STOCKTON, CALIF. (FOX19) — Former Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black is the new city manager of Stockton, California, the city announced in a news release.
Stockton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint him.
Black, 56, was hired as Cincinnati’s city manager in 2014 and served until he resigned nearly two years ago amid controversy and a public dispute with Mayor John Cranley.
Black left in April 2018 with the $274,000 severance outlined in his contract - and then collected another $370,000 in September 2018 when he threatened to sue, city records show.
He has been a finalist for city manager positions in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Gainesville, Florida.
Here is the city of Stockton’s news release on Black hiring in its entirety:
The City of Stockton has hired Harry E. Black to serve as Stockton’s new City Manager. Mr. Black was selected as part of a nationwide search for highly qualified candidates. The City of Stockton hired Avery Associates to recruit and screen top tier applicants. The Mayor, along with the Council, held in-person interviews. After interviewing multiple candidates, Mr. Black was selected as the front runner for the City Manager position. Final approval was passed by the Mayor and Council in a 7-0 vote at tonight’s meeting.
Black’s extensive career includes leadership roles in both the public and private sectors and his management style focuses on data-driven results. Black is a pioneer in the development and implementation of performance management programs for cities, helping to optimize transparency, accountability and overall service delivery.
From 2014 to 2018, Black served as the City Manager for Cincinnati, Ohio. Black established the city’s first management and data analytics program, known as CincyStat, which gave residents real-time data on everything from code enforcement to public safety. Black oversaw the implementation of CincyStat and used this tool not only to assist residents but to optimize performance and results. Due to the implementation of CincyStat, Cincinnati saw a 100 percent reduction in backlogged customer service requests and an increase in resident satisfaction with city government.
Black also retooled the city’s permit and inspection process by establishing a new Department of Buildings and Inspections. This new department created a one-stop-shop for businesses and residents to guide them through the city’s permitting process. Black also invested in workforce and online technologies, making the building permit process seamless for users. By implementing these changes, Black reduced the average permit processing time from an average of greater than 30 days to within 10 days.
Prior to working in Cincinnati, Black served as the Finance Director for the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Under Black’s leadership, Baltimore created the first-ever 10-year financial plan and went from deficits to a balanced budget. Thanks to Black’s leadership, both Cincinnati and Baltimore were upgraded to a bond rating of AA on the Standard & Poor’s index.
Black also worked in other capacities including, serving as the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Richmond, Virginia and for New York City’s Transit and Port Authorities. Black was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Black received his Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Virginia State University and his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Virginia. He has a wife and two children.
“I am honored and appreciative of having been selected to serve as Stockton’s next City Manager. I look forward to working with the Mayor, City Council and staff in making Stockton the best managed and most customer-centric city government in America,” said Harry E Black. “Stockton is a city on the rise and I look forward to working with the community, Mayor, Council and staff in the pursuit of the Stockton of the future. Stockton’s future looks bright and I am excited to be a part of it. Together, we will embrace transparency, accountability, community engagement, and a results orientation.”
“Bringing Harry Black to serve the people of Stockton demonstrates that we are a city that is not only retaining our best and brightest, but talented individuals from across the nation want to come here because of our innovative approach to government and our boundless opportunities as the 13th largest city in California,” said Mayor Michael Tubbs. “I know Mr. Black will immediately get to work on priority areas including homelessness, housing, jobs, and economic growth, among other key issues.”