The following was sent by Watkins to city employees

Mark Watkins announces retirement as City Manager.

“ After much thought and discussion with my family I have decided to retire from my position as City Manager effective December 28, 2017. Working for Ventura has been a dream job for me. I was a 26-year old engineer when Amy and I arrived here in November of 1987, we welcomed the birth of our first daughter just a month later and have loved living here ever since. I took a 12 year hiatus to work for the City of Thousand Oaks and was thrilled to come back to Ventura in early 2013 as City Manager.”

“As I reflect on my time here it is easy to think of all of the physical attributes that make Ventura such a great place to live and work. We have a wonderful downtown, beautiful beaches, a great harbor, the pier and promenade, hiking in the hillsides, and cultural amenities. However, what I will remember the most fondly is all of the outstanding city employees that bring their energy and enthusiasm to work every day to continue making this one of the best cities in America.”

“ I am providing a long notice to assure a smooth transition for the organization. I have appreciated the trust the City Council has placed in me and am extremely proud of all that we’ve accomplished during my tenure. In the past 4 years we have been able to restore fiscal stability, refocus the organization on core services and infrastructure, pursue the water resources required for our future, and make headway on complicated issues such as homelessness. With Measure O funding the City is now poised to address Ventura’s highest priority needs, make critical investments in our community, and insure that Ventura remains one of the best places live, work, and recreate.”

“One of the items that I am most proud of is the employee agreements that we have reached over the past several years. We have made progress on increasing salaries and improving contributions to health benefits while balancing the other needs of the city and recognizing our increasing PERS contributions. Our employee groups and all of our employees have shown leadership and understanding in this critical area so that we can continue to have the best work force to serve our community.”

“This has been both the most challenging and rewarding positon that I have held in my 33 year career. It has been an immense pleasure to work with our outstanding department head team, city employees, and our community, and I am confident that the City organization is now well positioned for the future.”

“ I clearly remember that day in November 1987 when I walked out the front door of City Hall, looked down California Street to the ocean and historic pier, and wondered how I could be so fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful place. I still feel blessed to be in Ventura and Amy I plan to remain here and serve the community in other ways. Ventura is a 150 year old city with a rich and proud history, but I truly believe that its best years lie ahead. I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve the City and look forward to great things in the future.”

Mark Watkins-City Manager

City Council Member Matt LaVere told the Breeze “Although it has only been a short time, I have really appreciated my time on council with Mark. He has gone out of his way to work with me on issues important to Ventura. I wish him and Amy nothing but the best as they move into retirement. He leaves Ventura a better place than when he arrived, and that is the mark of a good city manager.”

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