Troy Brown, who started his career in city government with the city of Santa Clarita in the mid-1990s, has been named Moorpark City Manager by the Moorpark City Council, effective March 5.
The 50-year-old held the same job for the city of Tracy, Calif., and will replace Steve Kueny, who will retire in March after more than 30 years leading city hall.
For Moorpark’s next top executive, the city has long been a second home.
“My brother-in-law has lived in Moorpark since 1986, so I have been part of the Moorpark community and going out and spending time there for decades now,” said Brown, who hails from Livermore. “I think that Moorpark feels like home to me.”
The City Council announced Brown as its choice for city manager on Jan. 29. The decision will become official after a vote at the Feb. 7 council meeting.
Kueny is retiring after being at the helm since 1984, making him the longest-serving city manager in Ventura County.
The council made its choice after an application and interview process that began in October. After two rounds of interviews with the City Council and a panel of community members, Brown was chosen.
Brown is looking forward to his new job.
“Moorpark is a special place, and I think that given the challenges and the opportunities that are in Moorpark, I think that I’m well suited to fit those because I understand what they are, having been a part of that community for so long,” Brown said.
The future city manager said his interviews with the City Council have made him well aware of the issues Moorpark faces, and he looks forward to addressing what’s important to the community.
“Something I clearly heard from the council and the council clearly hears from the community is (that) truck traffic going through the community (is a problem),” he said. “I’m well aware of that challenge, and I don’t think it’s insurmountable.”
In addition, Brown said he sees a great opportunity for economic development on High Street and throughout the town.
“I like that the council has outlined what their vision is and I’m looking forward to helping contribute to that,” he said.
He also wants to move the city toward environmental and financial sustainability.
Brown will move to Moorpark with Toni, his wife of 26 years, and their children, Kenny and Ally.
While he calls Livermore, a city about 40 miles east of San Francisco with a population of nearly 90,000, “a fantastic community,” he is excited to come to Moorpark. He has extended family members in the L.A. area.
“I’m not going to be on the sidelines,” he said. “I’m going to be accessible and transparent and I really look forward to meeting people. I’m going to spend a lot of time doing that as soon as I get employed.”
A Pennsylvania native, Brown has more than 20 years of experience working in California cities. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Northridge and studied Public Administration at Cal State San Bernardino. He started his government career as a Parks & Recreation coordinator and management analyst in Santa Clarita in 1994.
Since then Brown has served as assistant to the city manager in Riverside and Elk Grove, assistant city manager in Livermore and, most recently, was city manager of Tracy, which is 20 miles east of Livermore, starting in September 2014.
News reports show Brown was fired from Tracy — a city of about 90,000 — in September last year on a 3-2 vote by its City Council. Though Tracy officials cited his firing was a personnel-related matter and not subject to disclosure, the council said Brown was let go with no cause.
“That City Council, like any city council, has the power to remove their manager, or any one of their employees that they hire, with three votes,” Brown said. “That council wanted to go in a different direction. I don’t have anything negative or disparaging to say about that.”
Brown said it’s not uncommon for city councils to separate from their city managers, but it is unusual for a city council to work with the same city manager for as long as Moorpark has with Kueny.
“I think that speaks volumes to the commitment to the form of government and the commitment to the expectations (the City Council is) trying to see,” he said.
Kueny, who was not involved in the hiring process, was paid $265,982 in total salary plus $73,507 in benefits in 2016, according to the website Transparent California, a nonprofit that tracks the earnings of public employees.
The website shows Brown was paid $230,389 in total salary and $71,762 in benefits in 2016. His Moorpark employment agreement, including salary and benefits, will be on the Feb. 7 City Council meeting agenda.
Kueny’s last day will be March 2, and Brown will step into office on March 5.
“I’m looking forward to meeting everybody and ask them to take advantage of any opportunity they have to interact with me,” Brown said. “I’d love to meet them.”
This article originally appeared in the Moorpark Acorn.