J. William Little, Orange’s city manager for 5 years, has resigned to become city manager of Camarillo.
Little, 52, said a recruiter approached him for the Camarillo post.
“They asked me to come. It’s a lovely town. I was impressed with the council, and they made an attractive offer,” he said.
The Ventura County city has a population of about 50,000, he said. “It’s a city big enough to have a lot of challenges.” He is leaving a city of 100,000 where growth has caused angst among many residents, who take issue with traffic and the increasing urbanization of a one-time small town.
The size of a city is not as important as “how well it is organized and what you think you can accomplish,” Little said.
Orange Councilwoman Joanne Coontz did not say whether there was friction between the council and city manager but said Little has been at the helm at a “demanding period of time.”
“I think that in any city that’s growing, it isn’t surprising there would be a turnover in city managers,” she said. Camarillo is having money problems “and needs his expertise in finance. That’s definitely his strong point,” Coontz said.
Little said that he is proud of laying a foundation in Orange for “future planning and development. I’ve helped the city put together some programs that will continue to benefit the city.” He mentioned the new police headquarters under design, as well as the city’s plans to build a new main library and civic center. He also cited the implementation of a program charging developers fees to finance traffic improvements.
“My time here was well spent,” he said.
Little assumes his new duties Nov. 28. His resignation is effective Nov. 27.