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Jason Stilwell Next City Manager

Post Date:10/04/2017 8:36 AM

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October 3, 2017


Jason Stilwell Appointed New City Manager;

Succeeds Retiring Manager Rick Haydon in December


Mayor Alice Patino is very pleased to announce that Assistant City Manager Jason Stilwell will be the City’s next City Manager and that he was unanimously appointed by the City Council in a closed session meeting on Tuesday, October 3rd.


“I look forward to continuing to serve the community,” Mr. Stilwell said.  “Together, we will strive for a smooth transition, and continue to make progress and earn both the City Council and community’s support and confidence.”


Mr. Stilwell will succeed Rick Haydon, who announced in mid-August he will retire Tuesday, December 5th after serving six years in the top post, and 21 years overall with the City.


The City Manager serves as the chief executive officer and is responsible for coordinating and oversight of the activities and operations of the City’s 10 operating departments, including more than 700 employees, and an overall annual budget of $162.5 million. He directs administrative services of departments, prepares annual budget(s), hires department heads, advises and assists the City Council, and networks with civic leaders.


Mr. Stilwell, 50, has been serving as the Assistant City Manager for two years. He is active in the community as a member of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary Club, volunteers with Serve Santa Maria, the Homeless Coalition, at the Salvation Army of Santa Maria, and is a long-standing member of the International City Management Association (ICMA).


He has more than 25 years of City and County management experience. During his career he has fulfilled key leadership roles in strategic projects, operational improvements, budgeting, personnel, and information technology assignments.


Mr. Stilwell is a graduate of Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, and he holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from California State University, San Jose. In addition to his bachelor and master degrees, Mr. Stilwell also has a Doctorate in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado and is a Credentialed City Manager, having earned that distinction from the ICMA.


“The City is very fortunate to have someone with Jason’s expertise and experience on staff and the City Council was very impressed by Jason’s recent involvement in the City’s budgeting process, the district elections activities, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety, to name a few,” said Mayor Patino. “Succession planning and mentoring has been a hallmark of the City’s training efforts over the last few years, and Jason’s hiring is a testament to this effort.”


Mr. Stilwell came to Santa Maria after an interim assignment with the City of San Luis Obispo where he was responsible for the City’s budget process and directed high-priority information technology-related assignments. Prior to San Luis Obispo, Mr. Stilwell was the City Administrator for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Assistant County Executive Officer for Santa Barbara County, and Assistant Town Manager of the Town of Superior in Colorado.


The City Council will review his new employment contract at an upcoming regular meeting.


Questions may be directed to the City Manager’s Office, 925-0951 ext. 2372.



Department:                 City Manager’s Office

Contact Person:          Mark van de Kamp, Public Information Officer/ Management Analyst II

Telephone Number:    (805) 925-0951 ext. 2372

E-mail Address:

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