Sonoma City Manager Cathy Capriola, the City‘s chief executive since January of 2017, will step down by the end of the year.
“I care deeply about this organization and community which is my home and it is a difficult decision to leave,” said Capriola, who in a 30-year career has worked for city government in Citrus Heights, Davis, Vacaville and, prior to Sonoma, Novato.
Today’s surprise announcement to staff came at about 4 p.m. today. It said she was retiring, but also that she plans to continue working on a part-time basis as a consultant to public agencies.
Capriola stated that prior to the pandemic, she had considered retiring in late 2020 and the many implications of COVID-19 have now reinforced that original plan. “With my three teenage children set to attend schools on-line and another high school senior ready to graduate, I want to have more time to be with and support them both academically and personally during this challenging time,” she said. “For the past few years, my priority has been the City of Sonoma, I now need to shift my priority to my family.”
Transitioning to a consulting role will provide the flexibility that her family needs, she said
In her retirement letter, Capriola expressed appreciation for the ongoing dedication of the City Council, and her pride in leading a talented and committed staff of truly dedicated public servants.
Much of Capriola’s tenure has been dedicated to emergency preparedness and management, leading the City through a series of events beginning with the 2017 fires and continuing with storms, extended power shutoffs, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
While the pandemic will continue to affect all aspects of community life as well as City finances, Capriola expressed confidence that the City has the systems, policies, people, and relationships in place to help guide the community through the challenges ahead.
Mayor Logan Harvey responded, “Cathy Capriola’s talent and dedication to her role and her city are unrivaled. In her three years of service to our community, Cathy has led Sonoma through fires, power shutoffs, and a pandemic with a steady and extremely capable hand.”
Harvey contiuned, “Cathy has balanced our budgets, led the effort in developing long term financial and capital improvement strategies, and put the city on track to a successful future. Her service to our community also extended beyond the city’s borders, and I have often had council members and city managers from other cities in our county express their appreciation of and respect for Cathy’s talents and her willingness to assist in making not only our city, but our county, a better and safer place.”
“I thank her for her service to our community, and I wish her and her family the best in the future,” he said.
Mayor Harvey indicated that the City Council will begin discussing transition planning over the coming weeks.
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