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Jason Stilwell leads a meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force at the Minami Center in Santa Maria in September. He was named Santa Maria's city manager Tuesday. 

Len Wood, Staff

Jason Stilwell was named Santa Maria's new city manager after the City Council held a closed session meeting late Tuesday. 

“I look forward to continuing to serve the community,” said Stilwell, who has served as the assistant city manager for two years. “Together, we will strive for a smooth transition and continue to make progress and earn both the City Council and community’s support and confidence.”

Stilwell will become the city’s top administrator when current City Manager Rick Haydon, who announced his retirement Aug. 16, leaves his post Dec. 5.

The city manager serves as the chief executive officer and is responsible for coordinating and oversight of the activities and operations of the city’s 10 departments, including more than 700 employees and an overall annual budget of more than $160 million. He directs administrative services, prepares annual budgets and hires department leaders, and advises and assists the City Council, among other duties.

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Stilwell, 50, has more than 25 years of city and county government management experience. He is a graduate of Cal Poly and holds a master's degree in public administration from California State University, San Jose.

“The city is very fortunate to have someone with Jason’s expertise and experience on staff and the City Council was very impressed by Jason’s recent involvement in the city’s budgeting process, the district elections activities and the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety, to name a few,” Mayor Alice Patino said.

The Santa Maria City Council will review Stilwell’s new employment contract at an upcoming meeting. 

Logan B. Anderson covers city government in Santa Maria for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter: @LoganBAnderson.

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