Fountain Valley hires Newport official to be its city manager

Fountain Valley has hired a new city manager.

Robert Houston, currently a deputy city manager in Newport Beach focusing on information technology, will begin his new job July 31.

He will replace John Sibley, who has served as interim city manager since March after the departure of Bob Hall, who left to head the Rancho Santa Fe Assn. in San Diego County.

Houston, 50, said Fountain Valley’s staff has a good reputation and that its residents have a positive energy, giving him a solid foundation.

“I’d love to join a team like that,” he said.

Sibley, a former Orange city manager, said it’s been a pleasure serving Fountain Valley.

“I’m going to miss it, but I’m sure I’m leaving it in good hands,” he said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, just before the council approved Houston’s hire.

Fountain Valley received nearly 40 applications for the position following a nationwide search. The job will pay $210,000 per year.

Houston has been with Newport Beach since 2010. Before that, he worked for five years with the city of Carlsbad.

Houston, who grew up and attended college in Canada, also has worked in Canadian government at the federal and province levels. He has more than 25 years’ experience in public service, according to the Newport Beach city website.

He has a bachelor of business administration degree from Trinity Western University and a master’s in business administration from Royal Roads University, both in British Columbia.

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