Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 11/17/2011 12:25:41 PM PST

CLAREMONT – City Manager Jeff Parker will leave his position on Dec. 26 to take over as city manager in Tustin.

“It’s like a last career move to a bigger city,” Parker said.

The selection of Parker, 55, was formally announced at Tustin’s council meeting Tuesday night.

He said he told Claremont councilmembers a week ago of his pending resignation.

“It was strange,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t think any of them were expecting that. I think they were all positive, very appreciative and congratulatory. All of those things.”

With the move, Parker said the commute would help his wife who works for Anaheim. They live in Chino Hills.

“We’ve talked about it for a long time,” Parker said.

Parker said a recruiter for Tustin contacted him about the Orange County position at the beginning of September.

“Most of the interview process was in the last month,” Parker said.

He starts Dec. 29 in Tustin.

“I’m sad to see him go,” said Councilman Opanyi Nasiali. “But when people do things to better their career for whatever reasons they should be free to do that.”

Nasiali described Parker as “a low-key kind of manager which is a credit to his managerial style. It’s our loss but I think Tustin is getting a good manager.”

Parker said tension-filled negotiations with the city’s police unions, that have resulted in an impasse and the union taking legal actions against the city, did not factor into his decision to leave.

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