The city council of Chula Vista is in the process of filling one of its top positions: city manager. In the coming week this presents a unique opportunity to rectify the lack of diversity in the top managerial positions within the city. In a city that is in excess of 60% Hispanic, we find it incredible that the city’s top managerial positions do not reflect its population.
In the pool of applicants for city manager, it has been reported that there are two Hispanics, among the four candidates, who will be interviewed for the position. They are David Garcia, who serves as an administrator for Yuma County, Arizona, and local product Jim Sandoval, who is the Planning and Building Director for the city. If all things are equal, we always recommend taking the best qualified candidate regardless of ethnicity, but if all things are equal amongst the candidates this would be an opportune time for the city council to select a Hispanic who brings diversity and cultural sensitivity with this selection.
We also believe that promoting from within is a positive step in the right direction. Jim Sandoval knows the community, is young, energetic and bright. Having worked with him in the past, we have found him forthright and accessible. By promoting from within the local community, it sends a message that dedication and hard work are valued, and at the same time, it keeps our best and brightest at home, working for, and giving back to, the community instead of moving on and out of Chula Vista.
Let us hope that the Chula Vista City Council breaks away from the negative impression that it is a city of lily white managers and selects the best qualified Hispanic candidate who will reflect the diversity of the city.