Former Sonoma County administrator Bob Deis, who resigned last year rather than deal with an increasingly fractured Board of Supervisors, is taking the job of city manager of Stockton.
Deis, contacted Monday at his home in Santa Rosa, confirmed that negotiations with Stockton councilmembers last Friday night have resulted in an agreement on a contract. The job has a base salary of $240,000, about as much as he was making when he resigned last June.
Deis worked for Sonoma County for about a decade, first as an assistant administrator and later as the top appointed official in a government with more than 4,000 employees. Although most of his tenure was marked by programs designed to make government services more efficient, his efforts also attracted critics, particularly employee unions, which opposed him on the issue of reducing spending on medical premiums.
Stockton, a Central Valley city with a population of 300,000 and a $323 million budget, is grappling with a $23 million deficit and is facing financial pressure to close fire stations, libraries and community centers and curb spending by law enforcement.
Deis said Stockton’s seven-member city council selected him because of his experience in tackling difficult financial decisions.
“My fiscal management experience over the last 30 years will help them in dealing with budget issues,” Deis said. “They liked my strategic planning experience, getting the entire organization focused on key issues that will impact the community.”
Deis said the Stockton council seems unified in its desire to put the city back on solid financial footing.
“They share a similar vision and come from essentially the same place and they want to take the organization to the next level,” he said. “They appear to work well together and treat each other with respect. That is not always the case in other communities during these very difficult times.”
— Bleys W. Rose
The Press Democrat