Fountain Valley Selects Maggie Le ‘House’ as City Manager
When Maggie Le returned to her hometown as assistant city manager in December 2015, she felt it might be her “final destination” as a professional.
Fountain Valley City Council voted unanimously to appoint Le as city manager on Tuesday night, a promotion for the insider candidate who had recently served as deputy city manager.
“I am very fortunate to be able to serve the Fountain Valley community,” Le said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I appreciate the continued support of the community and look forward to many years [in] the ability of the city manager to identify solutions and move the organization and the community forward.
Le will start working in his new role on Saturday. Raul Godinez II had served as interim city manager since the departure of Rob Houston, who accepted a city manager position at Orange.
Bob Hall and Associates led a nationwide recruiting effort to fill the vacancy, producing 36 candidates. City officials say the field was made up mostly of people already in city manager or deputy city manager positions.
Le was selected by the board after three rounds of interviews. She will receive a base salary of $245,000.
During his previous experience with the city, Le observed how Houston would connect with residents by coming to them to discuss their concerns in an environment they found more comfortable than a visit to City Hall. Le said she, too, feels the personal touch is important and has helped publish a digital city newsletter with the aim of informing and engaging the community.
Le has ties to Fountain Valley that go back far beyond his time as a city staffer. A 1996 graduate of Los Amigos High School, Le now has two children who attend the Fountain Valley School.
While home is where the heart is, the desire to be a public servant was also a priority for Le, who discovered his passion while volunteering in high school. A simple “thank you” makes his public service worthwhile.
“Just those two words, it’s so gratifying, and so I wanted to serve,” Le said. “I know it’s a challenge, but I’m a big believer where there’s a will, there’s a way. I like challenges, and as long as I have a positive impact in my position, in my community, I would do whatever it takes to get the job done.
The community has gone through changes since growing up, which Le called a natural transition.
“Change, for the most part, has to be market-driven, and we’re seeing that in our community,” Le said. “We’re seeing developers expressing interest in the opportunities in Fountain Valley, and I think for our long-time residents – it’s human nature that we don’t like change, isn’t it, but I think it is possible to be responsible for change.
“Our elected officials are listening to the concerns of our community, and I believe that where there is an opportunity for compromise, they are prepared to do what is necessary to ensure that our residents are happy and that in at the same time, services are provided to them. .”
Prior to working for Fountain Valley, Le held leadership positions in Brea, Placentia and Chino. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration with a major in finance from CSU Fullerton.
“Ms. Le is a well-known individual who has served our community effectively for years, rising to the position of Deputy Chief Executive,” Mayor Patrick Harper said in a statement announcing Le’s appointment after the vote. “She has roots in Fountain Valley, graduated from Los Amigos High School and has worked hard to help the town thrive for the past seven years.
“It’s clear that she understands the council’s priorities and is prepared and committed to helping us realize our ideas and priorities for the Fountain Valley community.”
Councilman Michael Vo said the recent search for city manager marks the third he has been involved in during his three terms on the podium.
“These are the hardest and most important decisions,” Vo said. “Ms. Le understands the challenges and growth opportunities for the city. She is the local City Manager for Fountain Valley and will propel our community forward through economic development and improved quality of life.
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