Former Montclair, Ontario, Upland & Adelanto Manager Milhiser Now In Fontana

Michael Milhiser, who previously guided municipal operations in Montclair, Ontario, Upland and Adelanto, has taken on a fifth top municipal administrative assignment in Fontana.
Fontana had need for an interim city manager, as Ken Hunt, who had been with the city since 1997, recently retired.
Milhiser, who hails from a family that is heavily involved in municipal governance, acceded to the position of Montclair city manager in 1978, succeeding Lauren Wasserman. He remained in that position for 14 years, moving on to become city manager in Ontario, where his father had been that city’s treasurer, in 1992. He left that position in 1994, but picked up the assignment of Upland manager in 1996. He remained there until he was forced out of that post by Upland Mayor John Pomierski in March 2005. Pomierski  would be indicted by federal officials on corruption charges six years later.
Milhiser subsequently became the interim executive director for Tri-City Mental Health Agency in Pomona, where he remained for more than two years. He left Tri City to serve in the capacity of chief administrative officer for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. In 2018, he took on the assignment of interim city manager in Adelanto.
A pensioner who is pulling a $195,000 per year pension from the California Public Employee Retirement System based upon his work with Ontario, Upland and Montclair, Milhiser under the rules governing retirees can work only 960 hours per year under contract for a public agency.
Thus, at 40 hours per week, Milhiser will be able to remain in Fontana no later than the first week of January 2020, given his start date of July 23. The city council will need to find a long-term replacement for Hunt by then, or otherwise bring in another interim manager.
The city agreed to pay, and Milhiser has accepted, a straight $148 an hour, with no other benefits beyond the provision of a vehicle.
Milhiser’s appointment was supported by Mayor Acquanetta Warren and councilmen Phillip Cothran Jr., John Roberts and Jesse Armendarez.  Councilman Jesse Sandoval opposed the hiring.
Milhiser, 72, lives in Montclair and is a board member with the Monte Vista Water District. His wife, Laurie, was considered as an appointee to the Montclair City Council earlier this year, before the council ultimately decided to appoint Tenice Johnson. His brother, James, is currently the treasurer in the City of Ontario. His father, Charles, was formerly Ontario’s treasurer.
Michael Milhiser attended Chaffey College and obtained a bachelor of arts degree in public administration from Chapman University in 1969. He then earned a master of arts degree in public administration from Claremont Graduate University.

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