Eastvale: Meet Your New City Manager

Michele Nissen, Interim City Manager

Michele Nissen, Interim City Manager

By K.P. Sander

Eastvale – After a long search, the Eastvale City Council recently approved the appointment of a permanent City Manager at their regular Council meeting on May 13.  Michele Nissen, who has been seated as the Interim City Manager during the search, was unanimously voted into the position, effective immediately.  Nissen was selected from 28 applicants in a nationwide search over the past six months.

Eastvale’s Mayor, Ike Bootsma, summed up the Council’s sentiments perfectly in a recent press release from the City of Eastvale:

“We are very excited to have Michele serve as the City Manager of Eastvale.  She has been working for the City in many different roles since incorporation and is well-known by the citizens and stakeholders – which is an asset to the community.  Her knowledge of internal operations, along with her dedication and hard work, made her the clear choice for City Manager.  I am confident that she will do a great job in her newest role.”

In an effort to help citizens get to know the new City Manager just a little bit better, the Eastvale News sat down with Nissen for an interview:

Q:  How long have you been in Eastvale?

A:  My husband and I moved to Eastvale in October 2001 with our son Christopher, who was nine months old at the time.  We moved here from the South Bay where we grew up.  When we first moved to Eastvale, we didn’t know a soul here and there were more cows than people.  In fact, I used to wake up every morning at about 5 a.m. to the sound of cows hitting the feed gates.  Our family has grown a little bit with the addition of our second child, Olivia, in 2002, and our furry, four-legged son, Conrad, who joined us in 2009.  Conrad is a huge yellow Labrador Retriever.

Q:  When did you start working for the City of Eastvale?

A:  My service with the City of Eastvale began in November 2010, when I was appointed to the Eastvale Planning Commission.  It was an honor to serve as former Council member Kelly Howell’s planning commissioner for 18 months.  Prior to incorporation, I had been working in a volunteer capacity as part of the Eastvale Community Committee, and I coordinated the quarterly Eastvale Town Hall meetings for about eight years.  I also had the pleasure of being one of the editors and writers for the Eastvale Edition.  In July 2011, I was asked to participate in a part-time, temporary assignment to develop a new city website.  This was a very exciting project for me due to my background in journalism, public relations and website content development.  As the City grew and the service demands increased, this part-time, temporary assignment became the part-time Public Information Officer position.  In July 2012, I became the full-time Public Information Officer.  I served as the City’s PIO until December 2014 when the position was combined with the role of Assistant City Manager.  During my tenure with the City, I have also served as the City’s Acting City Manager when needed. The search for a permanent City Manager began in November 2014, and in March 2015 the City Council appointed me to serve as the Interim City Manager while they continued the search for a permanent solution.  It was an honor to be appointed as the permanent City Manager in May.  Being the City Manager is not a role or responsibility that I take lightly, because Eastvale is where my heart is.

Q:  What do you love about Eastvale? 

A:  There are so many things that I love about Eastvale, it’s hard to narrow it down.  I love the people of this community and the dear friends that I have made since moving here. The residents are caring, dedicated, and proud – which is reflected by the quality of life that we have created here in Eastvale.  Over the years, I have coached both boys’ and girls’ soccer with the Empire Soccer Club, been a team mom for Eastvale Little League, and assisted with many community events.  I love running into the kids that have been on one of my teams and hearing about what they are up to.  It’s exciting to watch our youth grow up and become the next generation of leaders and scholars.  I also love the clouds and sunsets in Eastvale.  My kids tease me because I take a lot of pictures of clouds and sunsets.

Q:  As City Manager, what plans do you have for Eastvale?

A:  One of my goals is to successfully implement the policy directives, goals and objectives of the City Council, while creating a service-oriented culture at City Hall.

In her new role, Nissen will be responsible for a City budget of approximately $14.7 million, as well as a staff of eight employees and 20 contract employees for building, public works and planning.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and will complete her Masters degree in Public Administration from Cal Baptist University this August.

The Eastvale News congratulates Michele Nissen on a job well done, and her new appointment as City Manager for the City of Eastvale.