Joe Hoefgen (MPA 1989)
2021 KUCIMAT Lifetime Achievement Award Co-Winner
About Joe —
Joe Hoefgen (MPA 1989) completed a nearly 35-year career in local government before retiring in November of 2021 as the City Manager of Redondo Beach, CA. Joe brought a strong background in policy and program development, labor relations, human resources, and budget oversight to the Manager's office. He simultaneously served as the Human Resources Director and the City Manager for a period after the HR Director position was vacant. He leaves a strong legacy of a high performing team serving the City of Redondo Beach.
Nomination of Joe Hoefgen —
For the past 10 years, I have worked with Joe Hoefgen who is completing a nearly 35-year career in local government and will retire as City Manager of Redondo Beach in November 2021. I serve as Redondo Beach City Attorney and believe he is a deserving recipient of the KUCIMAT Lifetime Achievement Award.
I have worked for Redondo Beach since 1994 and am in a unique position to comment on Joe's work. Joe was appointed City Manager at a very difficult time for Redondo Beach. At the time, the City had very poor labor relations with its six employee unions, our Human Resources Director had previously left after three months on the job, there were major budget challenges, and morale was at an all time low. Fortunately, during the past 10 years, the following has been accomplished largely through Joe's efforts:
- Prior to his appointment as City Manager, he initially served as Community Services Director and oversaw several staffing reorganizations due to the end of Redevelopment funding;
- He simultaneously served as Interim Human Resources Director and began a complete restructuring of the HR function;
- Redondo Beach now has multi-year agreements in place with its six employee unions and morale has been significantly improved. In addition, the City's relationships with the local school district and the Chamber of Commerce have been improved through Joe's efforts.
- During the past 18 months, he demonstrated professional and calm leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic -with Redondo Beach being among the first of 88 cities in LA County to declare a local state of emergency. Joe ordered the closure of facilities and programs and transitioned us to a place where employees could work from home.
While there were many opportunities to fail, Redondo Beach performed extremely well during his watch, his legacy includes the appointment of eight department heads-including the City's Police Chief, Human Resources Director, Public Works Director, Community Development Director, Assistant City Manager and others -without question a high performing team that works well
Redondo Beach is a full-service City and is unique in that five Councilmembers are elected by District with a Mayor elected "at large" along with an elected City Clerk, City Treasurer, and City Attorney. The Mayor has the ability to veto actions of the City Council and the City Council can, with four votes, override the Mayor's veto.
It is a challenging environment in which to serve as City Manager. I have seen Joe navigate through this challenging environment, and on several occasions, defend departments and staff decisions when unfairly criticized. I have also seen him proactively take corrective action when
He has municipal experience in Kansas, Texas, and for the past 31 years in California.
I have enjoyed working with Joe and both as City Attorney and as a resident of Redondo Beach, I know that the City of Redondo Beach has been well served through his efforts.