Tina & Zach Friend
One half of Santa County’s top politician couple is taking their professional career to Southern California where Tina Friend is becoming the city manager of Coronado.
Civic Life

A North-South balance to strike: Tina Friend takes job in San Diego; husband Zach ‘committed’ to his supe job

Tina, the Scotts Valley city manager, accepted the same job in the beachside hamlet of Coronado, close to where Zach Friend grew up. But Zach was re-elected in November to a third term overseeing the Second District in Santa Cruz County. The Aptos couple has a 6-year-old son. ‘Racking up a lot of frequent flier miles’ is in his future, Zach says.

Scotts Valley city manager Tina Friend is heading south, well over 450 miles south. Last week, she was named the new city manager in Coronado, the breathtaking oceanside resort town near San Diego.

Friend, who has served the city of Scotts Valley for just over two years, is expected to begin work in Coronado in September.

She is the wife of Second District County Supervisor Zach Friend, a San Diego native, and her appointment in Coronado raises the question of his future with the county.

But Zach Friend — who was elected to a third four-year term in November — said that he has no plans to leave the Second District. The Friends, Aptos residents, have a 6-year-old son.

“Tina is an absolute rockstar,” he said in a statement. “Not only is she breaking ground by becoming the first female city manager in Coronado’s history but she’s giving our son an opportunity to spend more time with his grandparents as they age.”

Zach Friend, a native of San Diego, has been on the Board of Supervisors since 2012.

“I am committed to continuing to represent this amazing district,” his statement continued, “and also strike the balance between public service and family by racking up a lot of frequent flier miles to be present for Tina and our son.

“Many families have carved a path for us on how to strike this balance, especially when distance and two professional careers are involved. It might mean more time traveling but to support our son, to support her career and to continue to support this district I feel privileged to be able to do them all.”

Before coming to Scotts Valley, Tina Friend worked for 14 years at the city of Santa Cruz, eight of those as assistant city manager. She holds degrees from Georgetown University and Santa Clara University.

Friend was sworn in on Tuesday following the Coronado City Council’s unanimous approval of the contract, which has no length or limits associated with it, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“It is my absolute pleasure and honor to be here,” Friend said during the meeting, thanking the council and city staff for providing their trust in her, the Union-Tribune reported, adding that she was chosen from a pool of more than 60 applicants after a nationwide recruitment process.

Friend will be paid an annual base salary of $250,000, as well as receive benefits that include a $525 monthly vehicle allowance, the Union-Tribune reported.