Robert Woolley, Clovis’ city manager for the past six years, is retiring after three decades working for the city.
Woolley, 63, announced his retirement Monday. His final day will be Dec. 30, he said.
He will be replaced on an interim basis by Luke Serpa, the city’s public utilities director.
Serpa, named Monday night by the City Council, will take over city manager duties after Woolley’s retirement and will remain in the post likely until after the next City Council election in March.
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Councilwoman Lynne Ashbeck is the lone incumbent who will be seeking reelection. There will be seats available replacing Mayor Nathan Magsig, who will become a member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors in January, and possibly Councilman Harry Armstrong, who will retire this month after 46 years on the council.
Armstrong’s term ends in 2019, and the council could choose an interim member through 2019 or conduct a special election for a two-year seat. City Clerk John Holt said city staff is recommending that the council conduct a special election that will run in conjunction with the March election.
Clovis has enjoyed stability in its top bureaucratic position. Kathy Millison, a 27-year city employee, served from 1991 to 2010 as city manager before leaving for the same position in Santa Rosa. Her replacement, Woolley, was the city’s finance director for 10 years and deputy finance director for 14 years.
If I’ve done my job, then when I leave it shouldn’t have an impact.
Robert Woolley, Clovis city manager
Before joining the Clovis staff, Woolley worked for Fresno County for 10 years. He was raised in Selma. He and his wife, Janice, live in Fresno and have two grown children.
“The main goal to me is stability,” he said. “If I’ve done my job, then when I leave it shouldn’t have an impact.”
In 2013, Serpa was named public utilities director for the city.
Serpa, 55, served as interim public utilities director after Mike Leonardo’s departure in 2012.
Serpa has a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering from Fresno State and is a registered civil engineer. He has 31 years of engineering and management experience.
Before coming to Clovis, he worked three years at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board regulating such things as waste discharge and hazardous waste facilities. He also worked 17 years with Cal Fire, where he served as the Southern Region’s engineering supervisor overseeing maintenance, repair and construction projects.
In 2005, he was named assistant public utilities director with Clovis, overseeing street maintenance, parks, solid waste/refuse and street sweeping divisions.
Serpa lives in Clovis with his wife, Kathleen. They have two sons.
In a related action Monday night, the City Council reduced the salary for the city manager position slightly to reflect the switch to an interim manager with less experience.
The current salary range is between $16,934 and $20,584 per month. The new salary range, $16,128 to $19,604 per month, drops about 5 percent.