Farmersville brings on new interim city manager

(Rigo Moran)

City council unanimously appoints Daniel Padilla as Farmersville’s interim city manager; Padilla aims to leverage his experience to advance city projects, integrate into the community

FARMERSVILLE – A month after Farmersville City Council opted not to renew its former city manager’s contract, Daniel Padilla has stepped into the role as the town’s new interim city manager, with aspirations of securing the position permanently.

On May 28, Farmersville City Council unanimously voted to hire Daniel Padilla as the town’s interim city manager. Padilla, who officially starts on June 12 and will be in city hall starting June 17, is now focusing on becoming a part of the Farmersville community and getting involved in city projects.

“My first goals are kind of getting to know staff and getting to know the stakeholders in the community,” Padilla said. “I want to help them deliver capital improvement projects as soon as possible. Those are my goals to help deliver those projects.”

Padilla believes his background in engineering and public works will help him in assisting the city’s projects as the interim city manager. He previously worked as a deputy public works director in Yuba County before he left to pursue the city manager position with Farmersville, a role he hopes he could eventually take on permanently.

“(This is) his first step into city management, and that’s the direction that he wants to go into,” Councilmember Greg Gomez said. “During the interview, he really did express the desire to stay on if the council chose to keep him as a permanent city manager.” 

Gomez explained that Padilla’s master’s degree in public administration and experience working for city and county agencies indicated to council he may be a good fit for the position. He noted that during the city council meeting on May 28, which Padilla attended, the council took up an emergency item on Front Street that Padilla had helpful insights on.

“He stepped right in and started offering some suggestions on how we could proceed to make sure that that project was successful and that our money stretched as far as it could,” Gomez said.

Padilla’s experience might be especially useful to Farmersville since the city currently does not have a public works director.

“My 23 years of management in the engineering and public works sector will help me get into this position. I’m looking forward to contributing in those departments immediately and I can hit the ground running in those areas,” Padilla said.

One of the other things that the council was looking for in a city manager is someone who is committed to the community. Mayor Tina Hernandez noted in a past interview with The Sun-Gazette that the city needs someone who has the Farmersville community in their best interest. Padilla said he plans to do everything he can to immerse himself in the Farmersville community to prepare for the new position.

“I’m going to attend any public events that Farmersville has. I have an open-door policy, everyone’s welcome to contact me,” Padilla said. “I’m being transparent and will reach out to the council’s government, school district and to the city council and any other local stakeholders in the community.”

Padilla is showing his commitment to the community in more than one way. He plans to commute to the office from his home in Bakersfield every day to fill his new role.

“I’ll have a traditional schedule working in the office, so it’s a little bit of a commute. But I maximize the use of my commute. I’ll be communicating with people and working during my commute,” Padilla said.

Overall, Padilla is looking forward to starting his new role and making the most of however long he is there.

“I’ve always been thinking about working towards being the executive manager for a public agency. So, to be able to get this position, it’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to it,” Padilla said. 

Padilla is stepping into the role previously filled by Jennifer Gomez, who was removed from the position on April 22 after city council voted 3-2 not to renew her contract with the city in a closed session meeting. Gomez served the city of Farmersville as city manager for just shy of six years before her contract expired.

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