City Council doesn’t have to look far to find interim city manager

Palm Springs should have a fairly seamless transition at the top of its org chart when departing City Manager Justin Clifton leaves in September.

Why that’s news: During a closed session Thursday evening, the Palm Springs City Council elected to appoint Assistant City Manager Teresa Gallavan as the interim city manager starting Sept. 16.

  • Clifton resigned earlier this month after 15 months on the job. He came to Palm Springs in April 2021 after serving as city manager in Sedona, Ariz., for six years. His arrival ushered in the first change in the city manager role in two decades.

Looking back: Gallavan was hired as assistant city manager here in October 2021, replacing Marcus Fuller, who left to take the city manager position in Rialto.

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  • She served as city manager in Selma, Calif., from 2018 until 2021. Following a 3-2 vote in closed session by the Selma City Council to remove her from her position in May 2021, however, she submitted her resignation.

Next steps: While Gallavan and Clifton work on the handoff, Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton said the city’s human resources department will undertake a nationwide search for the city’s next manager.

  • “We are open to hear from anyone who is interested in taking on one of the most demanding, exciting and challenging assignments in public service today,” Middleton said after the announcement was made.

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