Jennifer Callaway takes over as new Truckee town manager
Special to The Union
TRUCKE — After a months-long search that included a field of more than 130, Truckee will have a new town manager on Monday.
Jennifer Callaway was selected as Truckee’s next town manager during a Sept. 22, closed Town Council session, and brings a background in finance along with more than 18 years of experience in local government.
“I’m really very grateful for the opportunity,” said Callaway. “I’m looking forward to getting relocated up there and meeting the community members. I don’t pretend that I have all of the answers coming into this, but I certainly have the intention to listen, and I think, working together we’ll be able to come up with some great solutions.”
Callaway’s background includes executive positions with the city of Sonora, town of Los Gatos, and most recently as the finance director, public works director and public information officer for the city of Morro Bay.
“She stood out from a pool of over 130 applicants because she demonstrated what we believe Truckee is looking for: professionalism, compassion, expertise, and the personality and ability to effectively listen to the community with a desire to balance the challenging issues and help Truckee achieve its future goals,” said Truckee Mayor David Polivy in a news release. “In these times of uncertainty, Jennifer Callaway’s forward-thinking, coupled with her fiscal responsibility, will serve Truckee well, and help guide us through and past the COVID-19 era.”
Callaway has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the State University of New York at Geneseo, a master’s of public administration from Syracuse University, and a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law.
“The hiring of our next town manager is the most important act I will have been part of as a member of Truckee Town Council,” said Council member Tony Commendatore in a news release. “The traits I saw as essential in our next town manager included executive leadership, fiscal responsibility, and the ability to work with different viewpoints. I believe we have found that in Jennifer Callaway. She demonstrated a passion for all things Truckee that really impressed me. I look forward to the next chapter for the town of Truckee.”
One of the first big decisions Callaway will be a part of is the hiring of a new police chief. Truckee is working with Teri Black & Company, LLC, for the recruitment of a new police chief. Teri Black hosted a virtual workshop on Oct. 14, in order to seek the community’s input. Candidate information will be compiled, and the recruitment opened from November through December. Interviews will take place in January, and an announcement for a new police chief is expected to be made in February.
“I’m looking for someone that really embodies the Truckee way and community engagement and outreach — a real sense of community policing that fits the uniqueness of Truckee,” said Callaway.
As someone who has frequented the community in past years, Callaway said the Truckee way means being inclusive, having conversations with people, and listening to understand.
“Listening to your friends and colleagues and really understand their perspective and where they’re coming from,” she said. “That’s the ethos of the Truckee way. Ultimately, everybody wants the same things, and that’s what’s best for Truckee. We may disagree on what that is, but we’re all approaching it from the same place.”
Callaway will also join the town just as three councilors will vacate their seats following the upcoming election.
Callaway said she’d like to see the next town councilors embody a “willingness to listen, being strong in their convictions and opinions and ability to articulate their reasons for voting on certain topics.
“I listened to the candidate forum,” added Callaway. “And I think all of the candidates seem to demonstrate that approach.”
Callaway listed the town’s housing situation as among the biggest issues facing the town, and praised Truckee for its work done to be in a solid financial situation going forward.
“I’m very impressed with the financial position of the town,” said Callaway. “My background is in finance.”
Callaway’s contract with the town runs through Oct. 25, 2025. Her annual salary of $173,244 was finalized during Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. Her compensation package also includes pension costs of $38,246, deferred compensation of $20,734, and health insurance of $35,041.
Callaway replaces Jeff Loux, who retired in July.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union.
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