Seaside to appoint city manager

SEASIDE — The Seaside City Council is set to appoint Jaime Fontes, current city manager for East Palo Alto, as its next city manager. If the City Council approves an employment contract with Fontes – poised for consideration on June 16 – Fontes will begin his new position on July 1. His proposed annual salary is $250,000.

Seaside’s choice of Fontes comes after a nationwide recruitment and selection process conducted by the executive search firm Peckham & McKenney.

Fontes has served as East Palo Alto city manager the past three years. Over his 35-year professional career, Fontes has served as the city manager for Nogales, Arizona, as well as cities across California, including Greenfield and Santa Paula.

Jaime Fontes (Courtesy City of Seaside)
Jaime Fontes (Courtesy City of Seaside)

Apart from his city manager experience, Fontes also served as chief executive officer for the Economic Development Authority of the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Arizona, where he established the Nation’s forest tribal bank. Further, while employed with San Diego County, Fontes operated in a variety of roles related to real estate and property management.

Fontes holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Western State University College of Law in Irvine.

“Mr. Fontes has a proven track record in local government and values active listening and respectful dialogue,” Seaside Mayor Ian Oglesby said in a press release, stating he and the council’s excitement to hire Fontes. “Mr. Fontes brings a breadth of experience on similar issues and opportunities that confront the city of Seaside. His combination of skills will help Seaside meet the challenges of creating affordable housing, local jobs, and sustainable economic development opportunities in Seaside.”

The transition toward a new Seaside city manager began last year when previous manager, Craig Malin, tendered his resignation to be reunited with family and take a job in Wisconsin.

“My wife lives 2,083 miles away and I love my wife,” Malin said about his decision to leave in June 2021. “I had not seen my wife or family for a year and a half because of COVID, and that’s less than optimal.”

Starting with the city of Seaside in December 2015, Malin’s officially left the city in August of last year. The city’s Human Resources Director Roberta Greathouse has stepped in as acting city manager since Malin’s departure.

Now on his way to taking over the role, Fontes expressed excitement for this new step in his career.

“Seaside is a city of great natural beauty, rich history, culture, and a diverse population,” Fontes said in a press release. “It is my goal to continue to build upon the great work done by the City Council and staff. Only by acting in unison can we deliver the quality services our community truly deserves.

“We will immediately begin the civic work necessary to take Seaside to the next level in terms of sustainable economic progress and delivery of public services. In this endeavor, we must ensure that none of our residents are left behind. Only then can we truly say that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’”

Contributed by local news sources

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