Manteca Hires New City Manager

Manteca has hired Toby Wells as its next city manager. Wells will take over Sept. 16, becoming the sixth person to manage the city in as many years.

Wells currently works as an engineer for the City of Modesto. He was the city manager of Turlock from March 2020 to May of this year and previously managed the City of Ceres. His three-year contract with Manteca calls for an annual salary of $230,000.

Instability has long typified life at Manteca City Hall. The last city manager Miranda Lutzow resigned in February after a short but rocky tenure. Tim Ogden departed in December 2019 after a mutual, amicable agreement. Elena Reyes left in 2017 after less than six months on the job. The city has seen the abrupt departure of a police chief, a finance director, a human resources director, and a community development director as well.

Manteca’s next administrator is no stranger to contentious city politics. Wells had been managing Turlock for just eight months when he was placed on paid administrative leave and eventually let go. Turlock City Councilman Andrew Nosrati says that wasn’t his fault.

“I have nothing but great things to say for Toby Wells, and he carried the city through an incredibly difficult period with an impending financial crisis and a pandemic,” said Nosrati previously. “Unfortunately, he was a victim of Turlock politics, as usual, and it’s a shame that the taxpayers have to pay what will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars because we have elected officials who can’t treat the office with the respect it deserves.”

See also:

Ex-City Manager Miscue Costs Manteca $499,000