Tag Archives: City Manager

Eastvale City Manager Receives Prestigious Award

Eastvale City Manager Michele Nissen

Eastvale City Manager Michele Nissen

By Marissa Mitchell

Eastvale – Michele Nissen, Eastvale City Manager, received the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizens Award for the ‘Temescal District’ Inland Empire last month. The other two recipients included Kathy Azevedo, former Mayor of Norco, and Jim Pauley, member of the Corona Rotary Club.

The Distinguished Citizens Award is given to those who have been exemplary models of service for community youth; this individual is one who has demonstrated leadership in business, or government, and who “lives by the Scout Oath and Law.” As there are many individuals who contribute time and effort to the Boy Scouts and/or local government and business, the award is not easily come by in any district.

Ms. Nissen was informed of her selection prior to the Temescal Boy Scouts dinner. A picture of her and her fellow award winners could be seen at the dinner itself, as they posed happily together with their respective trophies for the Distinguished Citizen Award on September 27, 2017.

“I didn’t do anything that was specifically about supporting Boy Scouts operations, projects or fundraising,” stated Nissen humbly. “What they are achieving…they are doing all on their own with hard work and support of the Eastvale Community as a whole.” Still, as City Manager, Nissen obviously has something to do with how the Boy Scouts have flourished in and around the Eastvale area.

Nissen continued, “As for the Distinguished Citizen Award, I was very surprised and I wasn’t sure I had done anything above and beyond to warrant such recognition. Needless to say, I was very proud and honored to be recognized.” The City Manager has lived in Eastvale since October 2001 and has since then focused on service for the community. She was appointed to City Manager of Eastvale in May of 2015.

Nissen’s contributions obviously impressed Boy Scout leadership. The Boy Scouts have 2,157 youth members, with over 500 adult volunteers delivering the program, in the Norco, Corona, Eastvale, Chino, and Chino Hills communities. Collectively, over 10,000 hours of community service projects that positively impact the communities in a variety of ways have been gathered just this year.

Each year, approximately 85 Scouts earn the coveted “Eagle Rank.” This is a difficult rank to obtain involving many hours dedicated toward a single, community-impacting project. Currently, more than 45 Chartered Partners, including local churches, service clubs, and community organizations, deliver local packs, troops, teams, and crews.

The Boy Scouts is an organization that lives and abides by actions of integrity. By their high standards, Michele Nissen fulfilled the “Scout Oath” they proudly uphold: “On my honor I will do my best/ To my duty to God and my country/ And to obey the Scout Law;/ To help other people at all times;/ To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

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.

Eastvale’s Search For A City Manager

By Jennifer Jester-Madrigal

Eastvale – The City of Eastvale is looking to find a City Manager. According to the City’s website, “The new City Manager will be a dedicated public servant who supports and implements the policies of the City Council, understands and supports Eastvale’s community values and will maintain the City’s high quality of life while proactively and effectively spearheading economic development.”
Candidates were encouraged to apply for the position by Jan. 6 and need to have either City Manager/Senior Level experience with either a contract or full service city, and a stable four-year employment history. A Bachelor’s Degree is required; a Master’s Degree is preferred. The salary will be based on qualifications and ultimately decided by the Eastvale City Council.

The permanent position of City Manager has been vacant since Carol Jacob resigned last year. Previous City Manager, Robert Van Nort, has been filling the position since September 2014. Assistant City Manager, Michele Nissen, also stepped into fill the position while Van Nort was on medical leave for a short time.

In an effort to learn more about what the residents of Eastvale desire in a City Manager, the Eastvale News conducted a brief survey on Facebook to find out more.

One of the questions asked was, “What characteristics should a City Manager have?” The most popular answer was that they should be a resident of the City, with a high degree in education (or be in the process of achieving one).

Another question asked, was “How much money do you think the City Manager should make?” Previous City Manager Jacobs made about $206,000 annually, whereas the average City Manager makes about $219,000, but there are variables to consider. The most common response was $150,000, and many felt that with the size of Eastvale, a larger salary was not necessary. Others felt that our city can’t afford to pay more than that and still maintain the quality and the services that are needed in the City.

Sometimes, averages in salaries aren’t necessarily comparing apples to apples. Eastvale utilizes an outside water district and parks/recreation department; two significant areas of accountability that many other City Managers oversee. Without those key responsibilities, perhaps Eastvale citizens are correct in their opinions on a lesser salary.

In two other cities that were recently incorporated, just like Eastvale, the City Manager salaries seem to be more in line with popular opinion. In nearby Jurupa Valley, Interim City Manager, Gary Thompson, makes about $150,000. In the City of Menifee, City Manager, Robert Johnson, makes $175,000 annually.

One issue that seemed to be at the forefront of what residents thought the new City Manager should focus on, is Traffic. Eastvale seems to be plagued with traffic issues mainly centering on speeding and pedestrian safety. Although the City and Law Enforcement have made big strides in working to ease the problems, many residents still feel that this is a major issue. Many citizens feel that “too many big rigs use our streets as their personal thoroughfares,” and that “we need an ordinance limiting the weight of vehicles within City limits”.

Others feel that Finances are a major issue and that the City Manager needs to “make this City financially stable and keep our costs down so we can hire our own police department”.
For others, the focus should be on crime. According to one citizen, “If we focus on crime, it will cover a lot of the other problems as well”.

The difference with a city like Eastvale versus many others is that Eastvale citizens are involved and vocal. Most citizens just seem to want a safe and sound city where they can raise their children and send them to our wonderful schools.

Thank you to all those who responded to the Facebook poll, and best wishes to Eastvale’s future “Chief Executive Officer,” whoever you are!

To view the details of the job description and brochure, visit the Employment Page on the City of Eastvale website: http://www.eastvaleca.gov.

K.P. Sander contributed to this story.

Eastvale: New Acting City Manager Selected

Photo Courtesy:  City of Eastvale

Photo Courtesy: City of Eastvale

Staff Reports

EastvaleDuring the closed session discussion at the Sept. 10 City Council Meeting, council members unanimously selected Robert Van Nort to serve as Eastvale’s Acting City Manager. Van Nort’s term as Acting City Manager becomes effective immediately.

Van Nort served as the City’s first Interim City Manager immediately following incorporation in October 2010. Under Van Nort’s prior leadership, the City was able to weather the loss of the Vehicle License Fee in July 2011 without drastically cutting critical services to the citizens of Eastvale. Despite the significant loss of general fund revenue, Van Nort laid a solid foundation of financial stability by taking aggressive cost-savings measures and creating a dedicated, hardworking team environment at City Hall.

Van Nort brings over 30 years of city management experience to Eastvale, including 11 assignments as Interim City Manager across the United States. He has previously managed the cities of Eastvale, Big Bear Lake, Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, and Snow Valley, Idaho to name a few.

The City staff is very excited to have Van Nort return to the helm at City Hall to continue implementing the successful policy vision of the City Council.

“We are really glad to have Bob back,” said Mayor Ike Bootsma. “He knows the City well and he will provide seamless, sound and uninterrupted management of the City. With Bob, there is no need to train anyone, no down time and we gain his invaluable experience and expertise.”