Santa Cruz to Hire Watsonville’s City Manager

Watsonville City Manager Matt Huffaker is headed for Santa Cruz. The City Council is expected to appoint Huffaker to the city manager’s position on Nov. 9. His start date would be Jan. 3.

“I’m very humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve as Santa Cruz’s next City Manager,” he said in a news release. “Santa Cruz has tremendous opportunities before it, and I look forward to working with the Council, community and City staff to advance the many important initiatives underway. I think my local experience and established regional partnerships will allow me to hit the ground running. I’m ready to get to work.”

Huffaker has managed Watsonville since 2018 and has held various leadership positions in local government for 15 years. Watsonville doubled its General Fund reserves during his tenure, expanded its Parks, Arts and Recreation services programs, and passed a special revenue measure with overwhelming support from voters.

“Not only will he bring a wealth of operational experience to the role, but he will also arrive with deep relationships across the region already in place. The Council was particularly impressed with his breadth of creative ideas that stem from his experience, vision, and leadership values. We are incredibly excited about him as the recommended hire for our next City Manager,” said Mayor Donna Meyers.