Luke Sims will serve as the interim community services development director while search for permanent hire continues
The city of Healdsburg has named Luke Sims — the former community development director for the city of Dublin — as the new interim Healdsburg community development director. Sims will serve as a retired annuitant for at least six months to fill the needs of the planning and building department until a full-time director is recruited and hired.
Sims is replacing David Woltering, who has served as the city’s interim community development director for several months and has returned to retirement.
The end date of Sims’ appointment will coincide with a successful hire to the vacancy, which is anticipated to occur by Dec. 31, 2021.
The hourly rate for Sims is $90.25 per hour and his salary will have no impact on the city’s general fund — the position was included in the adopted fiscal year 2020-21 budget — and he will not receive any additional benefits.
Sims has had a long career in the community development world.
Prior to working with the city of Dublin, he served as the community development director for the city of San Leandro and prior to that he was the business development manager for San Leandro.
“We don’t believe we’ve found quite the right person yet, it is a critically important position and so we’ll continue that mission, and what I am recommending is a resolution that would allow us to hire Luke Sims as interim community development director,” said Healdsburg City Manager Jeff Kay. “I’ve known Luke for a long time and have worked with him some time ago and I am very comfortable attesting that you got somebody who knows his stuff and knows how to do the work ... Luke is someone you and all of your staff will enjoy working with.”
Kay said he believes the city will be in good hands with Sims until the city can find a permanent hire.
Sims has an master’s degree in architecture and urban planning from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Cal Poly.
“It is an outstanding community of course as you know, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of it on an interim basis,” Sims said during the Healdsburg City Council’s most recent meeting on Jan. 4.
He added that he hopes to learn about Healdsburg and how to conduct Zoom sessions better over the course of serving as interim community development director.
Councilmember Ariel Kelley asked if Sims has been able to spend time in Healdsburg.
“I have to admit, no. I have been up in the area many times. My first recollection of Healdsburg was going in a CYO canoe trip around 1970 and landing on the beach by the bridge and it is certainly a fond memory,” Sims said. “I have been many times as an adult enjoying the wineries, but I don’t know much about the particulars of the community itself, only as a visitor and I look forward to learning.”
While Sims serves as the interim director the recruitment process for a permanent position will be ongoing and carried out by the city’s contractor, Bob Murray and Associates.