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City Manager Honored At Final Meeting
Outgoing City Manager Jill Anderson receives a token of their appreciation from the Public Works Department, with officials presenting her with a golden shovel. Inscribed on the handle are her dates of employment in Riverbank, Feb. 27, 2012 through Aug. 25, 2016. Ric McGinnis/The News

Jill Anderson, outgoing city manager, presided over her last Riverbank City Council meeting last week. She in turn, was ‘roasted’ by Mayor Richard O’Brien, presented with certificates of appreciation by department heads, governmental agencies and the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce.

At the end of the presentation period, she was able to thank everyone for the four and a half years she has been in Riverbank.

“I am very grateful for this time that I have had to get to know each of the Council members that I’ve had the pleasure of working for over the years, the many community members and the members of the staff,” Anderson said.

She pointed out the importance of “the roles that we have, each one of us, as staff members, the manager, as council, and members of the community.”

Anderson said, we “may have differences of opinion, on occasion, but we are all doing it in a way that will advance this community towards a better future, that better vision that we’ve all talked about.”

With Riverbank being her first time serving as a city manager, Anderson said it was a valuable experience for her.

“I am so, so happy to have had this opportunity to work with each of you, for the time that you’ve invested in the community,” she added.

The outgoing city manager noted that one of the first e-mails she received was from current mayor Richard O’Brien, welcoming her to the city.

“When I started this job, I got an e-mail from Mayor O’Brien, who wasn’t mayor at the time. I was thanking him for the opportunity, and he said, ‘I hope we make you proud’,” explained Anderson. “And I can just tell you, Mayor, that you and the city have made me proud and I will always be proud of the time that I have spent here and proud of my affiliation with the City of Riverbank.”

Referring to the mayor’s ‘roast’ slide show, she said, “And I love, most of all, that we can laugh, because government is a team sport. It’s the community, it’s the council, it’s the staff.”

In referencing the team concept, she said that is an important factor in keeping a city strong.

“It is so many people, so, you know what? When we lose together, we re-commit to getting better together and winning the next time, and when we win, we celebrate together, and part of that is laughter, so I thank you so much for the laughter. We’ve got to have the ability to laugh at ourselves,” Anderson said.

With a little bit of a tremble in her voice, the outgoing city manager continued, “So, again, just thank you so much for the memories, the laughter, the lessons learned, and each one of you, the spirit you’ve shared with me as I move forward.

“Riverbank will always have a very special place in my heart.”

After a break for some light refreshments, the regular council meeting continued.

One of the major agenda items was a review of the city’s Strategic Plan, with milestones and checkpoints noted for many of the projects and procedures that make up city business. Anderson noted that the city’s next Strategic Planning Session is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29.

Anderson departs to accept the position of City Manager of Chehalis, Washington. It’s a city whose population was 7200 in the 2010 census. It’s the county seat of Lewis County, and is located south of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia WA, on Interstate 5.