Oceanside hires first of two assistant city managers

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside has filled most of its key city administration positions, after running for months with interim department directors, including hiring the first of two assistant city managers.

Deanna Lorson began the job as assistant city manager on Feb. 1.

Lorson comes to Oceanside with more than 20 years of experience, including serving as assistant city manager of Riverside, a city almost twice the size of Oceanside.

The Oceanside position demands that Lorson oversee economic development, property management, development services, water utilities, public works and harbor, and entails working with the Coastal Commission.

Deanna Lorson began the job as assistant city manager on Feb. 1.

Deanna Lorson began the job as assistant city manager on Feb. 1. Courtesy photo

Lorson said her first week on the job has been spent learning from department heads, City Council members and observing. She said after gathering information she will set her priorities.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on, the city has a bright future,” Lorson said.

Lorson will receive an annual salary of $196,000, slightly less than the posted Riverside salary range of $202,000 to 232,330.

Lorson said the position with Oceanside is a great opportunity, and comes with the perk of living by the ocean.

Lorson has relocated to the area and will be joined by her husband John and daughters, Rachel, 15, and Anna, 12, after the end of the school year.

Former City Manager Peter Weiss, who served as a city consultant and then was hired as assistant city manager in March 2015, will retire for a second time on Feb. 12 following the hiring of Lorson.

City staff said they do not expect to have a second retirement party for Weiss, who will stay on as a consultant at a rate of $75 an hour. His new contract is limited to 960 hours, and will likely entail 15-hour weeks as needed to complete ongoing projects including the swim complex, destination beach resort and other downtown development.

City Council approved his employment contract on Feb. 3.

City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence said the search process to hire the second assistant city manager will begin shortly. The position is expected to be filled by year’s end.

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