City hires new administrator
The City of Bishop said goodbye and hello to some top personnel at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.
The departure of City Administrator Rick Pucci was made official with the welcome of his successor, James M. Southworth.
In addition, the resigning Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan said she was happy to be leaving the city in capable hands. “I leave with complete confidence in the department,” she said. The council appointed Lieutenant Chris Carter as interim-chief until a replacement for Sheehan is found.
Sheehan told the council that she hoped to make it proud as she moved on in her career as the new police chief of Port Hueneme in Ventura County. She also wanted to thank the entire community for its support and many friendships she hopes to continue even though she is moving away.
Sheehan added that Carter is more than capable of handling the position and credited him with not only showing her around Bishop, but for his extensive law enforcement knowledge.
Carter is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement and has been with the Bishop Police Department since 2003.
It had been reported that a replacement for Pucci, a staple of Bishop government for 30 years, would not be so easy. However, Southworth comes to Bishop with 33 years of experience as a city administrator.
Southworth has served in a city management position in Minnesota, Michigan and Washington. He served as administrator of Monroe, Wash. from 2002-08 and managed Toppernish, Wash. from 1980 -2002.
He has been a ski Instructor at Lyon Ski School in Washington and at the White Pass Learning Center. Southworth attended Minnesota State University, and received a degree in city administration.
Southworth said he was grateful to the council and community for offering the job he gladly accepted and looked forward to working in such a friendly town. “I’m extremely excited and can feel the strong sense of community here.”
He also has family in California and he said he was eager to be closer to them as well.
Southworth signed the contract with the city during the meeting Monday and his first day will be Friday, Oct. 1. He is joining the council this week at its conference with the League of California Governments in San Diego.