By Jim Shilander
San Clemente has selected its new City Manager.
James Makshanoff, the current City Manager for the city of Azusa, will take over for the retiring Pall Gudgeirsson Monday, Sept. 29. Makshanoff’s appointment will be made official at the Aug. 19 City Council meeting.
In a city press release, Mayor Tim Brown said the city has found the right man.
“I am confident that we have found a great fit for our organization and our community,” said Brown. “San Clemente is losing a valuable leader when Mr. Gudgeirsson retires, so Mr. Makshanoff has some big shoes to fill. With his excellent qualifications and reputation, I know he is more than capable to guide San Clemente through the coming years and many changes ahead.”
Makshanoff has served as Azusa’s city manager since 2012, after spending four years as assistant city manager and three years as public works director. He has also worked in Brea, Covina and Downey over 24 years in government.
His accomplishments in Azusa include acquiring a Target store for the city, receiving grant funding to perform a transit study around the city’s light-rail stations, improving electronic delivery of city services and a number of economic development decisions.
Makshanoff is a frequent camper at San Clemente State Park and is a body surfer. He is a former all-conference goalie for the water polo team at Long Beach State.
Gudgeirsson said that while the decision was ultimately the council’s, he believed Makshanoff demonstrated that he understood San Clemente during the interview process and would be a very good fit with the city.
Gudgeirsson had announced his retirement in the spring but agreed to stay on until his replacement came on at the end of September.