By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
FARMERSVILLE – While former Farmersville city manager John Jansons had to acclimate himself to the trials and tribulations of the small rural town, new city manager Jennifer Gomez will feel right at home.
“I’m really excited about being in a small community and addressing the concerns the employees have and the business owners…I’m excited to be close to people,” Gomez said.
Establishing a connection with the community will be a refreshing change of pace for the new city manager. Gomez is leaving her position as city clerk with Hanford, where she was able to gather four years of experience, but missed out on the opportunity to dive in deep with the community that has more than 55,000 people. The community separation aside, what drew her to Hanford was the added level of experience she wanted to have. As city clerk Gomez was able to work closely with department heads, as well as coordinate responses to everyday challenges cities face.
Gomez said she had been looking forward to this opportunity since she heard Jansons was moving on. She says what she likes about the city is that it is growing. Over the last couple of years the City has been the beneficiary of some noteworthy projects and businesses. Rite Aid was a success on the corner of Walnut and Farmersville Blvd., and the Caldwell arterial road improvement projects have given Farmersville a worthwhile look.
“I want to get in there and be a part of the community and a part of the organization and see what kind of magic we can make there,” Gomez expressed.
Making her decision all the easier was that Farmersville is local. Gomez’s family have lived in Tulare County since the 1880s, and public service has been in her family nearly as long. Gomez said she is a fourth generation public servant. Her father, grandfather and great grandfather have all worked in the public sector in some way and she is proud to take on the family tradition.
Her mother’s side of the family has some close ties to Farmersville as well. Gomez says her mother’s family grew up on what is now the outskirts of Farmersville, and had been there before the city was incorporated. Those ties made her all the more appealing candidate for the job.
“She’s from the area, and I’ve known her since we were in junior high, so I was comfortable in selecting her. I look forward to working with her,” councilman Greg Gomez said.
He added that her energy for local government was a driving force in choosing her as the next city manager. Meanwhile, mayor Paul Boyer is excited about the experience and education she brings to the table.
“Her experience as a city clerk is important…she understands how city government works,” Boyer said. “From what we learned she’s good at working with other people whether it is a department head or other communities.”
Boyer said as well, her master’s degree in public administration also gave him confidence in her appointment.
As a 1989 Redwood graduate, Gomez grew up in Visalia. And after her two years at College of the Sequoias, she married her husband Chris. A marine at the time, Chris was stationed in Hawaii. When he retired from the Corps the two moved back to Visalia to decide the next chapter of their life.
Before long they moved up to northern California. Gomez completed her degree in history at Santa Clara University, Chris finished his undergraduate degree in political science from San Jose State. However, he did earn his law degree from Santa Clara University and now practices family law in Visalia.
After they decided to move back to Visalia, Gomez worked as deputy city clerk and budget coordinator with the City of Tulare for seven years before moving to Hanford. She was succeeded by current Exeter city clerk Shonna Oneal. Gomez finished her master’s degree online from Walden University.