OCEANSIDE — Deanna Lorson has resigned from her position as city manager.
The notice of Lorson’s resignation came suddenly last week at the beginning of the Oceanside City Council’s March 23 meeting. Prior to the meeting, the council voted to approve Lorson’s resignation in closed session by a 3-1 vote, with Mayor Esther Sanchez opposed and Councilmember Christopher Rodriguez absent.
Lorson was first hired by the City of Oceanside in early 2016 as assistant city manager. She previously served as Riverside’s assistant city manager for more than four years.
In 2019, when her predecessor Michelle Skaggs Lawrence announced her retirement, Lorson expressed her interest in becoming city manager. Soon after, the city promoted Lorson to the role with unanimous approval from City Council.
Councilmember Peter Weiss, who was serving as mayor at the time, said Lorson had “everything we were looking for” in a city manager when she was promoted in 2019.
According to Lorson’s resignation letter, she left her role to spend more time with her family.
“I have decided to devote more time to my family after a 34-year career serving the public,” Lorson writes.
Lorson’s resignation will be effective March 23, 2023, as per her separation agreement with the city. She has been placed on administrative leave until then, during which she will continue to receive her severance pay from the city. She had previously agreed to the same $254,527 annual salary that Skaggs Lawrence was paid before her.
The separation agreement does not admit any wrongful or unlawful acts against either the city or Lorson. The document also states she has not filed any lawsuits, complaints or charges against the city or its officials.
According to the separation agreement, the city’s official response to Lorson’s departure is that she “separated from city service in good standing.”
“I think she was doing a great job,” Mayor Sanchez told The Coast News.
Now that Lorson has resigned, Deputy City Manager Jonathan Borrego has taken on the role of interim city manager and will fill that position until a new city manager is selected.
The city is preparing to launch a nationwide search for a new city manager.