Personnel, Stoneman, Budget are Top Priorities
The San Marino City Council decided to appoint Interim Community Services Director Cindy Collins as the City of San Marino’s new interim city manager. She will replace outgoing City Manager John Schaefer, who announced in June that he will step down from his post at the end of July.
The city hasn’t negotiated the details of Collins’s contract, but she noted that an interim term could last between six months and a year.
“[It] allows an organization time to stabilize and figure out where they want to go,” she said, citing stability as one of her top priorities.
Achieving that stated goal won’t be a simple matter given the number of transitions the city currently finds itself in, including changes in areas of personnel, recreation facilities and the city budget.
In particular, she hopes to “smooth the way” for Assistant City Manager Lucy Garcia and incoming Public Works Director Dan Wall as they assume management of their respective departments.
She also hopes to guide the city council toward some determination regarding the future of Stoneman School—the current home of the recreation department—and other recreation facilities and programs.
Collins has been working on a needs assessment report, which she expects to present to the city council in September, that analyzes the city’s recreation facilities and programs.
Personnel and recreation department issues will likely be addressed in the budget ad hoc committee’s report, which is due within the calendar year. Collins anticipates addressing the report during her time as interim city manager.
Ultimately, Collins will have to follow the council’s agenda. “A lot of [my work] will be driven by what the council wants to determine in the short term,” she said.
It won’t be Collins’ first time managing transitions for the City of San Marino.
She started working for the City of San Marino in 2001 when she was asked by then-Assistant City Manager Rob Wishner to lead the recreation department’s transition from a joint-powers arrangement with the San Marino School District to independent city supervision.
She served in that role on a part time basis before being promoted to the role of assistant city manager under then-City Manager Matt Ballantyne. She decided to retire in 2012 to focus on raising her two children, Jack and Caroline.
“My heart has always been in San Marino,” she said in an interview with The Tribune. “It’s such a blessing to come back and be a part of the community.”
Prior to joining the City of San Marino, Collins was the community services director for the City of West Covina.
Collins has also served as the human resources manager for the City of Chino, the recreation supervisor for the City of Pico Rivera and a disability services coordinator for the City of Fullerton.
Since her retirement in 2012, she has taken on interim positions and special assignments for the City of San Marino, Chino Hills and Irvine.
She studied sociology at California State University, Fullerton. She and her husband have been married for 31 years.
Jack graduated from California State University, Fullerton and now works for the City of Chino.
Caroline is an incoming senior at her high school, where she plays volleyball and basketball.