San Juan Bautista City Manager Michaele LaForge, set to resign and accept a private-sector role, explained her decision further in an email statement.
LaForge is set to resign “around March 7” and take a job in the private sector. The council will consider the topic of interim city manager Monday at San Juan Bautista City Hall.
By email, she said she “loved the job,” but got a personal request to work aside “some dear friends from the Naval Academy and from my 22 years in semiconductors.”
“They need my help,” she wrote. “I am known as a change agent in industry. A person that comes in and rescues a situation and gets things humming.
She wrote she feels she did that in San Juan “and feel I can turn over the keys now.”
“I actually really can’t say anything negative about my last 15 months working for SJB, but I can tell you all the positives,” she said.
She mentioned “great staff, great business owners” and said residents are “open and eager to get involve to improve the city.”
She felt particularly connected to the sheriff’s office, fire department and private security hired by the city, “likely because of my combat duty and Navy pilot experience.”
She said the Mission community was “so supportive and such lovely partners” and called work of the state parks and De Anzar Trail volunteers “amazing.”
She called her time working for San Juan “a wonderful experience” and said she was grateful to manage San Juan Bautista.
LaForge also took note that she’s lived in the community for 20 years, her son was baptized at the Old Mission San Juan Bautista and goes to Anzar High School, and her mom lives two blocks from City Hall.
She wrote it was “gratifying to give back.”
“I encourage others to do so,” she wrote.
LaForge went on: “If the city starts misfiring, please call my cell, you never know, I just may have finished my work elsewhere.”
LaForge is a graduate of Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. She said at her new job, will be working with Naval Academy classmates and other friends. Before her role with San Juan, LaForge came from the private sector.
She also commented on her close tie to the late, former Mayor Jim West.
“I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with Jim West as mayor,” she wrote. “He was smart, strong, jovial and efficient. Sleep well Mayor West.”