The Visalia City Council has selected a replacement for outgoing city manager Mike Olmos. Randy Groom, who currently manages Exeter, was announced to the post Friday following a nationwide recruitment process. Final action will be taken next month, with Groom expected to take over in January.
It’s a kind of homecoming for Groom, who was raised in Visalia and worked for the city for 18 years. He left for the private sector in 2003 while serving as Visalia’s deputy city manager. He went on to serve as Director of Administrative Services for the Visalia Unified School District before assuming Exeter’s top administrative post in 2010.
Exeter Mayor Pro Tem Mary Waterman wished Groom well. But his departure, she acknowledged, comes at a difficult time. Groom’s exit coincides with the city’s search for a new police chief and several fresh hires.
“We have our work cut out for us that’s for sure,” said Councilman Jeremy Petty. “I think we’ll be fine…”
Groom is credited with moving the city forward both professionally and financially, while helping it overcome a number of tough decision in the aftermath of the recession.
“I think he has done incredible things for Exeter…he wanted to leave Exeter in a better place than when he found it and he’s done that,” Waterman added.
Visalia’s current city manager Mike Olmos also has a long history with his city. His retirement will cap off 16 years of service in Visalia, including the past four as city manager.
Visalia’s announcement on Groom’s hiring is available here.
For more background on Randy Groom and his work in Exeter, visit the Visalia Times-Delta.