Night falls on City Hall in downtown San Bernardino in this 2012 file photo. (File)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 03/29/17 – 10:55 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Two high-ranked city officials have announced that they’re leaving City Hall.

Interim Public Works Director Chris Alanis announced his retirement last week, and is gone this week — he had pre-scheduled vacation time — and Economic Development Manager Cruz Esparza IV’s last day will be April 6, before he takes a similar job in Redlands, according to city spokeswoman Monica Lagos.

Neither were available for interviews Wednesday.

Residents should be assured that services will continue smoothly, and the timing is coincidental, Lagos said.

“It just happened to work out that way,” she said. “Recruitment is very competitive. I think you’re seeing that across all departments.”

In a pair of emails announcing the departures to the City Council, City Manager Mark Scott complimented both officials but said they were an opportunity for restructuring.

“Chris and I have been talking about the changes we need to make to bolster our management capacity in a very different Public Works Department than we had a couple of years ago,” Scott wrote. “While he doesn’t have the background to handle our long-term needs and project administration, he has been a stalwart in addressing our immediate short-term needs and daily crises. … We are going to turn now to focus more on real, sustainable solutions and hopefully a lot less on band-aids.”

Scott said the Public Works position would be filled “in the very short term I hope” by Assistant City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller, while recruitment for a permanent director and assistant director/city engineer begins immediately.

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