The City of Placentia is pleased to announce that City Administrator Damien R. Arrula was recognized as one of Orange County’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2018 by the Orange County Register. His acknowledgement was specifically for the groundbreaking of a new 50-unit development in Placentia that will serve military veterans who are homeless or disabled. In addition, Damien’s fiscal prudency helped spearhead additional ongoing revenue to the City by creating a unique partnership for the development of a new gasoline station and a successful passage of a City sales tax measure.
“Damien’s leadership has contributed to significant, yet sustainable growth in the City,” said Placentia Mayor Rhonda Shader. “Under his guidance and vision, we are creating valuable partnerships, including a partnership with a non-profit to create the Placentia Veterans Village, a permanent supportive housing development that will serve military veterans who are homeless or disabled. We also created a successful private partnership with a gasoline company to develop and construct a gasoline station on City-owned property. Through this unique partnership, a portion of the revenue generated by the gas station will go directly back to the City for critical services including Police, Fire and Public Works projects. Damien’s creative and innovated vision for a better Placentia is commendable. He is certainly deserving of this noteworthy recognition by the Orange County Register and as the only City Manager on the list, I am extremely proud of him.”
In addition, Damien worked diligently with the Citizens Fiscal Sustainability Task Force over the course of 2 ½ years to review City revenues, departmental budgets, infrastructure projects and cost reductions. After receiving significant community input and recommendation by the Task Force, on July 24, 2018, the Placentia City Council unanimously (5-0) placed Measure U, a local one-cent sales tax measure, on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Based on the final results provided by the Orange County Register of Voters, Measure U has successfully passed by Placentia voters by 63%. The measure is a one-cent sales tax increase that will go into effect on April 1, 2019. The City will receive its first installment of the one-cent sales tax in June/July, 2019. The one-cent sales tax is projected to raise approximately $5 million annually. Measure U will allow the City to fund services at levels consistent with the community’s priorities and the public’s desired quality of life.
“I am humbled and honored to be included on this list of notable people who have done so much in their community. I look forward to many more partnerships and working with our City Council to make Placentia a model city in Orange County,” said City Administrator Damien R. Arrula.
Damien 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, Damien 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 100 most influential list aims to highlight people who have a significant impact in the county; ranging from local innovators, nonprofits, artists, and some well-known public figures. The Orange County Register selects “influencers” by having its editors revisit the top issues and stories of the past year, while also considering nominations from readers.