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Anaheim to hire away Buena Park’s city manager

The Anaheim City Council has picked Buena Park City Manager James Vanderpool to fill its top administrative spot, about three months after its former city manager, Chris Zapata, was ushered out with a $475,000 severance package.

Anaheim officials announced the decision late Tuesday, July 28.

Vanderpool has run Buena Park for about eight years and has worked for the city for more than two decades, according to a news release from Anaheim. If Anaheim officials approve a contract next month, Vanderpool is expected to start in September. Interim City Manager Greg Garcia will return to serving as deputy city manager.

“We know Jim, and he knows Anaheim,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement. “His success revitalizing Beach Boulevard is a model for us. We believe Jim is the right fit for the incredible opportunity that lies ahead with our stadium, arena and the Anaheim Resort. Just as importantly, he shares our commitment to seeing us through the coronavirus crisis and making sure our residents and neighborhoods benefit from Anaheim’s economic recovery.”

While Anaheim is far larger than Buena Park – with a population of 350,000, it has more than four times as many residents – both cities are home to theme parks, hotels and other attractions that normally draw visitors from around the world.

Both cities also have been working for several years to address homeless issues and have opened emergency shelters.

In changing jobs, Vanderpool won’t leave behind the difficulties of running a city that relies on tourism dollars during a global pandemic that has stopped the flow of visitors. He will have to contend with a budget deficit of up to $40 million.

Vanderpool will be Anaheim’s 15th city manager since 1919, when the position was established, and – including two interim managers – the fifth person to hold the post in the past four years.

Source: Orange County Register

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