Leading the City of Huntington Beach for more than a decade, City Manager Fred A. Wilson announced Friday that he will step down. His last day at City Hall will be May 10.
“Having worked in public service for four cities for 35 years, it is time to write another chapter in my career,” said Wilson. “Huntington Beach is a great community,” said Wilson. “I have enjoyed serving this community for the past 10 years. The city is fortunate to have a very capable city council, stellar leadership team, and excellent city employees who care about the community. I know the future of HB is in good hands,” he said.
Mayor Erik Peterson said he wishes Wilson well as he embarks on his new endeavor. “He has always had a steady hand on the wheel,” said Peterson. “And his ability to find and recruit great executives to work for HB was and is remarkable. It will serve him well in his next chapter.”
Longtime Councilmember and former mayor Jill Hardy credited Wilson for guiding the city through some tough times, especially the Great Recession in 2008. “We were fortunate to have him lead our city for the past 10 years. I am sad to hear he is leaving and will miss his strong leadership skills, humility, and attention to detail,” she said.
It will be up to the city council to appoint a new city manager. Mayor Petersen declined to comment on how that process would unfold stating he has not had a chance to speak with other council members yet.
Under Wilson’s leadership, some of the major accomplishments include keeping the city in strong financial condition; maintaining an AAA bond credit rating; construction of the long-awaited Senior Center in the Central Park; the annexation of Sunset Beach; the completion of the Pacific City development; the expansion of the Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel; and opening the new Paséa Hotel.
Overseeing a budget of $350 million and nearly 1,200 employees in 13 departments, the city was recently ranked fourth in a recent Fiscal Times poll of 116 cities nationwide in “Best Financial Shape” and ranked 14th as one of the top “Best-Run Cities” by WalletHub.
Wilson plans to stay in the city. “Huntington Beach has been my home for the past 10 years. We enjoy living here and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else,” he said. He plans to continue working and has accepted a position with Ralph Andersen & Associates, an executive search firm for public sector agencies.
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