‘Hit the ground running’: Interim Nevada City Manager Joan Phillipe brings experience to the job
When Joan Phillipe retired from government administration after more than 35 years, she knew she couldn’t stay away for long.
“I wanted to do some interim work here and there, simply because I enjoy it,” said Phillipe, who was appointed Nevada City’s interim city manager last month.
After previously serving as city manager for Loomis, Colusa, Colfax and Clearlake, she wasn’t ready to completely step away from public service, even in retirement.
“If you notice all of the cities that I was manager in were small communities. I built my career in small communities and really enjoyed that,” she said. “That was something that I would like to continue to do on an interim basis, certainly not full time.”
After parting ways with former city manager Catrina Olson in February, the city will look for a long-term replacement while Phillipe serves for the next several months.
“Nevada City has always been a place that was of interest to me, and that I liked very much, so an interim position here was attractive,“ she said. “I’m delighted to be here to be a part of the city, even if it’s a short period of time.”
According to Councilman Doug Fleming, the council was impressed with Phillipe’s breadth of experience, having worked on issues important to the city like policing, cannabis, and overhauling City Hall.
“I think we’re really fortunate that she came along at the right time,” Fleming said. “There was a lot of stuff that each of us (council members) wanted to accomplish and now we feel like we have the best person who can help the council execute the policy directions.”
Phillipe said in her time here two major focuses will be transitioning to a new police chief and rebounding from the pandemic.
In a closed session of a special meeting Thursday the City Council discussed the appointment of an interim police chief.
According to Phillipe, the city is also expecting to soon release the after action report investigating the police response to the violent counter-protest last August.
“We’re in process of finalizing the public report, so I am hoping we will be able to have that posted by the end of the week,” Phillipe said.
The council will also have a workshop session to discuss other priorities, she said.
Despite the major challenges ahead, Phillipe said the city also has a lot to be optimistic about as it slowly reopens.
With the National Hotel and other businesses reopening, and Nevada City positioned as a historic tourist destination, she said managing the next few months could be key to a successful recovery.
“I think there are some very positive things on the horizon for the city and I’m happy to be a small part of that.“
Fleming said since her hiring Phillipe has stood out by delivering weekly reports and collaborating closely with the county and Grass Valley officials.
“She’s got really good experience about coming in and assessing the needs of the City Hall and the council and then making recommendations,” he said. “She’s really hit the ground running.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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