Dream Comes True for New City Manager


Rod Gould’s dream of becoming a city manager came true Monday, when he was named to the vacant post in Monrovia.

“I’ve been antsy to become a city manager for about a year,” he said. “I would wake up every day thinking I was ready. Everybody’s telling me I’m ready.”

Gould, 34, assistant city manager of Walnut Creek, will become the city’s eighth manager on Oct. 1. His appointment ends a three-month search to replace Jim Starbird, who left in May for a similar post in West Covina.


Jeanne Kennedy, Monrovia’s assistant city manager, is serving as interim city manager.

“I’m delighted, thrilled, ecstatic and honored,” Gould said. “I didn’t know where Monrovia was located until a recruiter called and told me about the job opening. The more I learned about the city the more impressed and intrigued I became.”

In May, the city hired Sacramento-based Ralph Andersen & Associates to solicit candidates for the post. Consultant Bob Murray said he narrowed the list to seven people, including Kennedy, who were interviewed by the City Council.

Monrovia city officials said Gould was the best qualified candidate out of the 74 applicants.

“I think he’s wonderful,” Monrovia Mayor Robert Bartlett said. “We chose him because he has displayed a wealth of knowledge in areas we think are important. He has been involved in growth issues, budgets, and has shown good people skills in interviews and other settings.”

Gould’s boss, Walnut Creek City Manager Don Blubaugh said his assistant is extremely bright and a problem solver.

“He has excelled in everything we asked him to work on here. He’s ready to be a city manager. It’s overdue and a great boost to Rod and his career.

“Monrovia is getting an outstanding person as city manager.”

While assistant city manager, Gould was responsible for redeveloping the downtown area, developing two affordable housing projects, and implementing a comprehensive recycling program.

The Pittsburgh, Pa., native obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University in 1979. He later earned master’s degrees in education and public administration at Harvard.

Before joining the Walnut Creek staff in early 1986, Gould served for two years as a senior consultant for a San Francisco accounting firm. In 1979 he worked as a management intern in Washington, D.C. From 1980-83 he was deputy director of the Boston Housing Authority.

Gould said he is leaving Northern California, where he has lived for the past three years, with “a mixture of sadness and keen anticipation.”