Bruce Rudd is retiring from Fresno City Hall – this time for real.
Rudd’s last day in the public spotlight will be Friday, April 13.
Rudd officially retired on July 10, 2017 after more than 40 years of city service, the last four as city manager. Wilma Quan-Schecter became the new city manager.
But Rudd didn’t leave City Hall. At the request of Mayor Lee Brand, Rudd stayed on as an interim city manager, consultant and all-around problem solver.
Everyone at City Hall knew Rudd’s new gig was temporary. The only question was for how long.
“My work here is completed,” Rudd told me by phone on Wednesday. “I look forward to enjoying the next chapter in my life. My first priority is to spend more time with my high school sweetheart.”
That would be his wife, Ellie.
Then-Mayor Ashley Swearengin promoted Assistant City Manager Rudd to city manager in mid-2013. Much has been written since then about Rudd’s amazing career with the city. When it comes to municipal government, it’s not accurate to say Rudd has seen it all and done it all. But he’s come close.
One of Rudd’s main chores in his post-city manager stint was bringing home the long-awaited parks master plan. The council approved the document in January.
Another challenge was getting the Bus Rapid Transit system up and running. The innovative service along the Blackstone and Ventura/Kings Canyon corridors went live in February.
“Along the way,” Rudd said, “other things popped up.”
It wouldn’t be City Hall if they didn’t.
Jane Sumpter is Fresno’s only permanent assistant city manager. But another ACM is on the way. According to city documents, the application-filing deadline for the second ACM position was March 27. I can’t recall the last time Fresno City Hall had two permanent assistant city managers.
To say that Fresno is going to miss Bruce Rudd is an understatement. There’s a lot of institutional memory heading out the door.
My chat with Rudd ended on a personal note.
“I’ve enjoyed talking with you over the years about city issues,” Rudd said. “I know you care about Fresno as much as I do.”
“Thank you, Bruce,” I replied. “You’re right – we both care about Fresno. But there’s one difference between us, and it’s a huge difference. I write about public policy. You execute public policy.”
Congratulations, Bruce. May there always be a Corvette out there with your name on it.