Fernando Santillan was appointed the City Manager of Selma on Dec. 8 and since then he has been hard at work.
Santillan is no stranger to Selma after previously serving as the Deputy City Manager and Community Development Director for the City of Selma since Feb. 2021.
The Enterprise-Recorder recently talked to Santillan, who spent the previous six years before his time in Selma as the Community and Economic Director for the City of Avenal, about his vision for the community.
Q: What plans do you hope to accomplish as the City Manager?
A: One of my goals is to help Selma grow and improve the quality of life for all Selma residents. This includes more housing, more businesses, and more amenities that will make Selma the best place to live in Fresno County.
Q: Why was Selma a place you wanted to come to and accept this role?
A: I started in Selma as the Community Development Director and I accepted that position because Selma has such great potential to become the most desirable place to live in all of Fresno County. When I was appointed to the City Manager role, I happily accepted because I had already become familiar with so many great people, organizations, and agencies in Selma and I knew that by working together and developing a solid vision for the city, we could achieve great things for the community.
Q: Is there one major project that you are planning on working on first in your new role as City Manager?
A: We are working on so many exciting projects at the city that it is hard to pick just one, but in general our main priority is to build up our infrastructure which will help us develop enough housing and businesses to accommodate anyone who would like to live and work in Selma. We are also very focused on public safety and making sure that we are doing everything we can to keep Selma safe for all residents.
Q: For those that may not know your background, can you tell them a little about yourself?
A: I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance from California State University, Northridge. I started in government with the City of Fresno in the Economic Development Department because I wanted to help businesses grow and create jobs in the Central Valley. I was also part of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, where I helped attract businesses to Fresno County from all over the world. From there, I developed an interest in City Planning and eventually became the Community Development Director at the City of Avenal, where I worked for six years before coming to Selma.
Santillan said that he looks forward to the coming years and working with the residents of Selma.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to help Selma become a truly great city, and I’m looking forward to working together with our residents, community organizations, business owners and entrepreneurs, the City of Selma staff, and our City Council to achieve this goal,” he said.
Santillan’s annual salary will be $188,000 and is effective from Dec. 8, 2021. The City Manager is appointed by the City Council and serves as the operational head of the City Government.