Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Quinn to step down as Fairfield city manager

Fairfield City Manager Sean Quinn was recent named Distinguished Citizen of the Year at their 64th Annual Installation Luncheon for the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. (Mike Greener/Daily Republic)

Fairfield City Manager Sean Quinn.

By
From page A1 | January 17, 2014 | 19 Comments

FAIRFIELD — City Manager Sean Quinn is stepping down from the municipal post he’s held since 2007.

He cited his health status when announcing he’ll retire this spring.

“These 29 years with Fairfield have been quite a ride,” Quinn, 57, said in a press release. “The greatest joy has been working with our employees. They are committed and dedicated, and that I will miss most of all.”

Mayor Harry Price said Quinn is one of the best city managers he’s had the opportunity to work with.

“I hate to see him go,” the mayor said. “He follows a pattern of really strong city managers.”

Price praised Quinn’s skills in economic development, his tact in city contract negotiations and success as the top executive at City Hall.

Councilman John Mraz said he was present when Quinn was hired as city manager.

“He’s never disappointed me,” Mraz said. “It’s going to be a real loss to the city.”

Fairfield has faced the same problems as other California cities during the long economic slowdown, the councilman said.

“The difference is that we have a good city manager who found the way through it,” Mraz said.

Police Chief Walt Tibbet said, “I don’t know if you have enough room for all the great things I’d say about Sean Quinn and what he’s done for this city.”

“I don’t know if everybody really understands the depth of what Sean’s meant to the city,” the chief said.

Fire Chief Tony Velasquez, who has worked for Fairfield for 22 years, praised Quinn.

“He’s always been the ultimate professional,” Velasquez said. “Always somebody really good to work with.”

“His passion and what he cares for is this community and the people who work here,” the fire chief said.

Noting the tough times cities in California, including Fairfield, have faced financially, Velasquez said, “It’s easy when things are good to be a good leader.” When you have to overcome challenges, Velasquez said, “you see what someone is about.”

Before becoming city manager, a post that pays $198,000, Quinn was director of community development for Fairfield. Prior to his city work, he owned his own company that consulted on real estate, economic development and redevelopment, the city website notes. He is a University of California, Santa Barbara, graduate with a degree in business economics and did graduate work in finance at California State University, Chico.

Mayor Price said the City Council is expected to take up the issue of selecting a new city manager during its annual retreat at the end of this month. The meeting will take place in Fairfield.

Councilman Mraz said he supports selecting David White, assistant city manager for Fairfield, to succeed Quinn.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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Discussion | 19 comments

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  • NormJanuary 16, 2014 - 7:49 pm

    Well there's another 6 figure Fairfield retirement. Is Quinn still going through RDA withdraws? Bet he checks into a 12 step program for RDA abuse. Looks like Mraz has chosen Fairfields next Great White Hope.

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  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 17, 2014 - 7:45 am

    Your comments are repugnant, under the circumstances.

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  • why?January 17, 2014 - 8:34 am

    Why? Is he a drunk? Is that the health issue? If so Norm might be mean, but if not our city leaders did have dependency problems on RDA

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  • NormJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:13 am

    And this coming from Mr Peacock. Just might be my last chance to point out Sean Quinn’s connection to Fairfield’s RDA past. What's your connection to RDA & Development Mr Peacock? Or are you just racking up points with FF's next Heir Extraordinaire? That's always good biz for connections wouldn’t you say? I wonder who’s going to have their hand in Fairfield’s pocket with the next round of Re-Development?.

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  • SteveJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:09 am

    Upon what facts do you base your accusation that Fairfield "abused" Redevelopment? Has anyone been charged? Are there any news articles to back you up? Has the state conducted an investigation? Fairfield utilized redevelopment like many other cities. Abuse means they violated the law. Using the law to its advantage was not abuse. In fact, if redevelopment was so bad, why is the legislature trying to find a way to bring it back in another form? You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

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  • NormJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:30 am

    In RDA's glory days Fairfield was in the top 10 of the 400 plus for RDA abuse (Fact). Why did Fairfield loose a major chunk (allmost all) of its General Fund nest egg. Why do we have all these vacant (once FF RDA owned) lots growing weeds. It's also part of the reason we have an extra one cent sales tax. There's your facts Steve. This all came up in past but you can google it.

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  • SteveJanuary 17, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    Norm. The use of Redevelopment and the abuse of redevelopment are two very different things. And when you expect a stream of income from loans LEGALLY made to a redevelopment agency and the state cuts it off at the knees, of course a city's general fund will suffer. But again, what proof do you have that Fairfield abused redevelopment. Being a top ten "user" of redevelopment, does not mean abuse. Your "fact" is illogical. Because if Fairfield abused redevelopment, it would be violating the law. If it violated the law, there would be legal consequences. What legal consequences have been applied against Fairfield?

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  • Rich GiddensJanuary 17, 2014 - 6:48 am

    I remember when the Wing Commander got fired and sent to a ROTC teaching job at a backwater University. They heaped praise on him too as he was heading out the front door.

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  • rlw895January 17, 2014 - 8:44 am

    Mraz announces his choice before the Council confers? If he's right, it means he has the votes already, because to be wrong would be pretty embarrassing.

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  • Dexter FowlerJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:52 am

    I wish Sean good health. However I do not understand all the fawning all over him. Was he really that great? Under his watch we have had our taxes raised, granted it was voter approved but it was heavily promoted by city leaders, seen MANY businesses leave Fairfield. Meanwhile Vacaville sees new businesses opening all the time. Our city leaders do not really support local businesses and it certainly shows with all the vacant buildings and lots in the downtown area. Hopefully whoever takes his place has a much better understanding of supporting LOCAL business.

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  • An EXAMPLEJanuary 17, 2014 - 10:11 am

    An auto repair shop I know of had 3 lifts for a long time they got a contract to repair and inspect cars for a local dealership....they city came along and for no good reason made them take out one of the lifts that had been there for years.....this really hurt their business.

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  • John GJanuary 17, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    I believe that Sean was the best City Manager since Charlie Long and at least a better communicator than Charlie. Hard to find someone as respected by all sides as Sean is. As far as growth, look back at the no growth Mayor Karin. Vacaville took off in those years. Sean was busy with RDA, no doubt he went to bat for the city and was quite good at it. I've found Sean to be very receptive to new bus. in Fairfield.

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  • SteveJanuary 17, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Sean is far better than Long. In fact, it's an insult to Sean to put Charlie in the same sentence. I've done business with both. Sean is honest. Charlie wasn't. Sean kept this city in one piece after the deaths of Matt Garcia, Frank Kardos, during the economic recession, the loss of redevelopment and the collapse of the housing bubble and with it the loss of property and sales tax revenue. He dealt with pension liabilities, layoffs, and cuts to service in an evenhanded way. Being the leader of this town in the last decade was no picnic. He deserves a break. Godspeed.

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  • John GJanuary 17, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    Thanks for that, my experiences were different with Charlie Long. Knew he closed a road, but didn't know about burned bridges. One things for sure, there's very few that have given as much to Fairfield as Sean Quinn.

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  • I love lucyJanuary 17, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    I am a city employee and have been for the last 27 years. Sean is 10 times the CM that Kevin Orourke was. Sean has morales, ethics, integrity and is trusted. He is honest and treats everyone with professionalism. The only mistake he made was hiring an incompetent Chief of Police (Rainey). He made up for that flubber by hiring the current Chief (Tibbet). We can't really blame Sean for the Rainey disaster though......since the council forced Rainey on all of us...........Sean........happy retirement! You have EARNED it.

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  • elleryJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:18 pm

    Former chief Rainey is now the chief with BART. Im thinking this is a step up. If he was incompetent he would not be making more money now than before. He just wouldn't kiss mraz butt is my guess .

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  • elleryJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    I love lucy says Quinn has morales ? did she mean Cojones lol

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  • I love lucyJanuary 17, 2014 - 9:57 pm

    @ellery - Bart I hear the BART employees hate him more than the Fairfield Employees hated him. You should learn before you speak.

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  • Conflict of Interest?January 17, 2014 - 11:13 pm

    As far as I'm concerned...Sean Quinn is only focused about nothing but Sean Quinn! It's also my opinion that his retirement is a calculated ploy to maximize himself financially after getting someone hired as his replacement. People need to understand Sean Quinn was hired back in 2008 as our City Manager KNOWING that the State was about to pull the plug on all City Redevelopment agencies! Everyone knew in the City RDA was in the crosshairs! Just look at the 2003 Fairfield budget that former City Manager O'Rourke submitted..in his 2003 transmittal letter to the City Council..Manager O'Rourke specifically said that the State was coming after Redevelopment money and Vehicle Licensing fees...How blogger "Steve" above makes the claim the City EXPECTED loan revenue and then was CUTOFF at the knees by the State..is a total red herring. EVERY CITY IN THE STATE KNEW RDA WAS A TARGET! Blogger Steve is simply talking without any concept of reality! The fact's about Sean Quinn are very simple to understand....He KNEW the State was coming after all State Redevelopment agencies because it was mentioned in 2003. He also knew the State was looking to cut off the Golden goose that had been giving Fairfield the golden eggs to pay their exorbinate salaries to their Executive Managers. So when Mr. Quinn manuvered himself to take over for former City Manager Kevin O'Rourke..did anybody even ask why the City was willing to pay Mr. Quinn $220,000 annually without him having any City Manager experience..Former City Manager O'Rourke was only costing city taxpayers $188,000 annually and he had almost 20 years experience compared to Quinn's lack of experience....Why did Mr. Quinn ask for a nearly 20% increase in the CM salary after O'Rourke was only costing taxpayers $188K annually...Mr. Quinn knew the General fund was in trouble, He knew that services would have to be cut!..BUT did that stop him for asking for a 20% increase in his City Manager position? Nope! So now one has to ask.....Who would benefit from hiring another City Manager (David White) who has NO previous City Manager experience? Would it be the City taxpayer's or would it be the person that groomed him. One needs to ask..is Sean Quinn actually retiring or is planning on doing work with anybody who will have contact with his/our new City Manager?... In my opinion, the City needs to hire someone who has experience running a municipality as a City Manager. We don't need a individual who has a debt to repay!

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