ARCADIA – Arcadia City Manager Don Penman is retiring from his position in October after 13 and a half years of dedicated service to the community.
The Van Nuys native, who attended Birmingham High School, began working with and for Southern California cities way back in 1974, but has decided it’s time to slow down a bit.
“I love the work, but there is a lot of demand. The city council will decide who takes my spot,” the 60-year-old said. He plans to spend more time traveling, possibly taking classes and working on his golf game. And without the rigorous demands of city meetings on weekday evenings, he can also invest time in ballroom dancing, one of his wife’s great passions.
Penman said the most challenging part of his job may have been the past three years, with the recession making it that much more difficult for Arcadia to provide high-quality service to the community. Race track revenues are down, and the city stands to lose about $4 million in redevelopment money to the state, which will affect improvements to the Goldline and future development.
Those obstacles will make being a full-service city that provides top-notch service and a high quality of life hard to realize, he added.
The best part about his tenure?
“My favorite thing about Arcadia is the community and the people. I love it here, with all the people who volunteer their time,” he said. “Also, the people I’ve worked with have made this an amazing experience….the staff, the council, it’s a wonderful group to work with and work for.”
Throughout his career, Penman has worked for Arcadia, San Fernando, Simi Valley and Baldwin Park. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California. He started his career as a management intern in 1974 in Simi Valley.
The consummate professional would not say who in Arcadia he was most fond of working with and for, saying that each brought something unique to the community during their time of service.
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