In 1982, a 17-year-old Randy Groom walked onto the job as a crime analyst with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. It was the beginning of an incredible 40-year career in public service.
Groom later took a position with the Visalia Police Department. He would go on to become Visalia’s city clerk, then deputy city manager, and eventually city manager. Over the years, he also managed the City of Exeter and served as Administrative Services Director for the Visalia Unified School District.
On Sept. 1, Groom will hang up his hat. The chief administrator has informed Visalia that he has decided to retire.
“Coming back to Visalia brought my career full circle,” said Groom, who rejoined the city as manager in 2018 (Sun-Gazette). “It just felt right finishing where I began.”
Groom briefly left for the private sector in 2003, but discovered his true calling was serving the public. He was good at it too. Groom is credited with helping Exeter weather the 2008 recession. While at VUSD, he was instrumental in the construction of four elementary schools. Then came his final and perhaps most challenging undertaking: helping Visalia through the worst public health crisis in more than a century.
Groom may be stepping down, but his four decades of dedication and experience will be the gift that keeps on giving. While he hasn’t detailed his plans for retirement, Groom said he hopes to use his knowledge to help the next generation of leaders.