Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities for the past 17 years, announced his retirement this week.
McKenzie, who has worked in public service positions for 40 years, said he will stay at the Sacramento-based association until after its annual conference Oct. 5-7 in Long Beach.
The league, founded in 1898,.is an association of California cities that advocates for cities at the state capitol, including the proper distribution of state taxes to its municipal members. Most of the state's 482 cities are represented in the league, which also publishes Western City, a monthly magazine.
The league's board of directors is conducting a nationwide recruitment for McKenzie's successor.
Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne is a member of the board and is past president of the league's East Bay Division (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties).
"One of my greatest joys has been helping cities focus on their common interests, assisting the leaders of the League in setting strategic goals each year, and working with my colleagues and city officials to advance and achieve them," McKenzie said. "The League is and will continue to be an outstanding asset to our cities and the state of California."
Added Dennis Michael, mayor of Rancho Cucamonga, this year's League president:"During (McKenzie's) time, the League has grown tremendously, and in the months ahead we will have a chance to celebrate these milestones. He has been a true friend and outstanding leader of our organization."