Whittier City Manager Collier Announces Retirement Date
After nearly 40 years in public service, Whittier’s City Manager Jeff Collier has announced his retirement. A member of Whittier’s executive staff since 2004, Mr. Collier has been Whittier’s City Manager for the last eight years, taking over for the retiring Steve Helvey. In his letter to Council, Mr. Collier noted that his intent to retire at the end of 2019 had been discussed over the previous two years.
Among the many Whittier achievements during Mr. Collier’s tenure, twice winning the Most Business Friendly City in Los Angeles County and commencing construction at The Groves, the former Nelles property, are two of the biggest headlines. Mayor Joe Vinatieri noted, “Jeff has been a friend and a great manager; his unwavering support for Council and staff during some of the most fiscally challenging eras Whittier has seen has kept the City on a steady path, even during the loss of redevelopment and the shift to district elections, and we are fortunate to have had his leadership.”
Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Dutra added, “I served as a Planning Commissioner with Jeff long before I contemplated service on the Council, and in addition to his devotion to the community, I have always been so impressed with his strategic planning, which you can see from his success in chairing both the Gateway Cities Council of Governments City Manager’s Steering Committee and the Gold Line/Washington Boulevard Coalition Administrative Entity on Whittier’s behalf. His foresight also resulted in the City’s ambitious $2.2 million energy conservation investments, which are on track for a successful four-year repayment.”
Council Member Cathy Warner said, “I congratulate Jeff on his impending retirement. As one of the Council Members fortunate enough to have been part of his selection as our City Manager, I know that his legacy will continue to lead Whittier into the future. From the extension of the Greenway Trail East to the initiation of our long-term infrastructure improvements in our sewer and wastewater systems, his contributions will keep us a vibrant, fiscally sound community for decades to come.”
Noting that his emphasis on technological advancement and efficiency, Council Member Josué Alvarado praised, “Jeff’s been a pioneer of technological improvements for staff efficiency and the public’s convenience, from our online permitting system to the City’s Whittier 24-7 App, to online business applications and the City’s responsive SCADA water control systems. He’s helped ensure that technological improvements made life easier, without losing the personal touch that our residents expect from City staff. I’m also thankful for his efforts regarding park improvements and expansion projects.”
Council Member Henry Bouchot summarized, “Jeff’s lasting influence will continue to touch the daily lives of Whittier residents for years to come; from the award-winning Uptown Whittier Specific Plan to the Whittier Boulevard Specific Plan, to the dedicated capital projects team that keeps Whittier up and running, we are a strategically planned community with unprecedented opportunities to come.”
Noting that it is difficult to leave those whom he served with during his tenure, Mr. Collier stated, “I truly have been blessed to have been a part of the Whittier family for nearly fifteen years. I have the utmost confidence that the City organization will continue forward in the future as I know our professional, dedicated staff will continue without skipping a beat. I’d like to thank the Council for their leadership and policy guidance, as it truly has been a great collaboration to carry out their vision for the community. I’d also like to acknowledge our gifted team of department managers and staff as well as others in the community that I’ve been blessed to work with – I will always have fond memories of what we have accomplished together to make Whittier such a special place. Lastly, I’d also like to acknowledge my wife, Colleen, for her patience, support and understanding throughout my career.”
At an upcoming meeting, the Council will consider proposals from firms to conduct a formal recruitment for the next Whittier City Manager. The recruitment process will likely extend into the early fall.