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New City Manager comes from Los Banos

Mike Conway

Post Date:12/08/2015

Merced Council names Steve Carrigan new City Manager

Steve Carrigan was named the new Merced City Manager Monday night. Carrigan, 52, has been the City Manager in Los Banos since 2013. He replaces John Bramble who retired as City Manager after seven years.

The Council voted unanimously to appoint Carrigan after a nationwide search that saw 31 people apply for the position. He is scheduled to begin work in Merced Jan. 25.

Carrigan is familiar with many of the issues in Merced. 'I understand homelessness is a big issue in Merced,' he said. He is the chairman of the Continuum of Care, which deals with solutions to the City and County's homeless issues. While he was leading Los Banos, the city removed a 35-person homeless encampment from the City without any incidents. 'I can really help with homelessness. I do have a plan that I have shared with the Council.'

Carrigan has spent time with the Merced police chief to learn the lay of the land, and has worked with the economic development director. He's familiar with the city's major projects, including shopping center complex at the Mission Avenue interchange and Downtown Merced revitalization.

'Merced has a lot going for it,' he said. 'UC Merced jumped out to me. There are only 10 research universities in the state, and to have one of them is awesome.' The university's expansion in the 2020 Project shows a long-term commitment from the state.

The High Speed Rail project is another major development for the city that attracted him. 'The university and High Speed Rail can transform the community,' he said.

'I have a background in economic development building shopping centers and industrial parks,' Carrigan said. 'I always thought of myself as a private sector person in a public sector job.

'We've had a lot of success in Los Banos,' he said. While there Carrigan oversaw the final predevelopment work to create a 1,800 acre industrial park at Interstate 5 and Highway 165. Six sites were identified to relocate the Los Banos Airport to make the industrial park happened. The City is also preparing plans to create an 80-acre regional hospital and medical complex.

In the past two years, Los Banos has seen a 26 percent drop in serious felonies known as Part 1 Crimes, shut down 25 marijuana grow houses and fully staffed the Code Enforcement agency, which removed 130 abandon vehicles and issued 170 administrative citations.

While he was City Manager, Los Banos reached three year labor agreements with police and fire unions and purchased body cameras for the police department. The City received a $322,000 grant for Code Enforcement efforts and Carrigan started the groundwork for a new police station.

In Los Banos, Carrigan emphasized cleanup of the Downtown through efforts from the Public Works, Code Enforcement and Police Departments. The City hired 19 new employees and began the update of its Emergency Operations Plan under his leadership.

Before coming to Los Banos, Carrigan was the Assistant City Manager in Sanger, overseeing budget preparation and coordinating the City's economic development.

The new city manager has an extensive background in economic development having served as the Lathrop Economic Development Administrator, the vice president of Economic Development for the Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corp. and Stockton's Director of Economic Development for 7 years.

The new City Manager describes himself as 'very approachable. I like meeting people. I will talk with them any place, any time.'

He and his wife of 17 years, Michele, have a daughter, Sidney, 14, and a son, Sean, 13. When not at work, he spends time with his family who are 'NASCAR freaks' and big SF Giants fans. 'We do a lot of kids stuff,' Carrigan said, describing his free time.

Carrigan plans on moving his family to Merced, but wants to have his children finish the school year.

He has a bachelor's of science degree in business administration from the University of Arizona. Carrigan will earn $190,000 plus benefits under the terms of his three-year contract.

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