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San Ramon City Manager Joe Gorton Announces Retirement
Posted on 09/23/2022

City Manager Joe Gorton has announced that he will retire in January 2023. For Gorton, January will mark six years of service as City Manager, more than 16 years with the City of San Ramon, and a total of 35 years of public service. His January retirement will take place at a date to be determined.

Gorton began his career in 1988 as a deputy sheriff for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office; he was assigned to the City of San Ramon in 1990 when the City contracted for police services through the County. In November 2006, he became a founding member of San Ramon’s first Police Department as a Police Captain, and was promoted to Chief of the San Ramon Police Department in November 2013. After more than 10 years with the San Ramon Police Department, he became San Ramon’s City Manager in January 2017.

During Gorton’s tenure as City Manager, the City has seen numerous improvements to facilities, including the reconfiguration of City Hall and the refurbishment of the community centers, Senior Center and San Ramon Olympic Pool. Construction was recently completed on the refurbished San Ramon Police Station and a new state-of-the-art joint dispatch and Emergency Operations Center, in partnership with the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. The City also completed a number of deferred maintenance projects as well as other critical infrastructure improvements, including widening Bollinger Canyon Road and Alcosta Boulevard, and fully funding the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Bollinger Canyon Road at the Iron Horse Trail Overcrossing.

Under Gorton’s leadership, San Ramon has retained its stable financial footing, a healthy reserve, and AAA Bond Rating, which enabled the City to save millions of dollars through bond refinancing. In support of regional economic development, Gorton also sits on the board for the Contra Costa Economic Development Partnership.

Beginning in 2020, Gorton led the City through COVID-19, as staff adapted facilities, programs and services to the changing needs of the community. This included meal delivery for Seniors, a series of assistance hotlines, the shift to remote public meetings, remote inspections and plan submittals, virtual events, and more.

In 2021, San Ramon’s Police Department partnered with the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) on the Public Safety for Mental Health pilot project, which shifts the response for 911 calls related to non-violent mental health emergencies, dispatching paramedics and medically-trained firefighters first, with SRPD staff as backup.

Under Gorton’s leadership, the City of San Ramon also joined a county-wide initiative with Contra Costa County and 19 area cities and towns, to establish the A3 Community Crisis Response initiative, which seeks to transform the region’s behavioral health care and emergency response system by providing timely and appropriate behavioral health crisis services to Anyone in Contra Costa County, Anywhere at Anytime. For this initiative, the collaborating agencies, including the City of San Ramon, won the esteemed 2022 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in Intergovernmental Collaboration from the League of California Cities.

“Words do not adequately express my love for this community and the team that has dedicated their lives to provide a quality of life that is unmatched to those who live, work, and play in San Ramon,” said Gorton. “The beacon that leads us all is our city council’s vision for San Ramon; both past a present.  I am grateful to have worked for this community, and have been a firsthand witness as our councils have put the priorities of the community first. Our staff is amazing and is the very reason San Ramon is one of the most attractive communities in the country. With the leadership of our current department directors, I have full confidence in the success of San Ramon going forward.”

The Council will meet in the coming weeks to discuss and plan the transition to hiring Gorton’s replacement.