SACRAMENTO — Today the League of California Cities City Managers’ Department presented Sacramento City Manager John F. Shirey with the Wes McClure Award of Distinction. Created in memory of former San Leandro City Manager Wes McClure, the award honors a city manager’s outstanding career service, leadership, ethics, expertise and innovation in the field of city management as observed by their colleagues. The League’s Sacramento Valley Division City Managers nominated Mr. Shirey for this recognition.
Mr. Shirey received the Wes McClure Award during the League’s Annual City Managers Department Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 29. In his acceptance remarks Mr. Shirey said, “I am proud to be receiving this award presented in memory of Wes McClure, the ‘City Manager’s Manager,’ who epitomized the profession. I’m humbled to be among the award’s first recipients and in the same company as Ted Gaebler, former Rancho Cordova city manager, who won the award last year.”
Pat Martel, the city manager of Daly City, who served on the award committee, congratulated her colleague John Shirey on his dedication to the city manager profession. “It can be challenging to strike the right balance between the myriad of priorities needed to lead a city, especially one the size of Sacramento. If anyone exemplifies the leadership it takes to manage finances while improving economic development, it’s John. He has an inherent ability to form partnerships, transform development areas into flourishing economic districts, and has invested in the professional development of others, making him a great leader. The City Managers Department is honored to present John with this distinguished award.”
During Mr. Shirey’s 40-plus year career he has been engaged in national and international programs to change the way local governments operate to better serve residents. He is active in various organizations including ICMA and Cal-ICMA, and was awarded the 2014 National Public Service award by the American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration.
In 1975, Mr. Shirey came to the city of Long Beach where he helped revitalize the city at a time when it was suffering from a severe economic crisis resulting from the recent closure of its naval base combined with the loss of jobs in the aerospace industry. Mr. Shirey became the Cincinnati city manager in 1993. In Ohio, he organized a joint city-county planning effort to develop a central riverfront master plan, which spurred hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in the area. During his nine-year tenure as executive director of the California Redevelopment Association, Mr. Shirey represented 345 city and county redevelopment association members as well as 275 associate members.
The city of Sacramento appointed Mr. Shirey city manager in 2011 during the Great Recession. Under his leadership, Sacramento’s double-deficit budget has stabilized and the city now has a budget surplus. Mr. Shirey is also helping to guide the development of a new $448 million entertainment and sports center that is helping transform the city’s downtown and adjacent neighborhoods.
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.