DEL MAR — The Del Mar community gathered on Feb. 20 at the Powerhouse Community Center for a “meet and greet” reception with their new city manager.
Christa “CJ” Johnson, who began work the previous week, has a civil service background of 22 years. She previously worked as the assistant city manager in Laguna Beach, for the city and county of Alameda and for Windsor, a town located in Sonoma County.
Christa Johnson said that meeting the community at the reception got her excited to listen to everything the citizens are passionate about.
“It is my sixth day and I have a lot to learn,” Christa Johnson said. “It is a lot easier to learn things face to face and what everyone is passionate about.”
During her first day on the job, Christa Johnson went around to everyone in the office, introduced herself and learned everyone’s names according to Kseniia Izgarskaia, the assistant management analyst for Del Mar.
Dozens of citizens filled the community room, lining up to make their introductions.
Assistant City Manager Kristen Crane has known Christa Johnson for over 20 years, having previously worked with her in Northern California. Crane said that the reception was a fantastic way for the community to start a relationship with the new city manager.
“She is well thought of in our profession,” Crane said. She added that the reception was “paving the way for collaboration and connections in the future.”
Also in attendance were Christa Johnson’s husband, Carl Johnson, and her 20-year-old son, Quin Johnson.
Quin Johnson, who is currently attending San Diego State University, said that he is confident in his mother’s ability to handle the job.
“She is absolutely wonderful,” Quin Johnson said. “She controls the house pretty good, so I think she will handle this (city manager position) well.”
After the reception was over, Christa Johnson was one of the last people to leave. She said that she was overwhelmed by the pleasant welcome.
“It feels good to be so welcomed with such genuine warmth,” she said.