August 16, 2017

Santa Maria City Manager Rick Haydon To Retire at the End of the Year

He successfully led the largest City on the Central Coast through some of the most challenging years in its history, and now Santa Maria City Manager Rick Haydon is calling it a career after more than 30 years in municipal government.

Originally hired to the City back in 1996 by-then City Manager Tim Ness, he served as Assistant City Manager for 12 years before being promoted to City Manager in late 2011. Soon after his appointment, Haydon faced several controversial issues ranging from furloughing City employees, to a number of highly publicized officer-involved shootings, and then the tragic death of an on-duty police officer. Over the next several years, he systematically brought in a new executive management team (he hired 90 percent of all current Department Heads). With the support of the City Council, Haydon made significant progress in addressing public safety concerns, improving quality of life issues, and instituting a succession planning process throughout all operating departments.

“Rick personifies the professional, dedicated civil servant,” Mayor Alice Patino said. “People look to Rick for leadership in many situations. His outstanding managerial skills extend from budgeting, to human resources, to negotiations. His eye for detail and his ability to lead and manage have certainly helped the Santa Maria community to many accomplishments. He leads by example, often gives credit to others, and through many challenges we all have been very fortunate to benefit from his advice and talent.”

Haydon has served an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the City, overseeing a workforce of over 700 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees and an annual operating budget of $196 million. During his highly productive tenure, he was also involved in a number of noteworthy capital and construction-related projects, including negotiations to bring the 14-screen Edwards Cinema into the Town Center East (mall), the expansion of Windset Farms at the City’s west side, the Enos Ranch development along Highway 101, two new fire stations, the construction and transition into the new state-of-the-art Police Department along Betteravia Road, as well as the construction of hundreds of single family homes and apartments throughout Santa Maria, and the voter approved Measure U2012 use tax to fund essential City services.

“Over the last several years I’ve been fortunate to work for supportive City Councils and have been blessed to work alongside some pretty amazing and talented department heads and managers, so the City of Santa Maria should be in very good hands when I leave.” Haydon said.

“The employees in the City of Santa Maria have an incredible work ethic and are second to none,” he said. “It has truly been an honor and privilege to have served them as their City Manager over the last several years.”

Haydon’s last day will be Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

Prior to his employment with the City, Haydon worked for three other cities, the County of Fresno, and a Joint Power Authority in Monterey. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Fresno State, and his Master of Arts in Public Administration. Haydon is a long-term member of the International City/County Management Association, the League of California Cities, the California City Managers Foundation, Rotary International, and is an Honorary Commander at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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