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New City Manager Appointed by Rancho Palos Verdes Council

August 21, 1986|GERALD FARIS | Times Staff Writer

RANCHO PALOS VERDES — Dennis Wayne McDuffie, a city manager in the San Joaquin Valley, has been appointed city manager here, according to Mayor Douglas Hinchliffe, who said McDuffie was the unanimous choice of the City Council. A native of Nacogdoches, Tex., McDuffie has been city manager of Delano, an agricultural city north of Bakersfield, for four years.

Hinchliffe said McDuffie will be given a contract for three to five years and an annual salary of $55,000, city-paid retirement and insurance, and use of a city car. McDuffie's annual salary in Delano is $49,000. He is expected to begin the Rancho Palos Verdes job full time in early October.

In a telephone interview, McDuffie called his move to the South Bay a career advancement and a challenge because of increased responsibility in managing a larger city in an urban area.

"The communities are like night and day," he said, characterizing Delano as a largely minority farming community and Rancho Palos Verdes as an affluent bedroom city with a largely Anglo population. "Delano wanted a lot of development and wanted it quickly, and Rancho Palos Verdes is just the opposite," he said.

While Rancho Palos Verdes has had conflicts over such things as a utilities tax and coastal development, McDuffie said those issues do not compare to strife in Delano, where in 1983 three City Council members were recalled and a redevelopment agency was killed through a referendum. "The issues I have had to deal have honed my managerial ability," he said. "I feel I can deal with just about anything."

He said he has worked to unite the Delano community and will do the same thing in Rancho Palos Verdes. "City Hall can't do it all," he said. "It takes a community effort."

McDuffie, 39, replaces Donald F. Guluzzy, who left Rancho Palos Verdes on Aug. 8 after more than five years as city manager to become general manager of the San Mateo County Harbor District.

Hinchliffe said the council was impressed with McDuffie's "ability to get along with people and how he would relate to the staff." He said McDuffie got "very high marks as an administrator from his staff and council in Delano."

McDuffie is married and has three children. He said he will live in Rancho Palos Verdes because he believes it is important to live where he works so he can know the community and be available.

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