Walnut Creek city manager resigning to take job with Pleasanton firm

Nordhoff joining government consultant group HdL Companies

Walnut Creek City Manager Ken Nordhoff has announced his intention to leave his position in January to start a new job at the Pleasanton office of HdL Companies, a firm that provides financial consulting services to local California governments.

"The opportunity came up and it seemed like a good time. Things here in the city are in really good shape," Nordhoff said. "We have an exceptional executive team, our finances are in a good place and we have lots of private sector investment in the city."

Nordhoff, Walnut Creek's eighth city manager, was hired in 2010 to replace Gary Pokorny, who retired after four years as city manager.

"I'm heartbroken," said Walnut Creek Mayor Loella Haskew. "He is considered one of the best city managers in the state. We're losing such a fine man who for six years has been dedicated to this city."

Haskew praised Nordhoff for implementing a 10-year financial forecast to help better manage the city's budgeting process and for working with the community relations manager to regularly publish a comprehensive, easily understood city budget report.

He also greatly improved staff morale and built an "incredible team," Haskew said.

Haskew said the city council will begin working on a process for finding Nordhoff's replacement and will likely appoint an interim city manager until they can fill the job permanently.

Nordhoff came from San Rafael, where he worked for 14 years in various roles, five of them as city manager, he said.

He started his career doing tax and audit work with two different certified public accounting firms, he said, one of which did a lot of municipal audits, which is what inspired him to get into the public sector in the first place.

He said his biggest achievement was working with city staff to "develop and enhance a culture of excellence" where employees are deeply engaged in their work and are part of a healthy and cohesive workforce.

Nordhoff will continue to live in Walnut Creek, he said, and work out of HdL's new Pleasanton office, serving clients in the Bay Area and Northern California.

Kiley Russell, Bay City News

Kiley Russell, Bay City News

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