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Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights City Manager Christopher Boyd on Thursday publicly announced that he will be retiring from his position as the top executive tasked with running the city, coming on the heels of the assistant city manager retiring earlier this year.
“For quite a while now, I have been contemplating my next chapter,” said Boyd in a prepared statement, which said advance notice had been given to the City Council. “After 31 years of public service, I have decided it is time for me to focus on my family, so that my wife and I can enjoy the few short years we have left with our teenage sons before they are grown.”
Boyd served as the original chief of police for the Citrus Heights Police Department, later replacing former City Manager Henry Tingle in 2016 upon Tingle’s retirement. Accomplishments listed by the city during Boyd’s term include undertaking “sizeable economic development projects including the Sunrise Mall Specific Plan, pushed forward revitalization efforts of the Auburn Blvd. corridor which was recently awarded $9 million in grant funding, realigned staffing for significant cost-savings, and more.”
“Convincing Chris to move from Chief of Police to City Manager was one of the best things our Council has done for the City,” said Mayor Steve Miller in Thursday’s statement from the city. “Thanks to his leadership we have weathered a pandemic while keeping all our City service lines open, launched economic development plans to secure a bright future for our City, and undertaken massive efforts to balance our budget and remain committed to fiscal prudence. ‘Thank you’ just does not seem like enough.”
Boyd also received criticism during his five-year tenure as city manager, facing a rocky relationship with the city’s newest two council members and also from some members of the public for his advocacy that the city make the historic move to go into debt for the first time in 2018 and his support of the Measure M sales tax increase proposed last year.
Following Boyd’s official retirement date of May 11, the council will meet Thursday to consider hiring an interim city manager while also launching immediate recruitment efforts to find a permanent replacement.
Potential names to fill the interim or permanent position have not been made public, and an agenda packet for the May 13 City Council meeting includes no further details. In an email response, the mayor opted to not include names being considered for the interim position, but said the council “will discuss our options in closed session this Wednesday,” prior to Thursday’s public meeting.
He also said, “I anticipate we will be very deliberate hiring a permanent City Manager.”
Some who have been unhappy with Boyd’s leadership have advocated bringing back Tingle as city manager, including former councilwoman Jayna Karpinski-Costa.
“Everybody loves Tingle and knows he was the best thing to ever happen to Citrus Heights,” she told The Sentinel on Saturday. “He’s more than qualified (and could) return us to a debt-free city with a big, healthy reserve. He could fix anything.”
Contacted by phone Saturday, Tingle sounded caught off guard and told The Sentinel he hadn’t considered returning to a position with the city.
“I’ve not given that any thought, I’m just enjoying my retirement,” he said. When asked specifically if he would consider returning for an interim city manager position, he said “probably not.”
Councilman Tim Schaefer, contacted for comment by The Sentinel on Saturday, declined to comment on Boyd’s retirement announcement or potential replacements, saying he was “not legally allowed to discuss terms or payment until there is not a city manager,” which won’t happen until Boyd formally retires Tuesday.
The City Council will meet Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m. via Zoom to consider an interim hire. Comments up to 250 words can be submitted in advance to email@example.com.
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