The Turlock City Council has appointed former City Manager and Economic Development Director of Ceres, Toby Wells, as their new city manager. “It is my honor and privilege to be asked to serve my hometown of Turlock as City Manager,” said Mr. Wells. “I bring over twenty-five years of municipal and private sector experience including six years as City Manager for Ceres and am excited to help my city – our city – as we move through and beyond these challenging times.”
Michael Cooke, who served as Interim City Manager, said, “I look forward to working with Toby again and supporting his efforts in leading our city through this year and beyond.”
“I am excited to have someone with the experience and leadership skills Toby Wells brings to the city,” said Vice-Mayor Andrew Nosrati. “Michael Cooke helped us through a period of transition and now we are ready for a new chapter of consistency in leadership. Toby’s track record of organizational and strategic planning expertise is critical to a clear path forward for Turlock.”
Toby Wells is a life-long valley resident who has lived in Turlock for the past 21 years. He grew up in Hilmar, attending Hilmar High School and married his high school sweetheart, Tamara Wells. They have been married for 31 years, have three grown children who graduated from Turlock schools and are now the proud grandparents of four young children.
Toby began his engineering career with the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District as an intern while attending CSU, Fresno. He continued with the district until moving back home to work for the City of Turlock in 1998.
During his previous employment with the City of Turlock, he was involved in the design of the Turlock Regional Sports Complex, Monte Vista Crossings and much of the downtown infrastructure. After two years in Turlock, he began commuting to Livermore, working on complex development projects and was the project manager for the award winning First Street Reconstruction Project in downtown Livermore. For his efforts around the First Street Project, Mr. Wells was named the 2004 City Employee of the Year by Livermore Downtown Inc.
After five years in Livermore, Mr. Wells transitioned to the private sector, working for Pulte Homes in land acquisition for new development projects and securing approvals from local governments. Pulte is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest home builders in the country. While at Pulte, he was also the Executive Director of the Woodbridge Owners Association in Manteca. With the downturn in the economy and the housing market crash, Toby began a consulting business focused on companies dealing with the changing development market.
Mr. Wells started with the City of Ceres as a consultant in 2010 and was appointed as the City Engineer in August 2011. In 2012, he became the Director of Public Works and Engineering and served as a Deputy City Manager. The Ceres City Council appointed Mr. Wells as the City Manager in April 2014.
During his career with Ceres, he rebuilt the organizational structure for operational efficiencies and hired the Ceres chief of police, fire chief, finance director, city engineer, city clerk and other key management personnel. Further, he consistently led the annual budget process to beat projections in the face of significant fiscal challenges while balancing service levels and employee retention obstacles. Final audited finances for FY 2018/19 resulted in adding nearly $1.2 million dollars to the General Fund Reserve balance.
Under Toby’s leadership, the city initiated and completed an updated Strategic Plan and completed the update to the General Plan for the first time in almost twenty years. He also led the first ever comprehensive update to the city’s Municipal Code.
Toby has spent many years in Turlock coaching youth sports including, baseball, soccer and football. Toby also was a youth leader with Crossroads Church for over 13 years with Impact Ministries working with junior high school students.
Contact: Stephanie McGann Jantzen