SACRAMENTO — Today the League of California Cities honored Linda Daniels, Rancho Cucamonga assistant city manager, with the prestigious John H. Nail Award during the organization’s Annual City Managers’ Department Conference in San Francisco. Created by the League’s City Managers’ Department in 1978, the award annually recognizes an outstanding municipal assistant who has contributed significantly to his or her city government and to the advancement of the community as a whole. Ms. Daniels was honored for her work at the city of Rancho Cucamonga as well as her diverse skills, breadth of experience, problem-solving approach, passion for the community, and positive attitude.
Pat Martel, the city manager of Daly City, who served on the award committee, commended Ms. Daniels for her long-term service in Rancho Cucamonga. “My predecessors created this award in memory of John H. Nail, who was a highly regarded city manager. We keep his memory and dedication to city service alive each year by selecting a California city manager who exemplifies John’s spirit of public service. Linda Daniels’ 42-year tenure with Rancho Cucamonga is remarkable. She exemplifies the qualities of commitment, personal integrity and dedication that are essential to advancing the profession of public administration.”
During the award presentation, Ms. Daniels acknowledged how meaningful this recognition is to her. “I am honored to be recognized by my colleagues throughout California for my leadership in Rancho Cucamonga. We are called to city management because we want to improve our cities and build communities where individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit can thrive. My career in public service has been beyond rewarding and it has been a pleasure to serve the residents of Rancho Cucamonga.”
Linda Daniels joined the city of Rancho Cucamonga in 1983 as an assistant city planner, six years after the city incorporated. Just one year later, Ms. Daniels became the city’s senior redevelopment analyst and in the following quarter-century, she built one of the top 10 redevelopment agencies in California. The Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency invested hundreds of millions of dollars in public improvements that supported development as the city grew including major drainage projects, fire stations, bridges, parks, City Hall and a minor league baseball stadium. Ms. Daniels’ vision and management also proved invaluable in the development of the Victoria Gardens Regional Town Center. Opening in 2004, the mall features publically-owned space and was planned adjacent to the Cultural Center at Victoria Gardens, which includes a library, conference facilities and the 536-seat Lewis Family Playhouse, which was built by the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency at the same time as the mall. The result was two projects that blended seamlessly.
The City Managers’ Department selected Ms. Daniels as this year’s John H. Nail recipient not only for her redevelopment vision but also for her leadership in the wind down of the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency after the Legislature acted to end redevelopment in California. As assistant city manager, Ms. Daniels worked through the process, helping to resolve issues with the California Department of Finance, transferring agency-owned projects to the city and the fire district, the refinancing of agency bond debt and more.
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.