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Leon Churchill is a competent, forward thinking, and innovative city manager for the city of Tracy, California.
As a professional city planner, Leon Churchill is innovative, competent, and forward thinking. He currently holds the position of manager for the city of Tracy, a small and tight-knit community in the state of California. Here he has had the opportunity to implement many unique and interesting changes in order to make the city run more efficiently and transparently.
In all of his work with the city, he remains sincere in his conviction to always put the members of the community first. H e attributes much of his success within his city management career to his understanding of just who it is that he is serving in his community. As he knows, listening to what the people say and understanding what it is that they desire is a crucial aspect of planning. For instance, while communities everywhere desire public safety and opportunities for their children, how the people define their quality of life is different from one community to the next.
In addition to bringing a level of creativity to the table in his own work, Leon Churchill also helps to bring out the creativity in his colleagues and community members. This has amounted to a high level of creative problem solving that cannot be found anywhere else in local government. For example, during the recent recession, he pushed back against the economic slump and created a local stimulus plan that produced more than 2,000 new jobs in construction. He also implemented a gift card program that helped local car dealers stay in business.
Leon Churchill has worked in the field of local government management for the past 23 years. During this time, he has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience that he now brings to the city of Tracy, CA, and all members of his local community.
Leon completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Here he obtained his bachelor’s degree in city planning. Afterward, he moved to Lawrence, KS, to attend the University of Kansas for graduate school. He graduated from here with his master’s degree in public administration, furthering the foundation of his local governing knowledge.
In addition to obtaining his degrees, Leon has also improved his knowledge base in city planning and public administration through the Goldman School of Public Affairs at the University of California at Berkeley. Here he attended the 2013 Berkeley Executive Seminar in Strategic Management of Public Organizations.
After obtaining his degrees in city planning and public administration, Leon Churchill went to work for the city of Norfolk in Virginia in July of 1993. Here he held the position of utility operations manager for a year and a half, finally leaving his position in January of 1995 to move to Charlottesville, VA. Here he became the assistant city manager to the city of Charlottesville, a position that he held until December of 1998.
At the start of the new year in January of 1999, he moved once more to Windsor, CT, where he became the town manager for Windsor. Here he implemented redevelopment strategies including tax restructuring, recruiting, and outreach that resulted in 4,000 new jobs and $5 million in new tax revenue. He also led community dialogues on such topics as the transformation of municipal solid waste management, race, and civic engagement.
After helping to turn Windsor around, Leon Churchill moved on once more in April of 2004 to become the managing director of the city of Reading in Pennsylvania. This experience saw one of the most significant turnarounds in his career in terms of financial, economic, and public safety metrics.
For instance, in Reading, he developed and implemented a financial recovery plan that helped to reverse the town’s financial decline, using strategies such as cost reduction, service restructuring and asset and service shedding. These strategies were valued at $3 million annually.
Leon Churchill also re-engineered codes enforcement, human resources, police, finance, emergency management services, and the planning and development for annual budgetary savings for Reading. He improved the city's service delivery, restructured and lowered its debt service by $1 million through a new capital development process, and implemented a one-stop development center that was able to complete typical developments in just eight weeks.
After four years of expert management and administration, Churchill left Reading, PA, in May of 2008 to move to Tracy, CA, where he took the position that he still holds today. Over the past six years as city manager, he has put the full scope of his public administration experience behind serving Tracy.
For instance, Leon Churchill has helped to restructure several major services for the city, including capital planning, special events, development, and community policing with documented productivity and customer satisfaction improvements. He also reduced the city’s operational costs by $11 million over two years as well as recommended and researched a campaign for a sales tax increase with 58 percent voter approval.
In addition to his many local government positions, he also holds a variety of professional affiliations. For instance, he has been a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration since 2011 and has had his American Institute of Certified Planners designation from the American Planning Association since November of 2009.
Churchill has also been a credential manager as designated by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) since May of 2002. With this organization, Leon served as a presenter at a Best Practices symposium in 2001 and has been a chair on their Government and Policy Committee since 2012.
Leon Churchill loves the work that he does and, as such, looks forward to continuing to serve the city of Tracy as best as he can heading into the future of his public administration career. He currently serves as the city manager in three different places, which lends evidence to his theory that performing this duty for his community is in his DNA.
As he continues advancing his career, Churchill is also interested in becoming a mentor. He wishes to serve his community even more by helping the young people within it to get more involved with city planning. He would also like to help his colleagues and other city officials become more effective at their jobs. Furthermore, he would like to do work as a consultant and in a teaching role, both at the governmental and organizational level and within the community at a grass roots level.
In addition, Leon Churchill also has an interest in going to communities throughout the Caribbean and West Indies in order to help the local governments there get back on their feet. While he wishes to continue with the work that he is currently doing professionally, he would also like to help more people build their own communities right where they are so that they can become stronger in general.
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