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Mayor-Elect Dyer Builds His Team, Prepares to Take City’s Helm



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Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer announced his incoming administration’s leadership team on Friday, as he prepares to take over the city’s top political office in January.

GV Wire℠ reported on most of the names earlier in the day.

“I have assembled an All-Star team that will assist me in implementing my ‘One Fresno’ vision. Whether working on issues related to homelessness and housing, economic development, Downtown Fresno, youth leadership, beautification of Fresno or transitioning the business climate at City Hall to a ‘We Work For You’ culture, I am confident that the team I have assembled will work hard for the residents of Fresno,” Dyer said in a news release.

Dyer officially takes over as mayor on Jan. 5, according to the city charter. He won the mayorship in March defeating six other candidates. Because Dyer won 51.6% of the vote, no November runoff was required.

Esqueda Heads New Management Team

Tommy Esqueda

Tommy Esqueda, the city’s former public utilities director, will become Dyer’s city manager. He will return to City Hall after serving nearly two years at Fresno State as Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability. Esqueda left the university in July following budget cuts.

“Esqueda will work with City staff and community stakeholders to optimize city operations, improve customer service, improve program and service quality, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of program and service delivery,” Dyer’s news release said.

Esqueda will replace Wilma Quan, whose has served as Mayor Lee Brand’s city manager for nearly his entire term. Quan was spotted interviewing for Fresno County’s newly created chief operating officer position on Monday afternoon.

Dyer will bring on three new assistant city managers — Gregory Barfield, Francine Kanne, and Georgeanne White.

Barfield is a longtime city staffer, currently the director of transportation. He also served as chief of staff for former Councilman Oliver Baines.

Kanne has worked for the city attorney’s office for the past 16 years. White returns to City Hall, where she has served as a department head and chief of staff to former mayors Alan Autry and Ashley Swearengin.

Other Leadership Positions

Tim Orman will remain as chief of staff, a role he’s held the last four years under Brand. Chris Montelongo will serve as deputy chief of staff.

Montelongo has worked for the past 19 years with the city, most recently as the senior community revitalization specialist.

Matthew Grundy has been named to the new position of deputy mayor. He is the current CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area.

Sontaya Rose

Sontaya Rose, a longtime television reporter with ABC 30, will serve as Dyer’s spokeswoman.

Mark Standriff, the current city spokesman, will move into a new position as director of Beatify Fresno. The relatively new program will “cooperate
and collaborate with other public and private agencies to clean and beautify the City of Fresno through the elimination of trash, graffiti, and blight, and the creation of community-based beautification projects,” according to a Dyer news release.

Another Brand holdover will be H. Spees. Dyer named him director of Housing and Homeless Services, with a similar job description to his current position as director of strategic services.

The San Joaquin Valley Sun reported the names Friday morning. GV Wire℠ confirmed several of them as well from multiple sources prior to Dyer’s confirmation news release.

WATCH: Mayor-Elect Dyer Describes Plans for Housing the Homeless and ‘Neighborhood Blitzes’

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email