Twentynine Palms Brings In Cathedral City Economic Director To Serve As City Manager

Herbert Stone James, currently the economic development director with Cathedral City, has been chosen to serve as city manager in Twentynine Palms.
James will supplant Larry Bowden at City Hall. Bowden has served as interim city manager since October, when former City Manager Frank Luckino departed to become city manager in Desert Hot Springs.
James, 49, has been economic development director in Cathedral City since 2017.
James’ professional experience in government is limited to this tenure in Cathedral City, although he has other experience in governmental appointed posts. In addition, he has experience in real estate and development liaison capacities.
At present, he is a board member of a private school, Palm Valley School Pre K-12th Grade Independent School.
James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in real estate development from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in policy, planning ad economic development from USC.
From 2003 until 2005, he was the land acquisitions manager for Richmond American Homes in Las Vegas, from 2005 until 2007 he was employed in land acquisitions for Toll Brothers in Palm Springs, from 2007 until 2008 he was a land broker for O’Donnell/Atkins, from 2008 to 2017 the vice president of Land Advisors Organization, at which point he went to work as the economic development director in Cathedral City.
He was a member of the Indio Planning Commission from 2010 until 2017, including a stint as chairman. He was a subcommittee member of the general plan update committee in the City of Palm Desert concentrating on land use, housing and open space from 2015 to 2016. He was a member of the general plan advisory committee with the city of Indio from 2016 to 2019.
More recently, he has served as a guest lecturer with the University of California at San Bernardino.
In moving into the Twentynine Palms city manager’s position, James will be taking a step up professionally while simultaneously taking, what is for the time being, a substantial pay cut. At present, he is earning, as Cathedral City’s economic development director, an annual salary of 202,371.36, perquisites and add-ons of $32,765 and benefits of $54,380.63 for a total annual compensation of $289,516.99.
In coming to Twentynine Palms as city manger, he will be paid to start $176,425.60 in salary, along with an anticipated $17,743 in perquisites and pay add-ons and another $60,275.26 in benefits, for a total annual compensation of $254,443.26.

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