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Posted on: May 18, 2017

Placentia City Administrator Receives “City Manager of the Year” Award

The City of Placentia is pleased to announce that at the Association of California Cities Orange County’s (ACC-OC) 6th Annual Golden Hub of Innovation Award luncheon, City Administrator Damien R. Arrula received the award for “City Manager of the Year.” The event took place on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. The nominations for the award are judged by the appointees of the ACC-OC Executive Board based on the following criteria: significant achievements made within the scope of their regular duties, special contributions made outside of routine responsibilities, demonstration of outstanding initiative, fostering new ideas, perseverance or dedication to the profession or city. During Fiscal Year 2016-17, Mr. Arrula and the City’s management team recovered several million dollars from an embezzlement, while also managing or advancing several special projects including the Placentia Veterans Village, the Transit Oriented Development Packing House, the proposed Old Town Placentia Revitalization Plan, balanced and secured $15 million in additional funds, and recovered $3 million in State funds.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award. Last year was a very difficult and challenging time for the City,” said City Administrator Arrula. “After first learning about the $5.2 million embezzlement, our team worked diligently with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and as a result, we have successfully recovered over 80% of the stolen funds. We expect to have an announcement of additional recovery soon. Despite all of this, we managed to get some great things done and it’s a credit to our Council and the management team.”

City Administrator Arrula stated during the award presentation, “I have always believed that leadership doesn’t come in some cushy job where everything is perfect. True leadership is defined in crisis and taking on things that aren’t popular or others don’t want to take on. Meeting the challenge head on and not blinking. That is true leadership. Our team epitomized that true leadership this past year and I’m proud to say that it’s an honor to serve them and our great City.”

"I am extremely pleased that ACC-OC has named Damien as “City Manager of the Year”, said Mayor Craig Green. “This is a true testament to Damien’s integrity, passion and professionalism. In city government, some individuals are born leaders, extraordinary visionaries with the innate ability to solve challenging problems, tackle large-scale projects and effectively guide the City and its resources. I believe Damien has accomplished many of these things for our City,” said Mayor Green.

Mr. Arrula holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a Minor in General Management from Cal Poly Pomona. He has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of La Verne and a post-graduate leadership certificate from Claremont McKenna College. Prior to working for the City of Placentia, Mr. Arrula held the positions of Economic Development Director, Administrative/Economic Development Officer, Senior Management Analyst, and Management Analyst with the cities of Claremont, El Monte and Sierra Madre. In 2014, Damien began his career with the City of Placentia as the Assistant City Administrator and in 2016, Damien was appointed City Administrator.

The ACC-OC is a professional association focused on public policy issues and advocacy by working with and engaging cities, county governments, state and federal representatives, the business community, special districts and others to build consensus around solutions. ACC-OC works to strengthen the quality of local government through professional management, education, partnerships, and innovation. For additional information on ACC-OC, please visit
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401 East Chapman Avenue
Placentia, CA 92870
(714) 993-8117