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Stephanie Dietz named Assistant City Manager

Mike Conway

Post Date:11/17/2016

Stephanie Dietz appointed Assistant City Manager

Merced resident looking forward to 'making my home a better place'

The City of Merced's new Assistant City Manager comes to the job with extensive knowledge in budgeting, groundwater, labor negotiations, revenue sharing and UC Merced.

Stephanie Dietz also knows the City, as a resident and as a Management Analyst III for Merced County, having worked with City staff on a number of cooperative projects.

But the bottom line for the woman who learned accounting from her mother as a child, Dietz wants to make Merced a better community for future generations, including her children.

'With this job I get to make my home a better place,' Dietz said. 'I want to be a part of the new excitement in making Merced a better place, making the community safe, stable and bringing economic opportunity here.'

Dietz, 36, has spent 10 years working for Merced County, interrupted by almost three years of work at UC Merced. That varied experience will pay off in her new job.

"The problems facing our community cannot be solved by just one agency. I'm excited to work with the City of Merced team to share my experiences from the UC and County and enhance existing partnerships across our community," she said.

'Stephanie is an awesome addition to our executive management team,' said Merced City Manager Steve Carrigan. 'She has the breadth and depth of skills that mean she can hit the ground running on Day 1. Plus, she has the experience that can only enhance our relationships with UC Merced and the County.'

The Assistant City Manager is the No. 2 position in the City's hierarchy, reporting to the City Manager. Dietz's role will be to support the City Manager in planning, organizing and managing the City government. She will be supervising City departments, and overseeing the day-to-day operations at City Hall.

 'I have the advantage of having worked at all the different agencies and that helps me in my new job,' she said.

In her job with the County, Dietz developed and administered the $600 million County budget, specializing in public safety, public works, water and the capital improvement projects. She participated in the County's labor negotiations and led the revenue sharing team dealing with the six City governments in the County.

As the County Chief Executive Officer's lead person for the County's groundwater ordinance she created and coordinated the stakeholder engagement process. She also handled the initial implementation of the Groundwater Sustainability Management Act. Dietz led the negotiation of the County's $17 million energy efficiency project contract, that included the construction of solar array fields and retrofitting 13 buildings.

Dietz was the County's contact person with UC Merced, managing transportation, recreation and conservation easement agreements.

She also has worked for the County Human Services Agency overseeing a $145 million program budget, analyzing the effects of legislation changes and supervising a staff of 32. When Dietz worked for the County Department of Mental Health she implemented the first drug dependency court in the County.

As a UC Merced employee, Dietz managed the recruitment and promotion of faculty lecturers, post-doctoral scholars and researcher candidates. She also worked with U.S. government agencies exchanging sensitive personnel information to get work authorizations and visas for visiting researchers and full-time faculty.

'I'm able to bring a different perspective having worked at UC Merced,' Dietz said. 'I have great respect and feel comfortable working with the people there and I understand their processes.'

She describes herself as 'a Castle Air Force Base transplant' who moved to California at age four, graduated from Atwater High School and stayed locally to work and start a family in Merced

'My husband and I are raising a family here, and I get to see the good things happening in the City,' she said.

Dietz and her financial planner husband, Teddy, have two children, Tyler, 16 and Madysen, 8.

Like many parents, she's busy with her children's activities. Sports are high on the family agenda, especially with Tyler playing varsity basketball at El Capitan High School.

But the Dietz family has strong ties to region's agricultural heritage. Her husband's family has been farming for four generations, and her children are active in 4-H and FFA raising sheep, goats and cattle.

'I still get out there and muck pens with the kids,' she said. The ag interest also is reflected in her role as a founding member of the El Capitan Ag Boosters, raising money to buy equipment and supplies needed at the school.

'My community service is important to me,' Dietz said.

She also was a founding board member of a non-profit group called DOLS, Darlings, Divas and Dames of Livestock Sales, a consortium of women committed to supporting youth livestock activities.

'This is a positive way to support hardworking kids and the support, enthusiasm and excitement for it is overwhelming,' she said. DOLS has bought a Supreme Champion Goat and a Reserve Supreme Lamb at the California State Fair Sale of Champions which helps the youth who raised the animals. The meat from the animals is donated to a Sacramento area women's shelter.

Dietz does have some down time that she fills with a good book.

'I'm an avid reader,' said the holder of a master's degree in English. 'I'm always exchanging books with my friends at UC Merced.'

Dietz holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno State, a master's from National University and is a graduate of the California State Association of Counties Senior Executive credential program.

The position pays $147,408 to $179,175 a year. She will start on Jan. 3.

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