, the University of Virginia’s Senior Executive Institute and the California State Association of Counties’ Credentialed County Senior Executive program.
Lawton’s employment contract with the City of Turlock is for a three-year term starting no later than July 12 with a base salary of $215,748. He will also receive a $400 a month automobile allowance and relocation and moving expenses up to $20,000.
The City will host a formal swearing-in ceremony at 7:30 a.m. July 12 in front of City Hall, 156 South Broadway, Turlock. During the ceremony Mayor Soiseth will also deliver his State of the City Address.
Robert Talloni, who has served as Interim City Manager during this recruitment process, will be resuming his role as Fire Chief.
“I want to thank Chief Talloni for dedicating almost a year to the City Manager's office. His steady and effective leadership was much appreciated at City Hall, but I know he is eager to return to the fire house. I can't thank Chief Talloni and his department enough for their sacrifice during this transition period,” said Soiseth.