For Immediate Release

Vista Appoints New City Manager

Contact: Andrea McCullough
Department: City Manager
Phone: 760.726.1340 ext. 1438
Release Date: October 04, 2011

The Vista City Council announced Tuesday afternoon that Patrick Johnson will replace retiring City Manager Rita L. Geldert in December, 2011. Johnson has been the City’s Assistant City Manager for the past four years. Mayor Judy Ritter and Councilman Dave Cowles have been appointed by the City Council to negotiate a contract with Mr. Johnson.

“The City Manager has a commitment to succession planning for all major management positions, including her own and Assistant City Manager Patrick Johnson has been extensively trained to assume the role of City Manager,” said Mayor Judy Ritter. “The City Council concluded that a hiring search would not yield any candidates who exceeded Johnson's high level of professional qualifications and his invaluable experience with the City of Vista. There is no doubt Mr. Johnson’s experience, knowledge, management style and enthusiasm will be a great asset to our community. The City Council has had numerous opportunities to work with Mr. Johnson and is confident in his skills and approach to management. The Council looks forward to working with our City Manager, and together with the Senior Management Team, in building a strong future for the City of Vista.”

Johnson, a native of San Diego, has worked for local government for more than 17 years. He began working for the city of Vista in 1998 as a Management Analyst and was promoted to Assistant City Manager over the years. Prior to the city of Vista, Johnson worked for two other North County cities.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to serve the City Council and the residents of Vista as their new City Manager. My top priority will be working on reducing our structural deficit and building a stronger economic base for our city,” said Patrick Johnson.

“I have had the privilege of working with Patrick for many years. His leadership in the city and in the region will be well received,” said retiring City Manager Rita Geldert. “He is passionate about creating a vibrant and outstanding community for residents and is extremely committed to the City. Patrick fully understands how municipal government works and the challenges the City faces in this tough economy. His appointment will provide a smooth and skillful transition following my retirement.”

Mr. Johnson is a member of the International City/County Management Association, and holds a Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Public Administration from San Diego State University. Johnson and his wife Jennifer live in North County and have two young daughters.

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