The city of Bakersfield has filled one of two key vacancies in the city manager’s office with a longtime employee of San Bernardino County.
Gary Hallen will start Monday as assistant city manager as efforts continue to recruit another person to serve under an identical title. Former assistant city managers Chris Huot and Jacqui Kitchen departed the positions in December and May, respectively.
For 21 years Hallen worked for San Bernardino County, most recently as director of the Community Development and Housing Department. He worked for years overseeing community enhancements, including financing libraries, parks, community centers and affordable housing.
Hallen ran the city’s former redevelopment agency for years, directing some $50 million toward San Bernardino County’s business attraction, retention and infrastructure projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
Bakersfield City Manager Christian Clegg said he was confident Kallen will bring the leadership and character the city needs.
“The breadth of Gary’s knowledge makes him a wonderful fit as an assistant city manager where the diversity in his experience will be invaluable for the city of Bakersfield,” Clegg said in a news release.
Hallen said in the release that he and his family are excited to come to Bakersfield to serve and “be a part of the growth that has and will continue to occur.”
“The city has positioned itself well and is poised to set itself apart from the rest of California as the most business-friendly place in the state,” he stated. “I look forward in joining the team at the city that awaits me, and I’m thrilled to be part of the leadership team and the exciting projects ahead.”