In Search of a City Manager

Turlock’s Acting City Manager, Michael Cooke, is a gifted, talented and seasoned public employee — and a great father, husband and a genuinely nice person. But he does not want to be the permanent City Manager.

This means the City of Turlock will either interview the person(s) that applied the last time or re-open the search. I hope that they will re-open the search and determine whether there are others in California or across the nation who have the skills and political fortitude to handle the job.

Leaving aside outside candidates who have not applied, it is important to speak about one: Maryn Pitt.

Maryn has worked for the City of Turlock for several years. She is incredibly smart, articulate, wise, and knows the Turlock political system of government as well or better than most. She is involved in more aspects of the city’s business than most know and, importantly, understands the value and importance of economic development for today and tomorrow. Her passion for the city is matched by her unbridled loyalty.

So, the important question is this: If we have a city employee with years of experience who could run the city well, who was originally appointed by Mayor Lazar (who remains one of everyone’s favorite mayors), why not consider Maryn?

Most important, we have elected a female mayor and have two women on the city council. Isn’t time to allow one of the city’s bright and talented minds, Maryn Pitt, to be allowed to lead the city?

In many areas across the nation, the backlash against women elected officials and administrators continues. People focus on their looks, clothing, and more – criticisms rarely if ever, shared about their male counterparts. As someone who has proudly worked for and with women my entire professional life and married to a brilliant woman, we need leaders that have the brains, political acumen and vision for a better and economically stronger Turlock.

I have just described Maryn Pitt.

She is all this and more. No, she is not a household word or someone you might recognize on the street (yet), but she is a woman of incredible integrity, grit, and determination. This, combined with her big brain, underscores the value she would bring to the City of Turlock as its next, City Manager.

As the City Council considers its next candidate, why don’t we start a campaign “Maryn Pitt for City Manager.” And, if you need a reference, ask former Mayor John Lazar, who I suspect would speak glowingly about Maryn.

— Jeffrey Lewis is the President and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment. The views expressed are his own.

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