McLaughlin tapped for Deputy City Manager

McLaughlin tapped for Deputy City ManagerBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Ridgecrest City Manager Ron Strand will be getting a new assistant according to a recent announcement. During a Ridgecrest City Council meeting last month, Strand said he planned to hire Police Chief Jed McLaughlin as Deputy City Manger, a new positions.

“Several months ago, council had asked me to consider hiring a deputy city manager to help me with several of the assignments I have,” said Strand. “I received a significant number of applications and Jed was obviously the most qualified applicant we had. I believe that he will do an excellent job assisting me.”

This would mark the second consecutive Ridgecrest Police Chief to move into city management. McLaughlin was hired as chief in 2017 to replace Strand as he assumed his current role.

Strand said that McLaughlin would remain in the chief position until the city hires a replacement, which he said would take about three months. He also clarified that the new position would be “budget neutral.”

McLaughlin will be overseeing various projects from the Parks & Recreation and Economic Development & Planning Departments. The deputy city manager position will operate in lieu of a parks and recreation director and building department analyst. Some of these projects would include an Office of Economic Adjustment grant for energy and water needs and the Statewide Park Program grant for a new pool.

The police department will also see some restructuring with converting the administrative sergeant to a second captain position.

“I feel that it’s important that we do this prior to the new chief coming on board so we can once again have a balanced police department,” said Strand. “Where we have a captain overseeing operations and patrol as well as a captain that oversees all of the administrative functions.”

See future editions for more information.

Story First Published: 2021-02-05