Rutherford Taps Takata To Replace Mayes As Second District Chief Of Staff

(November 19) TWENTYNINE PALMS — Veteran city manager Andrew Takata has replaced Chad Mayes as chief of staff for Second District San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford.
Mayes departed as Rutherford’s senior staff member as a result of his victory November 4 in the 42 Assembly District race. Mayes will depart for Sacramento next month. Rutherford, who is the chairwoman of the board of supervisors, could not afford to have her office without executive direction, and Takata began with her office November 19.
What is the county’s and the Second District’s gain is however the city of Twentynine Palms’ loss. For the second time in five months, Takata left a municipality he headed  in the lurch. Since June, Takata had served as the city of Twentynine Palms’ city manager. After Mayes’ victory, a representative from Rutherford’s office approached Takata and he accepted the job offer and the quick start up date. In this way his departure from Twentynine Palms was unexpected and abrupt.
This spring, Takata was working as the interim city manager in Calexico. On June 4, the Calexico City Council voted to extend Takata’s contract as interim city manager, staking him to a six month contract running until November 30.  On May 13, the Twentynine Palms City Council terminated Joe Guzzetta as city manager and began to cast about in an effort to land a replacement. On June 10, Twentynine Palms offered Takata the city manager’s position there and he accepted, giving Calexico seven day’s notice the following day. On June 16, when he was contacted by the Sentinel, Takata said he was leaving Calexico as of June 19 and that he was free to do so because “I never signed the contract.”
In Twentynine Palms, as late as November 7 Takata was earnestly at work on that city’s behalf, working on recruiting a lobbyist to represent the city in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.; collaborating with the Twentynine Palms Water District, which oversees the Twentynine Palms Fire Department, on a future joint city/district management/operating model for the fire department; and drawing up plans for new traffic signals on Twentynine Palms Highway at Encelia Avenue and Lear Avenue.
Before the weekend was out, however, members of the Twentynine Palms City Council had been informed that Takata’s last day with the city would be November 18.
The council adjourned into closed session on November 12 to discuss finding his replacement.
It is noteworthy that with Mayes and now with Takata, Rutherford has tapped chiefs of staff who are political/governmental creatures of the Morongo Basin, which lies more than 60 miles from the heart of the Second District. Mayes lives in and was a former mayor/city councilman in Yucca Valley. Takata was city manager in Yucca Valley from 2004 to 2010 and owns a second home there. He was city manager in Banning in Riverside County as well, from 2010 until February of this year. The Second District encompasses Upland north of Foothill Boulevard, San Antonio Heights, Rancho Cucamonga, the west half of Fontana, Devore, Lytle Creek, and the entire Rim of the World mountain communities in the San Bernardino Mountains from Cedarpines Park to Green Valley Lake.

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