Planning director resigns; public works director gets Vallecitos top job

REGION — Encinitas is soon to be without two major department heads after the abrupt resignation of the city’s planning director and word that its public works director was hired away by the Vallecitos Water District.

The Coast News learned Wednesday that interim planning director Manjeet Ranu resigned on Monday. City Manager Karen Brust confirmed that Ranu tendered his resignation letter, which was effective immediately.

“He gave his resignation and said he was pursuing new employment opportunities and would be taking time off between jobs,” Brust said, providing no other comment.

Ranu had been serving as the head of the city’s planning division since October 2015 when Jeff Murphy took a position with the city of San Diego. He was responsible for stewarding the proposed housing element update, Measure T, to the electorate.

His tenure as planning chief has been somewhat rocky, as residents have complained that the department was dismissive and sometimes unresponsive to questions or concerns, especially dealing with Measure T.

The city originally searched for a permanent planning director in January and conducted interviews for the position in March, but no one was hired.

Ranu is the second major city department head to resign in as many weeks, as the Vallecitos Water District has hired Encinitas Public Works Director Glenn Pruim as its general manager.

Pruim, 54, was hired to replace former district manager and longtime Vallecitos employee Dennis Lamb, who retired in June after more than 30 years with the San Marcos water district.

Pruim starts his new position Nov. 21 and will earn $212,000 in salary, plus other benefits.

“Encinitas is a wonderful place to work.  As with any agency, it’s not always easy to please all of the different opinions and requests from the public, but I believe the work we are doing is improving the quality of life for all of those that live, work and play in Encinitas,” Pruim said in a statement. “Encinitas has an awesome staff and I’ll leave behind many good friends.

“I’m looking forward to my opportunity at Vallecitos to focus on our core functions, providing reliable water and wastewater services,” he continued. “The future in the water world will provide many challenges, including finding reliable supplies of water for a growing community and controlling water costs as much as possible.”

Former Encinitas City Manager Gus Vina hired Pruim in 2012 after he spent the previous 10 years with the city of Carlsbad. In his current position, Pruim also serves as general manager of the San Dieguito Water District.

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