Healdsburg City Hall

The Healdsburg City Council will consider a contract agreement with Dave Kiff — who grew up in Healdsburg and who later served as city manager of the city of Newport Beach — to serve as interim city manager of Healdsburg. If approved, he would take the reins on July 5, after current City Manager David Mickaelian steps down to become the general manager of the Tahoe Donner Association in Truckee.

He brings a wealth of experience to the city. He worked for the city of Newport Beach for 20 years — nine of those as city manager. Newport Beach has a full-time staff of about 730 people and an annual budget of about $223 million. Before that, he worked for the county of Orange, the city of Orange, and the California State Legislature. Kiff recently spent four months with the city of Huntington Beach as its interim city manager as that city conducted a recruitment. 

“We are so fortunate that Dave Kiff is available and willing to fill the city manager role temporarily. As a native son, he has deep roots in Healdsburg and understands our community,” said Healdsburg Mayor Leah Gold. “His long track record of successful city management and his personal qualities give us confidence that he can maintain the city’s day-to-day operations and assist in a smooth transition when we make a permanent hire.”

Kiff’s family moved to Healdsburg in 1978 and he attended Healdsburg High School and Santa Rosa Junior College before leaving the area for college and work. Kiff moved back to Healdsburg in 2019 and resides near Fitch Mountain.    

Kiff began working for the city of Healdsburg on a part-time basis on April 6 as a special-projects manager related to COVID-19 to help manage community and business economic-recovery efforts.

“Dave has been instrumental in our recovery efforts. He’s taken the lead on implementing the City’s small-business loan program, leading the recovery task force, and many other COVID- related projects,” said City Manager David Mickaelian. “With Dave’s experience in local government and his ties to this community, he will offer a seamless transition as council works to fill the permanent position.”

 For his part, Kiff says he’s ready to roll up his sleeves.

 “I’m very happy to be here, working with a strong group of folks on the management team and on City Council,” he said. “I’ll look forward to helping see the city through the current crisis and then to going back to happy retirement in Healdsburg. This is a great place to live, a great city government, and I’m honored to be considered.”

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