Watsonville City Council will consider Rene Mendez for its vacant city manager role, following a three-month search that began after new Santa Cruz City Manager Matt Huffaker vacated the role.
The city of Watsonville could soon have a new city manager, just four months after the position was vacated by current Santa Cruz City Manager Matt Huffaker.
On Tuesday, the Watsonville City Council will decide whether to appoint Rene Mendez to the position. He would replace interim City Manager Tamara Vides, who’s been in the position since Nov. 30; Huffaker had previously held the position since 2018.
“It was extremely important for the city council to get our community involved in the hiring process, and hear what they wanted from our next city manager,” said Watsonville spokesperson Michelle Pulido.
In advance of Mendez’s nomination, city staff released a community survey to Watsonville residents and conducted several public meetings to hear from residents about their needs. The city also worked with recruitment firm Peckham & McKenny to find qualified candidates for the role beginning in January.
Mendez has worked in state, county and city government for the past three decades, most recently serving 17 years as the city manager for the community of Gonzales in Monterey County.
The Watsonville City Council will vote on Mendez’s appointment and contract approval during the regularly scheduled Council meeting on Tuesday.