SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : 3 Top City Officials Opting Out of Office

In a series of resignations described as coincidental, three top city officials announced in the past few weeks that they will be leaving their posts.

Director of Public Works Bill Murphy and City Clerk Mary Ann Hanover have retired, effective today. Tom Baker, the director of community services, will leave in the next three to four months, said Assistant City Manager George Scarborough.

Murphy, 57, a San Juan Capistrano resident and city employee for 17 years, said he will work as a contract employee for the next three months. After that, he will remain active with the city as needed, he said.

Murphy added that he plans to help the city finish two long-term projects: the extension of Stonehill Drive across the Capistrano Valley from Dana Point to the Interstate 5 Freeway that is expected to begin in the fall, and the construction of the new bridge where Rancho Viejo Road crosses Trabuco Creek. Bids are now being submitted on that project.


Hanover, a San Juan Capistrano resident and the city clerk for the past 16 years, will not stay on in any advisory capacity. Scarborough will serve as acting city clerk.

“I’m going to Europe,” Hanover said. “When I come back, maybe I’ll think about what I’m going to do.”

Hanover has served nine different mayors in her time as clerk and is credited with creating the city’s organizational system and installing its employee training program.

“When I came here the filing system was a rubber band around a council packet,” she said.


Baker, who could not be reached for comment, has been making the transition to private business “for the past few months,” Scarborough said. Baker has established a photographic firm that he will make a full-time business, Scarborough said.