PALM SPRINGS – In the course of about two weeks, three top administrators have left — or soon will be leaving — Palm Springs City Hall. They are in the areas of building and safety, finance and engineering.
Geoffrey S. Kiehl, director of finance and treasurer, has accepted a position as Chief Financial Officer at Coachella Valley Water District, City Manager David H. Ready told Uken Report on Tuesday. Kiehl joined the city in April 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) was formed in 1918 to protect and conserve local water sources. Since then, the District has grown into a multifaceted agency that delivers irrigation and domestic (drinking) water, collects and recycles wastewater, provides regional storm water protection, replenishes the groundwater basin and promotes water conservation.
During Kiehl’s tenure, voters in 2011 approved Measure J, a dedicated local revenue measure in the form of a 1 percent sales tax increase to maintain local community services and revitalize Downtown. Measure J took effect April 1, 2012.
Kiehl was finance director and treasurer during public annual audits of how Measure J money was being used. The audits and citizen oversight committee reports showed that Measure J money was spent as promised.
James Zicaro, building and safety director, has retired and moved out of state, according to Ready. He started March 4, 2013, according to a city News Release. He came to Palm Springs from Fort Worth, Texas where he served as the building official.
Before Fort Worth, Zicaro worked for the cities of Oceanside, Calif.; Sioux City, Iowa; and Kissimmee, Fla.
Also gone is Director of Engineering Thomas Garcia. He started his job with the city of Palm Springs in May 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Ready said Garcia worked for Assistant Manager Marcus Fuller and said Fuller may be better able to answer questions about Garcia’s departure. Fuller did not return two phone calls, which likely tells you everything you need to know.
Some of the three positions are already advertised, but filling all three will likely take some time.