Thursday Jun 17 2010
Mike Shellito retires after 30 years of service to City of Roseville
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
He took on role of city manager last fall, after spending most of his career overseeing parks and recreation
Mike Shellito planned to retire about six months ago — something his wife Jan was excited about — but Mayor Gina Garbolino walked into his office last October with a request. She asked him to take over as city manager until the city council could hire a replacement for dismissed City Manager Craig Robinson. He agreed. Shellito fulfilled the task and retired this week after 30 years of service to the City of Roseville. He spent most of those years working as head of the Parks and Recreation Department and then Community Services Director, later becoming assistant city manager and, most recently, serving as Roseville’s top bureaucrat. “The most striking thing for me is for this individual to step in during a moment of crisis … and keep us together,” said councilwoman Pauline Roccucci during Wednesday’s council meeting. He guided city staff through the challenges that followed the leadership change and economic crisis, said Garbolino, who has known Shellito for 25 years. They met when she served on the Parks and Recreation Commission. “With Mike’s leadership we have made tremendous strides,” Garbolino said. He was responsible for overseeing the reorganization of city operations, budget process and establishment of the city’s governance policies. “We understand he’s looking forward to the next phase of life so we have to say goodbye,” Garbolino said. “But that’s very difficult.” The mayor said Shellito “personifies innovation” and enacted creative ideas with parks and recreation two decades before other cities followed. Under his leadership, Roseville grew from having 12 parks to more than 60. About 5,600 acres of open space and parks now grace the city, all thanks to Shellito, said councilman John Allard. He expressed appreciation for the preservation of open space — about three acres for every one acre of park space. “That’s something cities don’t do,” Allard said. Roseville has received more than 20 state, national and international awards for its parks and recreation-related accomplishments and programs during Shellito’s tenure, Garbolino said. This year, he was inducted into the California Parks and Recreation Society Hall of Fame. “It’s been a real privilege to be here over the years and a great experience,” Shellito said. He paused a moment to compose himself. “Now that I’m not choked up, I need to thank Jan and my family and all our employees … the community is amazing to work with and (I thank) the council for entrusting me with this role.” Ray Kerridge started as Roseville’s new city manager today. The council hired him for the position in May after a six-month nationwide search. Sena Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.