GONZALES — Gonzales City Council has appointed Carmen Gil to the position of interim city manager, while a formal search for a permanent city manager is conducted over the next four months.
Gil has been the city’s director of community engagement and strategic partnerships for the past two-and-a-half years. She has been serving as acting city manager since June 20, following the departure of former City Manager Rene Mendez, who was hired as city manager for Watsonville.
In her 25 years of experience working on projects throughout Monterey County, Gil has worked closely with community, public and private organizations and local governments to implement effective policies and practices that improve systems, create efficiencies and enhance community relations.
“In Carmen’s role as director of community engagement, she worked directly with former City Manager Mendez and therefore has a deep understanding of the programs and initiatives our city is currently engaged in and the city’s longstanding commitment to innovation,” said Mayor Jose Rios. “Our council is confident she will provide the executive leadership needed on all matters related to governing the city and will continue to strengthen the city’s strategic partnerships to continue to improve the quality of life for our residents.”
Gil has a long history of working with the Gonzales community in various capacities and has a keen ability to develop relationships that go beyond transactional to transformational. Most recently, she was instrumental in implementing the city’s Community Health Workers Program (CHW), which led to the partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County’s VIDA (Virus Integrated Distribution of Aid) program.
More than 110 CHWs in 10 organizations countywide were trained as part of the program and equipped to deliver information about the importance of Covid-19 testing and vaccinations and assist community members with access to resources. Gonzales was the only city in Monterey County to partner with CFMC in the VIDA program and was one of the first in the county to exceed 90% of eligible residents having received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Prior to joining the City of Gonzales, Gil was at the Monterey County Health Department for five years, during which she worked alongside city and county governments across the region. While there, she also led the development of the Health and Wellness Element for the City of Gonzales’ General Plan. She has worked through private and public partnerships to address issues of housing, homelessness, health access and infrastructure among others.
Gil was also part of the team that helped Gonzales receive the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize. Gonzales was chosen from nearly 200 applicant communities across the country and is one of five communities in the United States to receive the honor and be recognized for pursuing innovative ideas and bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of advancing health, opportunity and equity
She was also involved in the expansion of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System into the Gonzales community and led the expansion of Ciclovia into the four South Monterey County communities, including Gonzales.
She has been a resident of Gonzales for 13 years and currently lives there with her husband and three daughters.
Gonzales City Council will retain the employment recruitment services of Bob Murray and Associates to conduct a formal search for a permanent city manager. The search process is expected to take approximately four months.