Former Mayor Mark Sorensen will be Chico’s next city manager, the city announced Thursday (June 30).
The City Council, which will approve the appointment officially at its next meeting Tuesday (July 5), interviewed candidates in a series of closed-session meetings last week. Sorensen’s hiring caps a national search to replace Mark Orme, with whom the council parted ways March 25.
Sorensen, whose two terms as councilman (2010-18) included a term as mayor (2014-16), has worked the past 10 years as city administrator in Biggs, where his position encompasses the roles of finance director, utility director and risk manager.
“My past experiences in local government have tested and proven my leadership qualities and how I handle difficult and challenging situations,” he said in a news release distributed by Chico City Clerk Debbie Presson, ahead of the meeting agenda for Tuesday night. “I am very well prepared and look forward to finding solutions to the challenges that lie ahead serving as the city manager of my hometown.”
Current Mayor Andrew Coolidge and Councilman Sean Morgan served with Sorensen—Morgan as vice mayor before succeeding Sorensen as mayor. Councilman Mike O’Brien was police chief during Sorensen’s last three years on the council.
“Mark has a wealth of knowledge about the city, its operations and finances,” Coolidge said in the news release. “These made him the right choice for the position and the best person to lead Chico forward into the future.”
Police Chief Matt Madden, who briefly held the post of interim city manager before the council hired Paul Hahn, announced his retirement Wednesday (June 29) after 30 years in law enforcement, the past 25 with Chico PD. He plans to retire in September.